The Arizona Diamondbacks cannot be ruled out as major players for Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, not after giving serious consideration to free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.

While the D-backs did not make Choo a formal offer, they knew his price and likely would have intensified their interest if they had failed to acquire outfielder Mark Trumbo, according to major league sources.

Choo’s agent, Scott Boras, had informed teams that they only could enter the discussions by bidding in the seven-year, $140 million range, sources said. The Yankees reportedly made such an offer. The D-backs, after including ownership in their internal discussions, were open to the idea, sources said.

Instead, the D-backs ended up acquiring Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels in a three-team trade on Dec. 10. Choo signed his seven-year, $130 million deal with the Texas Rangers on Dec. 27, choosing a team that plays in a state with no income tax and projects to be stronger than the D-backs, at least at the moment.

The Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, Mariners and Cubs are among the many teams expected to pursue Tanaka, who was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Japan last season. The Diamondbacks, facing fierce competition, could opt to make a pre-emptive strike and sign a major league free agent such as righty Matt Garza for less money.

Tanaka, however, remains the D-backs' No. 1 target. Club officials do not expect to meet with him in Japan; the pitcher's agent, Casey Close, is discouraging such visits, sources said. But at this point, the D-backs expect to stay involved in the bidding, according to sources; the deadline for Tanaka to sign with a major league club is three weeks from Friday.

Any team that signs Tanaka must pay a $20 million posting fee to his Japanese club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles. If the pitcher’s total salary reaches $120 million, the total outlay would match the $140 million that Boras wanted for Choo — money the Diamondbacks were prepared to spend.