Less than two days after the highly sought Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka said he wanted to pitch in Major League Baseball next season, there was still no definitive word from his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, whether it would let him leave.

But on Thursday morning, several Japanese newspapers reported that the Eagles — who control the rights to Tanaka until the end of 2015 — would not permit major league teams to bid for him.

Instead, the Eagles will offer to double or even triple his annual salary of about $4 million, which could make him the highest-paid Japanese pitcher in history.