By 5 p.m. Friday, we’ll learn where Masahiro Tanaka will take his talents in 2014, then we can fully sort out the winners and losers of this sweepstakes.

Already, though, we have a big winner. And it isn’t anyone who will be signing the Japanese right-hander.

“It really wasn’t a small-market/big-market issue,” Frank Coonelly, president of the Pirates, told The Post Thursday at the Major League Baseball quarterly owners meetings in Paradise Valley, Ariz. “It was clubs, players, Japanese clubs. And I thought we were getting the short end of it and made a suggestion.”

That suggestion dramatically altered the dynamic of this offseason. And it could blow up two-plus years of Yankees planning.

Coonelly spoke up at the prior owners’ meetings general session on Nov. 14. MLB, the Players Association, Nippon Professional Baseball and the Japanese players’ union were far down the road in finalizing a plan that would have only tweaked the previous posting process for Japanese players. The Japanese player still would be limited to negotiating with just one major league team, the club which posted the highest bid for those exclusive rights. And that would give nearly all the leverage in the negotiations to the team.

NPB took too long to get back to MLB on that offer, however, and the owners’ meetings arrived. Then Coonelly raised his point and others concurred, and here we are with a dramatically different posting system. One in which Tanaka is close to a “true” free agent. As long as a major league team is willing to put up a $20 million posting fee to the Rakuten Golden Eagles, it can negotiate with Tanaka, who possesses such immense leverage his agent, Casey Close, has largely succeeded in muzzling teams from sharing details of their negotiations.