Market Watch: Closing in on Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka just went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Japan. Hal's Yanks and Magic's Dodgers might be the only teams that can afford him. AP Photo, Getty Images

It is shaping up as the new Yankees versus the old Yankees. The Los Angeles Dodgers against the 27-time world champions from the Bronx. It figures to be a mano a mano battle of the wallets.

We are closing in on the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes. We have said to go after Tanaka. More than 14,000 of you have voted and 87 percent of you want the Yankees to spend Hal Steinbrenner's money on Tanaka.

Now, one of the teams that was supposed to be interested in Tanaka is supposedly out. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Sources also said they do not expect the Giants to bid for Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka, who will be posted as soon as a new deal is approved among Major League Baseball, the Japan league and the Japanese players' union.

So maybe the Texas Rangers or the Boston Red Sox will step in, but there are not many other teams that can challenge the financial might of the Yankees or the Dodgers.

The bidding system is being finalized, according to the New York Post's Ken Davidoff. The team with the highest bid will have exclusive rights to negotiate with Tanaka. But they will only have to pay the Japanese club the average of the two top bids from MLB teams. So let's say the Yankees bid $70 million and the Dodgers bid $60 million, the Yankees would gain the exclusive rights to Tanaka, but would owe $65 million to Tanaka's team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles. The posting fee would not count against the $189 million salary threshold.

Tananka's salary would, but that is expected to be in the six or seven year-range at $60-75 million, which would fit snugly into Andy Pettitte's $12 million spot that is coming off the books.

So it is Hal versus Magic, with the rights to Tanaka on the line. The sealed envelopes should be opened relatively soon.