Masahiro Tanaka has reportedly told the Rakuten Golden Eagles he wants to pitch in the U.S. in 2014, but the San Francisco Giants are not likely to be serious contenders to sign him. (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.)

San Francisco Giants Pass On Mark Mulder, Not Likely To Push For Masahiro Tanaka

Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka reportedly (h/t told the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball that he wants to come to the U.S. in 2014, opening the door for a free-agent frenzy for the 25-year-old right-hander who went 24-0 last season.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants kicked the tires on left-hander Mark Mulder, who said last week he is attempting a comeback after five years out of baseball due to shoulder problems.

According to, Mulder is looking for a major-league deal, something the Giants weren’t willing to extend.

As far as Tanaka goes, changes to the posting agreement between NPB and Major League Baseball will mean a team won’t be forking over $50 million-plus for the rights to negotiate with the right-hander.

Under the new system agreed to last week, any team in MLB is free to negotiate with Tanaka upon a promise to pay the posting fee Rakuten will demand—up to $20 million–with the team that secures his services being the only team that will actually pay the posting fee.

The Giants have retained two starting pitchers and added a third for 2014, agreeing to a two-year, $35 million contract to keep two-time former Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum and re-signing Ryan Vogelsong to a one-year, $5 million contract after declining to pick up his $6.5 million option for 2014.

With incentives, however, Vogelsong could earn more than $6.5 million.

The Giants also added right-hander Tim Hudson, late of the Atlanta Braves, to a two-year, $23 million deal.

They enter 2014 with those three slotted for the starting rotation along with Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.

Tags: Mark Mulder Masahiro Tanaka San Francisco Giants

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