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Masahiro Tanaka bidding begins on Thursday morning and will conclude by January 24

masahiro tanaka team japan getty

Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 212 innings this past summer for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball and was cleared on Tuesday evening to pursue his dream of pitching at the sport’s highest level: Major League Baseball. Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News lays out the details for the big-money bidding war that will play out in the weeks ahead:

Source: Tanaka posting will begin Thursday morning and be completed by January 24 at 5:00 pm.

— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 25, 2013

The 30-day period means Tanaka will have to sign with a team by that date. Teams can bid the $20 million starting tomorrow morning to talk.

— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 25, 2013

Only the team that signs Tanaka will pay Rakuten the $20 million posting fee.

— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 25, 2013

MLB spokesman says teams do not have to place a formal $20M bid. They simply must be willing to pay Rakuten $20M if they sign Tanaka.

— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 25, 2013

The Cubs, Yankees, Angels and Diamondbacks are just a few of the teams that have expressed serious interest in the star 25-year-old right-hander. He could command more than $100 million in guaranteed money.

Follow @drewsilv