Masahiro Tanaka rumors: Decision may not come until Friday

Koji Watanabe

Tanaka may wait until Friday to make his decision whether to play in the United States next season.

All of baseball is waiting on Masahiro Tanaka, but the Japanese ace may wait a few more days to announce which MLB team he will pitch for next season. Tanaka can hold his decision until the 4 p.m. ET deadline on Friday, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.

Stark also reports that Tanaka took a physical while he was in Los Angeles earlier this month. The physical was confirmed by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Every team courting the 25-year-old right-hander has received the results of his Jan. 9 physical, though the team that wins his services may opt to have its own team doctors examine him.

Most of baseball's big spenders are courting Tanaka, who finished 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA as a starter for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan last season. The pitcher is considered the last nine-figure free agent remaining. Reports indicate that Tanaka has already received a $100 million offer from at least five teams. The remainder of the free agent pitching market, a group that includes Bronson ArroyoMatt GarzaUbaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, should sort itself out after Tanaka signs.

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