December 18, 2013 in Sports

Tanaka wants to leave Japan for U.S.

Associated Press

Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka wants to move to Major League Baseball next season but his Japanese team doesn’t want to let him go.

MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball’s new posting system caps the fee for players at $20 million, less than half what Japanese teams received for pitchers Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Pacific League during the regular season. He will not become eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season and can move to MLB only if the Eagles agree to post him.

Roberts, Thornton agree with Yankees

The New York Yankees agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with second baseman Brian Roberts and a $7 million, two-year deal with left-hander Matt Thornton.

Roberts has not played a full season since 2009 because of injuries.

Clearing the bases

A person familiar with the contract says the Orioles and free-agent closer Grant Balfour have agreed to a $15 million, two-year deal. … Left-handed pitcher Charlie Furbush and the Mariners have agreed to a contract for next season and avoided a potential dispute over arbitration eligibility. … A person familiar with the situation says the Cubs and reliever Jose Veras were closing in on a $4 million, one-year contract.

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