Pitcher Tanaka's team says he can seek career in MLB

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2013 file photo, Rakuten Golden Eagles pitcher Masahiro Tanaka speaks at a press conference after a meeting with his club president, in Sendai, northern Japan. Tanaka’s team says it has decided to let him seek his career in Major League baseball next season, reversing its earlier rejection. Rakuten Eagles president Yozo Tachibana told a news conference Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013 that it has decided to release him through the posting system. (AP Photo/Kyodo News, File) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

TOKYO - Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is set to move to the majors next season after his Japanese team Rakuten Eagles said Wednesday it was prepared to let him leave, reversing its earlier rejection.

Rakuten Eagles president Yozo Tachibana told a news conference that it has decided to release him through the posting system. Tachinbana said Tanaka's outstanding performance this season meant he deserved to be allowed to move to the U.S.

Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA with the Eagles during the regular season and sought a move the majors but he has two years remaining on his contract and Rakuten was under no obligation to release him.

Posting is now capped at $20 million, and Tanaka can choose from among the teams which meet that price.


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