Baseball's offseason has been awaiting the fall of one crucial domino, and it may have finally reached its tipping point. The Rakuten Golden Eagles of NPB will reportedly post prized pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who is thought to be coveted by many teams in MLB.
Tanaka may have an immediate impact on the field upon his arrival next season, but his presence has already been felt on the hot stove, where the trade and free-agent markets for high-end starting pitchers have been slow to take shape. Now that Tanaka will soon be off the market, the teams that miss out will have to look elsewhere. Where will they look? Perhaps to a pair of AL East contenders, who could emerge as sellers for very different reasons once Tanaka is gone.
Here's a look at six strong trade candidates as we head into 2014.