MLB

Masahiro Tanaka declares MLB ambition

Masahiro Tanaka plies his trade in Japan. (©GettyImages)
Masahiro Tanaka plies his trade in Japan. (©GettyImages).

Masahiro Tanaka has told his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, that he wants to be playing in the MLB next season, reports CBSSports.com.

The news comes after Monday's announcement that both the MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball have reached an agreement on a new posting system.

Rakuten officials are not ready to let the phenomenon leave but have said in the past that they would stand in his way if he insisted on going to America.

And Tanaka has revealed that he has told the franchise just as much.

He said to reporters after a meeing with president Yozo Tachibana: "I informed my team that I would like them to allow me to test my abilities in Major League Baseball next season."

If he is posted, it is expected a number of MLB teams will meet to $20m clause needed to negotiate with the player.

But the Golden Eagles aren't resigned to losing the starting pitcher yet.

"We told him he is very important to us and we'd like him to stay," Tachibana said to the Associated Press.

Tanaka's uncertain status has caused the starting pitcher market to stall in the off-season.

Matt Garza, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez remain unsigned while  Jeff Samardzija and David Price haven't been traded. 

Many teams are leaving a space open for the Japanese wonder who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 183 strikeouts in 212 innings.

He won five playoff starts and even appeared as relief to close out the game that sealed the championship for Rakuten.

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