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The Rakuten Golden Eagles are trying to convince Masahiro Tanaka to stay in Japan

masahiro tanaka japan getty

Masahiro Tanaka wants to play in the United States. To do that, his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, have to agree to post him. Under the new posting rules agreed to by MLB and NPB, Rakuten stands to get $20 million, which is way less than posting teams used to get. And they’d lose their best player and top draw in the deal.

In light of that, this is not terribly surprising:

Sponichi is saying that Rakuten is going to try to get Tanaka to hang around for 1 more year.

— Patrick Newman (@npbtracker) December 16, 2013

The nuance to all of this, of course, is that Tanaka has asked to be posted and that, while Rakuten is not under any obligation to honor is wishes, NPB teams try to honor such wishes when possible for general goodwill purposes. They’d love to have agreement with Tanaka if they can. But they’d also like to keep his services given that losing him will get them only $20 million.