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A major league source told the Globe on Friday that while the Red Sox are impressed with the talents of Japanese righthander Masahiro Tanaka, they do not expect to be contenders for his services.
Any major league team interested in negotiating with Tanaka would have to pay a $20 million posting fee to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. The Yankees, Cubs, and Mariners are considered the leading candidates for Tanaka, who is expected to receive a contract worth at least $100 million.
Tanaka, 25, went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season in the Pacific League, leading Rakuten to its first Japan Series title.