Hideaki Okubo, manager of the Nippon Oil team that Tazawa pitches for, said the Braves, Red Sox and Mariners are also involved. Okubo said the Rangers have made the largest offer to Tazawa.
"Now that these offers are on the table, a conclusion will be reached in three or four days," Okubo said.
So to review:
- Texas has reportedly offered the biggest contract
- The Red Sox are considered the front-runners in part because Daisuke Matsuzaka is Tazawa's hero
- The Braves have reportedly offered a Major League deal worth $4-5m
- Nobody knows what the Mariners put on the table
Tazawa's set to leave his current team tomorrow, and it's assumed that he'll make his decision shortly thereafter. Given the way the year has gone for Seattle sports, I expect Tazawa to sign with Boston on a minor league deal and then call home to inform his family and fellow countrymen that the way in which the Mariners approached negotiations was unprofessional and impossibly racist.
Update: looks like the Mariners offered three years and $3m, with incentives. It wasn't enough; Boston apparently won.