Rangers Sign Yoshinori Tateyama

The Rangers signed Japanese free agent righty Yoshinori Tateyama to a one-year Major League deal with two club option years, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Tateyama, 35 next month, posted a 1.80 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, and 0.49 HR/9 in 55 relief innings this year for the Nippon Ham Fighters.  He's primarily a fastball/slider pitcher, wrote NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman in October.  Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein tweets a more detailed scouting report.


56 Responses to Rangers Sign Yoshinori Tateyama Leave a Reply

  1. 02waster 5 years ago

    Who?

    • vtadave 5 years ago

      Nice response. Why ask “who?” when it’s clear from the article who it is?

      • 02waster 5 years ago

        Because nobody’s heard of him, outside of Japan

  2. PhishTank 5 years ago

    What do you think? Does signing Tateyama and Mark Lowe and re-signing Frank Francisco to solidify the bullpen indicate that the Rangers are giving up on Cliff Lee and considering moving Neftali Feliz to the rotation, as has been speculated?

    • I don’t think it means they’ve given up on Cliff Lee. A good starter is more valuable than a top-notch closer, and Feliz has the upside to be a front of the rotation starter.

      • PhishTank 5 years ago

        I agree with you about the value of a good starter being greater than that of a closer. They are rare and hard to find. But look at some of the guys who have successfully closed in the majors over the last few years. Some of them were run-of-the-mill bullpen guys (with good stuff, of course) who got a lucky break. JJ Putz, David Aardsma, Rafael Soriano and Frank Francisco all spent time in relief before closing. It’s easier to find someone to close 35 games than it is to find someone who can win 15.

        • Which is why moving Feliz to the rotation, especially when you’ve got a guy like Francisco who is a more than capable closer in his own right, makes tons of sense.

          • PhishTank 5 years ago

            Agreed again. A lot of Rangers fans are down on Francisco but they forgot that he saved 25 games just a year ago. The Rangers have a few guys who could close, I think. Feliz and Francisco are at the top of that list, but given the opportunity I think Darren O’Day and Alexei Ogando and maybe even Mark Lowe could close. Perhaps they give Tanner Scheppers a shot at it, too, or give Derek Holland a shot.My point is: with Cliff Lee their rotation is clearly better, but it’s not bad without him. At this point, I’d rather see the Rangers spend money trying to extend Hamilton and Cruz and Murphy and Andrus and to improve their depth on the bench. I like the Torrealba signing, too.

  3. ugotrpk3113 5 years ago

    I think the Cliff Lee banter coming from Texas is simply a PR move. I think it’s pretty clear that they aren’t going to be in the running for his services.

    • Brad426 5 years ago

      Well, it’s pretty clear they can’t pay as much as the Yankees can (just like everybody else). That doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be a Ranger, but it does seem unlikely.

      • ugotrpk3113 5 years ago

        Yeah, that’s basically my point. There are a few teams that are going to be winning to pay more for Lee than Texas. I don’t Lee has any sort of loyalties towards Texas, I think this contract is about the cash (and the Yankees can give him plenty of that).

        • I like how you say it’s pretty clear that the Ranger’s won’t be in the running for Cliff Lee. It’s great to know we have a commenter with inside information into the Free Agent signing of Cliff Lee.

          • Brad426 5 years ago

            In fairness to this guy I don’t know, his point seems to be that clearly the Yankees are willing to (over)pay Lee more than anyone else can. While it’s easy to say players are greedy and it shouldn’t all be about the money, seriously… would you turn down an offer that was 30% higher than any other offer to do the exact same job?

            I want Lee to stay with the Rangers, but when the Yankees make you their priority it seems like it’s hard to say no.

          • ugotrpk3113 5 years ago

            It’s nice to see the PR push from the Rangers to ensure fans they care is working according to plan.

            You can’t honestly believe that Texas has ANY shot at Lee? C’mon now.

          • gornie 5 years ago

            and the negative impact of yankee fans spitting on his wife. do you think his golddigger wife is really gonna say, yeah, i’ll look past it for $120m instead of $100m. no way that the yankees can buy her off, unless lee listens to his agent more than his wife.

          • ugotrpk3113 5 years ago

            Wasn’t that story overblown? I thought there was a report out that basically denied this whole scenario.

            Also:
            1) I’m guessing that would change when he pitches for NY. Just a hunch.
            2) I think the wife can deal with a rogue character getting out of line for millions of extra dollars. They are women, after all 😉

          • gornie 5 years ago

            and the negative impact of yankee fans spitting on his wife. do you think his golddigger wife is really gonna say, yeah, i’ll look past it for $120m instead of $100m. no way that the yankees can buy her off, unless lee listens to his agent more than his wife.

        • Brad426 5 years ago

          I hear you, but maybe he does have some loyalty towards them. And clearly they are serious contenders, which is always important to players. And some guys don’t want the stress of playing for a team where anything less than a WS ring is a disappointment.

          Having said all that, if someone offered me 30% more to do the exact same job I am already doing, my loyalties would be tested. Shoot, that be like $8/hr!

          • Blazin80 5 years ago

            I’m guessing that if TX gives him a “fair” deal with plenty of years on it, then he would prefer to stay in Tx. Close to home, less taxes, he is the ace of the team, and he still gets to beat the Yankees. Just a guess tho. Odds are not in my favor.

          • gornie 5 years ago

            you’re joking of course, but off $8/hr the 30% increase is substantial. but when you’re choosing between “only” $100m vs 120m it really shouldn’t matter. the one thing the yankees have over the rangers now is that they’ll 100% be involved in every pennant race for the life of the contract…rangers are shall we say less than 100% likely. that’s how the yankees would win this battle over texas.

  4. Dan 5 years ago

    Nippon Ham Fighters? Hahaha

    • To clarify, they are the Nippon Ham “Fighters”, not the Nippon “Ham Fighters”. The Fighters are a NPB team based in Hokkaido that is owned by the Nippon Ham company. This isn’t an uncommon practice in NPB, and most teams carry either the name of their corporate sponsor, or the name of the sponsor and the town the team resides in. Technically, the name of the team is now the Hokkaido-Nippon Ham Fighters, since they moved to Hokkaido from Tokyo in 2004.

  5. Greenberg has stated that he see the Ranger’s payroll being similar or on the same lines as the Phillies & Angels (115 million range). Given that the Rangers had a payroll right at 65 million last year —- Simple math suggest that they could add somewhere around 50 million dollars…. So they could add Cliff Lee (20 million) and could still have somewhere in the ballpark of 20-25 million to add possibly another SP, DH/1B type, back up catcher to go along with Lowe, this sidearmer, and that catcher they signed yesterday.

    • vtadave 5 years ago

      Of course healthy raises are coming for Hamilton, Wilson, Cruz, Feldman, and Kinsler, but yeah they should still have money to play with.

  6. j6takish 5 years ago

    Who is this guy, and why did he generate no interest with those kind of numbers?

    • PhishTank 5 years ago

      Perhaps because he’s 35 years old and appears to have spent most of his career in the Japanese minor leagues.

      • NPB is listed as the “minor leagues” on BR, but the team and years we have info on him, he was playing at the highest level of Japanese baseball, not their minor leagues.

  7. Cody 5 years ago

    Feliz will not be a good starter. I just think it’s not going to go as good for him as being a closer. All those guys that throw 100 always have arm problems when they start over the course of a season.

  8. j6takish 5 years ago

    Everyone seems to have their hearts set on Feliz crash and burning in the rotation. He was brought up as a starter, and the original plan was always for him to be a starter.The plan was to use him as just an extra bullpen arm this year to get him used to the Big Leagues. He stepped into the closer role after Frank Fransisco had too many meltdowns. I don’t see any harm in putting him in the rotation, and if he can’t handle it, put him back in 9th

  9. safari_punch 5 years ago

    How much did it cost to sign him? I imagine a no frills signing?

  10. Cody 5 years ago

    I’m not saying he can’t pitch in the rotation, I’m just saying statistics show that guys that throw that hard have arm problems when they pitch as a starter. You got me with Verlander he has been good but don’t give me Nolan he’s a freak of nature. I wasn’t saying he can’t be good, you took it the wrong way. I was mostly talking about arm problems down the road.

    • j6takish 5 years ago

      Haters gonna hate

    • “Feliz won’t be a good starter”. That’s a direct quote of yours, and it’s pretty hard to take something like that the wrong way. It’s about as cut-and-dry as it gets.

      • Also, Feliz’s fastball has averaged 96.2MPH in the majors, and that’s with him going all-out max effort for an inning at a time. If Feliz was a starter, his average velocity would likely drop down a few ticks because he was trying to conserve his energy, so let’s say that instead of averaging 96MPH he only averages 93MPH, which is still bringing heat. You know the starters that averaged at least 93 MPH with their fastball last year? Hammel, Scherzer, Cueto, Burnett, Lester Garza, Sabathia, Greinke, Liriano, Latos, Hernandez, Buchholz, Jackson, Price, Johnson, Verlander, and Jiminez. And Hernandez-Jiminez all averaged at least 94MPH on their fastball.

        • Brad426 5 years ago

          Don’t forget Jaimie Moyer in that 93 mph category. No wait… it was 39 mph.

  11. MadmanTX 5 years ago

    Sounds like a hell of an upgrade over guys like Feldman, who I hope goes away. The bullpen needs quality depth, especially if Feliz gets converted, though I don’t think this move makes the conversion definite for next season, even if Lee leaves.

    Man…still fantasizing if the Rangers made every move we’ve read about and their rotation for next season were: Lee, Greinke, Wilson, Pettitte and Lewis. What a rotation that would be.

    • PhishTank 5 years ago

      I know you’re just fantasizing, but I don’t see either Lee or Pettite joining the Rangers. I think Greinke is a possibility, but it will cost them some top prospects.

      Don’t forget that the Rangers still have Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, Michael Kirkman (PCL Pitcher of the Year) Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez who could all turn into good starters.

    • PhishTank 5 years ago

      I know you’re just fantasizing, but I don’t see either Lee or Pettite joining the Rangers. I think Greinke is a possibility, but it will cost them some top prospects.

      Don’t forget that the Rangers still have Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, Michael Kirkman (PCL Pitcher of the Year) Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez who could all turn into good starters.

      • Why is everyone so high on Hunter…. Yes, he started off like 9-0 but came back down to earth…. He is what he is. And that would be a innings eater with decent stuff (at best).

        I have said all along he is not going to win any playoff games. And what happened, the Rangers rolled him out there on more than one ocassion, only to have to go get him (pulled) down by 3 or more runs….

        I just dont get it. He is just a younger, cheaper, Kevin Millwood.

        • PhishTank 5 years ago

          Look, no one is claiming he’s the next Greg Maddux or even a top of the rotation starter. But you said it, he’s an innings eater with decent stuff. Guys like that are valuable to any team. If he goes on to have a career like Millwood has, I’d consider that a success. Not a lot of guys win 150 games or strike out 2000 batters in their careers!

      • Why is everyone so high on Hunter…. Yes, he started off like 9-0 but came back down to earth…. He is what he is. And that would be a innings eater with decent stuff (at best).

        I have said all along he is not going to win any playoff games. And what happened, the Rangers rolled him out there on more than one ocassion, only to have to go get him (pulled) down by 3 or more runs….

        I just dont get it. He is just a younger, cheaper, Kevin Millwood.

    • I love to see the Yankee’s faces if that was possible.

    • I love to see the Yankee’s faces if that was possible.

  12. Looks like a decent sign but his repertoire sounds much like Darren O’Day’s. O’Day being a submariner and Tateyama being a side-armer. I wonder if putting two similar styles together in the same pen is a good idea?

  13. BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

    hm.. well.. if they wanted an old japanese pitcher who will probably pitch bad next year, just trade the braves for Kawakami. PLEASE

  14. gornie 5 years ago

    i of course don’t know the $$ details but 1 yr plus 2 club option yrs sounds like very limited risk and high potential reward. the type of move that lets you put feliz in the rotation with confidence.

  15. Feldman had a bad year. I think he bounces back next season. He’s got good stuff, he just needs to work on it. Besides, there are far more worse SP in MLB. Take that Japanese guy in Atlanta or Zito in SF.

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