Angels insist they are out on Masahiro Tanaka

Koji Watanabe

Despite the fact that Masahiro Tanaka would like to play in Los Angeles, the Angels are reportedly not in the running for the Japanese star.

The Angels are telling teams they are not seriously involved in negotiations with Masahiro Tanaka according to ESPN's Buster Olney. The Angels had previously been considered one of the most likely suitors for Tanaka given his preference to play in a major market like Los Angeles, New York, or Boston, but that doesn't seem to be making a difference to the Angels with the negotiating window closing a week from Friday.

While the Angels have made upgrades to their pitching staff already this offseason, they could use another starter to compliment Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, and some arrangement of Tyler Skaggs, Garret Richards, and Hector Santiago. The Angels have a big payroll and a star studded offense, but in order to contend with the Rangers and A's they'll need an additional upgrade to the rotation, but that's likely going to be someone other than Tanaka. If they are, in fact, out on Tanaka as Olney's report indicates, then that speaks either to their budgetary constraints or an exploding market for the Rakuten ace.

Whichever team signs Tanaka will have to pay a $20 million posting fee on top of his contract, which is rumored to be at least in the neighborhood of 6 years and $120 million, and is a price the Angels don't seem willing or able to pay. The Yankees, Dodgers, and Cubs remain top contenders for his services, but the Mariners, Rangers, Blue Jays, and Diamondbacks have also shown interest.

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