Yankees, Dodgers and Angels finalists to sign Masahiro Tanaka, according to report from Japan

Considering all of the false starts and speculative reports we experienced as the Rakuten Golden Eagles contemplated posting Masahiro Tanaka last month, we should probably take the following report with a grain of salt. With that said, we at least have to acknowledge what Sports Hochi out of Tokyo, Japan published in their Sunday newspaper.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, who translated the report on Twitter, Masahiro Tanaka has narrowed his list down to three potential suitors: New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels.

Hernandez says the report adds the Yankees are considered the favorites to sign Tanaka, which wouldn’t be a huge surprise if true, but he also cautions what we’re learning should be taken with a grain of salt.

Fair enough.

What we do know with certainty is Tanaka traveled back to his native country on Saturday after meeting with major league clubs this week in Los Angeles. The Chicago White Sox are the only team to acknowledge their meeting with Tanaka, but it's reported he met with as many as 12 teams while in the U.S., including the Yankees, Dodgers and Angels.

Tanaka did not speak to reporters upon his return to Narita airport in Tokyo, so there are no public comments to dissect or speculate on. It's just a single report out of Tokyo that may or may not provide a clue into Tanaka's next move.

If the report is true, we may be moving toward a Tanaka decision a little earlier than we anticipated. If not true, hey, we can’t complain too much, can we? We love a good mystery every now and then.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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