The D-backs have popped up in Tanaka rumors from the start. Now that Rakuten has confirmed reports that their 25-year-old ace will be posted, Arizona can launch a more serious campaign to lure him to the American Southwest.
Club executives plan to make their proposal in person, and that could mean a trip to Japan. They haven't planned anything like that yet, but going to him could show Tanaka a level of commitment that other teams aren't willing to display.
The Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Astros and Mariners appear to be Arizona's main competitors for Tanaka's right arm. There has been some speculation that bidding could reach as high as $100 million dollars, so the Diamondbacks have their work cut out for them. Not only is the competition abundant, but many of the teams in the running are better equipped for a signing of that magnitude as well.
Arizona's payroll is expected to be just under $100 million after the arbitration hearings, according to Baseball Reference. In order to sign Tanaka to the contract he is reportedly looking for, the club would have to elevate its budget to an all-time high. However, the team has said it is willing to do so in order to improve on their back to back 81-81 campaigns.