Let The Bidding Begin

Masahiro Tanaka

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The sweepstakes is underway.

The bidding for Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has begun.

All 30 major league teams have been notified that the 30-day period to sign the star 25-year-old right-hander began at 8 a.m. EST Thursday, according to Major League Baseball spokesman Michael Teevan. Clubs have until 5 p.m. on Jan. 24 to attempt to reach an agreement with the ace.

If Tanaka and a major league team come to terms, that franchise is required to pay his Japanese club, the Rakuten Eagles, a posting fee, now capped at $20 million under the new deal between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball.

Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA with the Eagles during the regular season.

He will be represented by Excel Sports Management during the process.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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