Rumor Mill – Winter Meetings: Tanaka’s status, a Uribe suitor falls, Numata update, Aledmys interest


On the Masahiro Tanaka front, his team’s owner, Hiroshi Mikitani, has said that he doesn’t want to post him, according Peter Gammons on Gammons Daily.

Mikitani is the one Japanese owner who strongly opposed the new agreement, and Wednesday suggested in an interview that he would not post Tanaka, who isn’t a free agent for two more years. “It’s a terrible deal for a Japanese owner,” says one MLB executive. “I don’t blame Mikitani.”

It just so happens that the 25-year old Tanaka is in the sites of the Yankees, Dodgers and other MLB teams interested in signing him. Because he will not be a free agent until after the 2015 season, he must be posted by Rakuten, and Mikitani Wednesday said, “I don’t intend to post him.”

That, of course, could change, but media in New York, Los Angeles, Texas and Seattle can put off researching that sixth game of the Japan Series, in which he threw 160 pitches in a loss to the Giants.

But that was last Wednesday, and since then the team has talked with Tanaka about his desires to go overseas.

Additionally, the question of whether he’ll be posted might be resolved soon, when Yozo Tachibana, President of the Rakuten Golden Eagles, visits the Winter Meetings.

The will-he-or-won’t-he question may find resolution in the next couple of days. Sources told Yahoo Sports that Yozo Tachibana, president of the Rakuten Golden Eagles, plans to arrive at the winter meetings here on Tuesday. His appearance may lend clarity to Rakuten’s plan of whether to accept a $20 million posting fee for the right-hander’s transfer to an MLB team this offseason or reject it and rob the pitching market of its jewel.

I still think the cleverest workaround is for a KBO team to negotiate a trade for Tanaka since the new posting system doesn’t apparently apply to the KBO. The KBO team would then post Tanaka and they would get a small percentage of the money for their troubles. Of course, that would require a lot of negotiation with the NPB, and it would piss off the MLB, but the MLB just shafted the NPB and KBO is probably next, so why not?

Another option is to do an under the table deal, where Tanaka agrees to send a percentage of his contract back to his team off the books. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to speculate on whether something like that could happen.


On the Juan Uribe front, his other rumored suitors were apparently the Marlins and the White Sox, but there apparently wasn’t much from the White Sox’s end.

That bodes well if Uribe is seriously choosing between the Marlins and Dodgers. And if he really wants to play for the Marlins, then … alright?


Matt Kemp‘s medicals are apparently scaring off teams, which might actually work out for the Dodgers.

I want him to be healthy, obviously, but teams being worried about his injuries is understandable, and it makes the most sense for the Dodgers to keep him. Maybe it’s for the best.

The reports also jive with Kemp’s timetable, since Ned Colletti recently said that he’s still in a walking boot and probably won’t be ready to run in Spring Training.


The Dodgers have been rumored to be searching for relievers, and old friend Jamey Wright is in the mix, according to Ken Gurnick of

If the Dodgers add a long reliever, as general manager Ned Colletti recently said is a possibility, the primary candidate is familiar face Jamey Wright, who served in the role nicely in 2012.

They aren’t alone, however, and Wright will decide between the Dodgers and his team last year, the Rays.

In 2012, Wright posted a 3.72 ERA with the Dodgers and lowered that to 3.09 with the Rays in 2013. He’s literally put up the best peripherals of his career over the last two seasons (3.39/3.13 FIP), so there’s a solid middle reliever in there.

It needs to be mentioned, though, that he’s entering his age 39 season, and you have to wonder how much longer he can keep it up considering his lack of success prior to 2012.


Controversial Japanese signing Takumi Numata made the trek to Dodger Stadium for an unknown reason.

He almost looks like some random dude participating in a fantasy baseball camp in that picture. But anyway, after being banned for life by JABA, I figured he had signed by now, but maybe all the details only got worked out recently and he made his way over to ink the deal.

Either way, there has to be some confidence that he’ll be a Dodger in 2014 if he’s been invited over.


23-year-old Cuban SS Aledmys Diaz is being pursued by the Dodgers, as his suspension for falsifying his age will lapse on Feb. 19 of next year, in time for the season.

In his last season in Cuba (2011-12), he hit .315/.404/.500/.904, but like Alexander Guerrero, he projects better at second than short.

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