Sox not expected to be contenders in race for Tanaka

Sam Galanis
Contributing Writer

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it seems unlikely that the Red Sox will be in the running to acquire Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The Globe’s Peter Abraham wrote Friday that “a major league source tells the Globe that while the Red Sox are impressed with the talents of RHP Masahiro Tanaka, they do not expect to be contenders for his services.”

AP Photo/Kyodo News
To get Tanaka in their starting rotation, a team would have to pay the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles $20 million in addition to whatever they pay Tanaka in his contract, which is expected to be around $100 million. The Sox have been wary of giving players huge contracts, especially those who have never played in the states, ever since their $52 million bust with Daisuke Matsuzaka. And with an already strong starting rotation, including possible prospects like Allen Webster, the Sox don’t necessarily need a new starting pitcher.

Abraham didn’t elaborate on whether or not the Sox bid on Tanaka at all, but it was expected that most teams would, whether or not that had any chance of acquiring him. Currently, the Yankees, the Cubs, and the Mariners seem to be the frontrunners. Tanaka must be signed by January 24 at 5 p.m.

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