Winter Confidential

La Velle E. Neal III at the winter meetings


– Masahiro Tanaka is starting to hold up the offseason.

The Japanese righthander, who was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, is expected to be posted now that a new posting system has been agreed upon by MLB and the Nippon Professional Baseball league of Japan. But the Golden Eagles might be upset because the new system caps bidding at $20 million where Yu Darvish went for over $51 million last season when he was signed by the Rangers.

An official from the Golden Eagles was supposed to arrive at the winter meetings Tuesday, but members of the Japanese media here said he is worried about being overwhelmed by attention. Several teams, including the Twins, could make a bid on Tanaka, then try to sign him. Another mystery: the name of his agent. Tanaka is expected to announce the agent’s identity if he’s posted. Stay tuned …


Former Twin A.J. Pierzynski, who lives in the area, appeared in the lobby of the Dolphin Hotel on Tuesday. Pierzynski confirmed that the Twins made a two-year offer for him to return to his original team. And he spoke with manager Ron Gardenhire by phone. In the end, Pierzynski couldn’t turn down the chance to play for Boston. “Minnesota made it hard,” Pierzynski said. Gardenhire tried his best. “Good conversation and I have a lot of respect for A.J.,” Gardenhire said. “We’ve had him here. He’s a winner, and I just kind of relayed that after the fact. He had already made his decision, but I kind of relayed that. A lot of respect for him, and the way he’s played and how he’s handled things.”


Rumors: First baseman Corey Hart, who had 30 HRs and 83 RBI for the Brewers last season, is close to making a decision on where he will sign. … Bronson Arroyo, a Twins target, might receive an offer to stay with the Reds. … Mike Morse, who has power but hit .215 for Seattle and Baltimore last season, reportedly wants at least $7 million. What is the world coming to?