MLB Trade Rumors’ Aaron Steen provides the translation of this report from Japanese news service Nikkan Sports:
Clubs angling to sign Masahiro Tanaka made formal offers by Jan. 16, Nikkan Sports reports (Japanese link). The list of teams includes the Yankees, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, White Sox and Cubs, with nearly all clubs putting together offers worth more than $100MM over six years.
Noticeably absent from that list are the Angels, who could really use another front-line starter and were thought to be a potential Tanaka suitor but apparently don’t have room in the budget to make such a massive financial commitment.
Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reported Saturday morning that the Cubs are the “lead team” to sign the 25-year-old Tanaka, but this bidding process has been shrouded in mystery and there probably won’t be much factual reporting on the exact offers until after the Japanese right-hander settles with a team.
For what it’s worth, Nikkan Sports pegs the D’Backs’ proposal at six years and nearly $120 million.
Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season for the NPB’s Rakuten Golden Eagles.
His signing deadline is January 24 at 5:00 p.m. ET. That’s next Friday evening.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.