Masahiro Tanaka rumors: Tanaka selects agent, deadline set

Koji Watanabe

Masahiro Tanaka has chosen agent Casey Close to represent him, with the posting to be completed (and a deal done) by January 24, 2014, at 5:00 p.m.

Masahiro Tanaka's agent is Casey Close, according to reports out of Japan today.  Tanaka, a 25 year old righthander who is being posted by his NPB team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, will have Close representing him as he entertains offers and negotiates with whatever MLB teams are willing to pay Rakuten the $20 million posting fee that would be due once a deal with Tanaka is consummated.

Close is a well-respected long-time agent with a high-profile clientele.  Close's wife, interestingly, is Fox News personality Gretchen Carlson.  Close represents Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, which has Dodger fans on Twitter confidently predicting this gives the Dodgers the inside track on Tanaka.  Close also represents Derek Jeter, which has Yankee fans saying this gives the Yankees the inside track on Tanaka.  I suspect the team that is willing to spend the most money on Tanaka has the inside track on signing him.

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweeted that the Tanaka posting begins tomorrow morning, and would end at 5:00 p.m. on January 24.  The math doesn't seem to quite work, since normally there is a 30 day window for negotiations with posted players, and he would have to be posted tonight at 5:00 p.m. for that deadline to be in place, but that's close enough, I suspect.

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