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Red Sox seem unlikely to land Tanaka

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BOSTON -- Like the rest of the baseball world, the Red Sox are keeping a close eye on the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes, which will come to a conclusion by the end of Friday.

However, barring a major upset, Tanaka will wind up somewhere other than Boston.

"Well, since the process isn't over, it's hard to say much about it," said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, speaking prior to the Hot Stove/Cool Music charity event at Fenway Park on Tuesday. "Once it became clear that he was essentially a free agent, we had done all the work that we needed to do on him, scouting him, getting to know him personally. So we were prepared to be involved. It was just a question of parameters that we felt made sense for us. We don't know what the outcome of the process is yet, but I guess we'll all know by the end of the week."

Cherington did acknowledge that the Red Sox had discussions with Tanaka during the negotiating process.

"We've had a discussion with him," Cherington said. "I think out of respect to him and his representatives and the process they're going through, I just don't think it's right for me to say much more than that. We respect him as a pitcher, certainly we respect the process he's going through trying to make a decision. We'll all know more by the end of the week."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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