One name you'll hear plenty about this Hot Stove season is Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who is expected to go through the posting system (if MLB and the NPB ever decide on one). If you thought Yu Darvish was expensive, wait until you see what Tanaka could bring.
He completed his season in Japan by snapping a 26-game win streak Saturday. Tanaka, the ace of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, threw 160 pitches in a 4-2 complete-game loss to the Yomiuri Giants. That means Game 7 of the Japan series will be played today.
Tanaka was 26-0 this season (including the postseason) going into Game 6 and had won a record 30 consecutive decisions dating back to August of last year. The 25-year-old had a 1.27 ERA in the regular season in 28 starts (212 innings) and allowed just six home runs. In his career in Japan, Tanaka has 99 wins with 1,238 strikeouts (and 275 walks) before his Game 6 start.
The Rangers have scouted Tanaka, but they don't have the interest in him like they did Darvish.
(A quick plug: As the Hot Stove season heats up, we'll be profiling a bunch of potential free agents and trade candidates for the Texas Rangers starting Wednesday.)