Masahiro Tanaka is one popular pitcher.
That makes a ton of sense considering that the right-hander is coming off a 24-0 campaign with a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball.
The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs are the top contenders to land the pitcher, who is expected to command a contract north of $100 million, including the posting fee, per Bill Madden of the New York Daily News. Madden also mentions the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers as teams that could be in the hunt.
However, because it only costs a $20 million refundable fee to speak with Tanaka, there will be plenty of speculative suitors that enter the bidding as well. Here's a look at five potential dark horses in the Tanaka sweepstakes.
Note: All salary information via Cot's Baseball Contracts on BaseballProspectus.com.