As many as five teams are still in the running to sign Masahiro Tanaka, reports CBS Sports.

The deadline for the Japanese right-hander to make a decision is approaching but there are still a total of five teams still within a shot of signing him from the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

While it seems the Astros, Mariners and Angels have fallen away from contention, the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox and Diamondbacks are regarded to still be in the running as Friday's deadline approaches.

The reason for the furious free agency battle is down to the 25-year-old's 2013 statistics coupled with a fresh posting agreement between the MLB and the NPB.

Tanaka went 24-0 for the Golden Eagles in 2013 with a 1.27 ERA and struck out 182 batters in 212 innings. Because of the new posting agreement, teams had to pay just $20m to Tanaka's team to open up discussions.

The Japanese pitcher is expect to command a $100m+ offer of at least six years.

Tanaka, 25, has until Friday to make a decision when the deadline for free agents passes.

#New York Yankees
#New York Yankees
#Los Angeles Dodgers
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