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GM confirms Dodgers are in 'feeling out process' with Masahiro Tanaka

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

As expected, the Dodgers have reached out to Masahiro Tanaka.
As expected, the Dodgers have reached out to Masahiro Tanaka. (USATSI)

MORE: FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

The Dodgers signed Dan Haren to a one-year contract to bolster the back of the rotation earlier this offseason, but that hasn't stopped GM Ned Coletti from looking for even more pitching upgrades. He confirmed he has been in contact with Masahiro Tanaka's agent on Wednesday.

Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports all negotiations with Tanaka are still in a "very preliminary phase." The right-hander has until 5 p.m. ET on January 24 to sign with an MLB team, otherwise he'll have to return to the Rakuten Golden Eagles for another year.

The Dodgers are slated to head into 2014 with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Haren in the rotation. Both Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett are coming off injury and unlikely to be ready for opening day. If the team doesn't not add another starter this winter -- Tanaka or otherwise -- someone like Stephen Fife could get the call as the fifth starter until Billingley or Beckett gets healthy.

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