AL West Notes: Rangers, Tanaka, Mariners, Choo

A look at today's links out of the AL West..

  • Evan Grant of the Dallas News looks at how the Rangers could potentially make a play for Masahiro Tanaka.  While Texas is considered a longshot to land Tanaka thanks to their already hefty payroll, they can’t be totaly counted out.  Grant says, in theory, they could move Alex Rios' $12.5MM salary, sign Tanaka, and move one of their other starters to fill the newly-created hole in the outfield.  A theoretical Derek Holland-for-Brett Gardner swap, for example, might save about another $1.5MM pending the outcome of Gardner’s arbitration situation.  There's also another way to create some breathing room: selling the naming rights to their ballpark.
  • Signing Tanaka without making other moves wouldn't help to fix the Mariners' roster inbalance, tweets Bob Dutton of The News Tribune.  It doesn't seem likely that the M's will get in on Tanaka anyway considering that they are pretty much at capacity in terms of payroll.
  • Rob Neyer of SB Nation spoke with Mike Curto, voice of the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma, about his reaction to the 2006 trade that sent Shin-Soo Choo to the Indians for platoon DH Ben Broussard.


65 Responses to AL West Notes: Rangers, Tanaka, Mariners, Choo Leave a Reply

  1. Bonecrusher 2 years ago

    Rangers need to make a move on Tanaka. He would be a good fit here in Texas.

  2. MadmanTX 2 years ago

    I think owners can afford to get Tanaka and keep Rios. I can see the Rangers trading a starter like Ogando or Holland, maybe packaged with Moreland for a big right-handed bat to DH.

    • Steven Russell 2 years ago

      I don’t know if I’d wanna trade Holland, especially because we don’t know how Tanaka will do here and Holland makes a nice #2 to Yu. I don’t think moving Rios like Grant suggested would do us any good either unless we just got a cheaper corner outfielder because it would open up the hole we had before Choo with Choice, Engel and Mitch. It would be complicated but I’d be okay with moving Moreland in a package with an Ogando or someone to upgrade DH but Mich there is fine with me. I wish we could switch him and Prince around though for the defense at first but Prince won’t.

      A side note about Holland: I’d like to keep some of those core guys with Kins and Cruz leaving, with Young already gone. I like the chemistry these guys have going.

      Anyway lol

  3. BillB325 2 years ago

    If they considered trading Holland I would see if the Cubs could make a deal. Young, cheap, and under control possibly for 5 more years? I’ll take him

    • Steven Russell 2 years ago

      As a Ranger fan, I’d be upset if he left. Great player and even better guy around the clubhouse, community and other local sports. The man is gold on local radio. He’s a great number two next to Darvish. Not sure why they’d trade him even if they got Tanaka.

      • BillB325 2 years ago

        I wouldn’t either, I’m sure he’d cost multiple top prospects too, but I have heard so much good about him that it would make it hard for me to find a way to make trading for him unjustifiable if he were to become an option.

  4. MSUcorner 2 years ago

    I like the Mariner’s strategy of leaking that they were at their payroll limit. If only there was a way to view their payroll commitments for next season and compare that against the $100M + that ownership previously said would be their 2014 limit.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Commitments for 2015 are only 55 million per Cotts.

      They might be including benefits which are 11 million. In 2014 they are around 100 million including benefits and arb/prearb deals.

      • MSUcorner 2 years ago

        I didn’t see where they were at $100 already. Last estimate I saw had them still under $80 after all estimated arbitration a were finalized. I’ll take another look. But most of the speculation I’ve seen has us with about $30 left to play with.

        • drwheelock 2 years ago

          According to COTS Baseball Prospects MLB Contracts Seattle’s at:

          $68,307,143 = Guaranteed Contracts: Cano, Felx, Iwakuma, Hart, Willie B, Ackley, Hultzen, Gutz, Furbush
          $2,500,000 = Smoak ARB $ Estimate
          $2,500,000 = Saunders ARB $ Estimate
          $1,000,000 = Harang Buyout
          $74,307,143

          $6,500,000 = Leaves 13 near league minimum players to pay
          $80,807,143 = Total “if” Hart/Gutierrez incentives don’t kick in

          $9,000,000 = “Potential” Incentives: Corey Hart, Gutz
          $89,807,143 = Total So Far “if” all $9M Hart/Gutz incentives kick in

          • drwheelock 2 years ago

            Along with the $25M from MLB TV, and our buyout of DirectTV ROOT Sports, NOONE really knows just how much Seattle has left to spend or not. They could easily go out to $140-$160 without blinking an eye with all the financial resources they have right now, including a Paid Off stadium 1/2 funded by taxpayers!

            I really Love the M’s Brass Posturing making everyone think they are out of money and thus thinking they are out of the running for Tanaka and others.

            All I’m gonna say is don’t count them out in making the most aggressive and financially lucrative contract to Tanaka. Just sayin

          • skrockij89 2 years ago

            Heard Lincoln say something about spending up to 115 to 120 million this offseason.

          • Benjamin Caspersen 2 years ago

            They better be lying or else its going to be a horrible year for M’s fans

  5. Andy Todd 2 years ago

    Rangers, please!

  6. Haewon Kim 2 years ago

    The M’s projected payroll at this point is $80 to $85M. Their budget for last year was $95M. They just signed a huge TV contract. They still have money to spend and will pay for an impact pitcher like Tanaka.

    And as for roster imbalance… What’s wrong with having 4 righties and a lefty in a rotation?

    • pft2 2 years ago

      I agree, the Mariners and Rangers can both afford Tanaka. Mariners payroll has been has high as 117 in 2008 and their payroll in the early 2000’s was averaging over 100 million in today’s dollars. The Rangers have the revenues to support a higher payroll than 125 million and Rios salary is coming off the books next year.

      • docmilo5 2 years ago

        Absolutely. The M’s, Rangers, Angels, Giants, Dodgers, Cubs and Yankees could all figure out ways to afford Tanaka. It’s going to come down to where the kid wants to pitch for the next 7 years.
        I’m hoping that Iwakuma, his old team mate from Rakuten can do a better job of recruiting than Darvish.

        • drwheelock 2 years ago

          Something Really interesting. Cot’s is reporting Hart’s base @ $6M w/$4.65M incentives on PA’s. And Gutz $1M base w/$2M based upon PA’s. And ‘Award Performance’ bonuses built into the $24M/yr max salary for Cano.

          • drwheelock 2 years ago

            Cano’s $24M/yr salary has built in ‘incentives and awards’.
            Initially it made it look like Cano was $24M/yr guaranteed, but reports are out now he’s got bonus awards that were built into the $24M/yr max.

            I can’t find the details. Anyone else have any specifics? I’m all ears if anyone can find this out.

  7. Taylor 2 years ago

    More evidence that Evan Grant just needs to stick with reporting and stop with the analysis. 5 years of Holland for 1 year of Gardner would be one of the worst trades in Rangers’ history.

    • jjs91 2 years ago

      IDK agon for adam eaton, chris davis for uehera and soriano for arod would still probably beat it.

      • Taylor 2 years ago

        good thing about the phrase, “one of,” is that it leaves room for any and all other “worst trades”

      • TEXINTILLIDIE 2 years ago

        As well in the Soriano for Arod deal, Texas was offered Cano or Arias as the player to be named later. They thought Arias had more potential.

      • d 2 years ago

        I don’t believe JD was the GM when A-Rod was traded to NY If anything he might of been the assistant GM to Hart. Plus I’d say that Soriano for Brad Wilkerson was much worse and again that might of been Hart not JD

        • d 2 years ago

          oops my bad just saw that it was might be one of the worst trades in Rangers history not trades that JD made that went wrong. in that case trading for Jose Canseco has to be up there and the Juan Gonzalez to Det. trade as well

  8. MaineSkin 2 years ago

    Baseball America actually just posted a Choo throwback article of his scouting reports during that trade with the Indians. Per the report, Choo for that bat seems all based on the idea Suzuki was blocking Choo, but LF wasn’t an option?

  9. Chase Johnston 2 years ago

    That Holland for Gardner swap is… confusing.

  10. KEITH 2 years ago

    Amen bra!

  11. rouscher 2 years ago

    I think holland for dominic brown could be an option? Just throwing that out there

    • McGuyver 2 years ago

      That’s one of the worst trade ideas I’ve ever heard of.

  12. Jon Burek 2 years ago

    As a Yankee fan I hope they sign Tanaka….but if not I wouldn’t hate it if there were legs to a Holland or even Harrison for Gardner swap!!

    • Kyle 2 years ago

      I think signing Tanaka and trading Holland is moving backwards. Holland is a very good starting pitcher and there are no guarantees Tanaka will come here and be as good as Derek. If I trade a starter it’s Harrison or Ogando, but I don’t think I’d give up either (when healthy) for Tanaka.

    • lwayne 2 years ago

      Harrison or Holland for Gardner is a Yukkey dream. Rangers do not need Gardner at all. Holland or Harrison for about 4+ highly rated prospects maybe, but not Gardner and then only if the Rangers sign Tanaka. I’d just as soon live with what they have now.

  13. Ryan Tomafsky 2 years ago

    I’d rather trade someone for samarzdja

  14. James Exercise 2 years ago

    Most likely landing spots are the evil empires, unless the Rangers or Ms are willing to outbid them, just the unfortunate truth. -_-

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      Yankees played their posturing game to get Cano down $50M. They didn’t think he would actually sign with Seattle. Then Cashman comes out afterwards and confirms that, and the Yankees Brass was hoping that Cano would give the Yanks a chance to match any offer he got. That didn’t happen, and Cashman stated to the Media that “Seattle Yankeed them”. That’s what the Yankees have been doing to all the other teams for years Cashman said.

      Ironically, KC “Yankeed” the Yanks again this offseason pulling the only other top 2B avail off the market and away from the Yankees.

      Now “if” Seattle pulls off a Tanaka sign it will be awesome to see the M’s “Yankeed” the Yanks twice in the same offseason. I’d love it! lol

      • drwheelock 2 years ago

        Cashman admitted they let the best 2B player slip away, and now they have a huge hole there and don’t know how to fill it. Then with KC swooping in too.

  15. mas419 2 years ago

    It’s not acceptable for the Mariners to cry broke at this point and not try to further upgrade the team. The A’s, Rangers and maybe even the Angels are all better at this point.

    • Chase Johnston 2 years ago

      I’d say the Angels are easily better. They got pretty much worst case scenarios out of Pujols and Josh will probably hit better, though I hope not. Their rotation couldn’t possibly get worse either.

      • BigEast856 2 years ago

        they got worst case scenario out of Hamilton and Pujols last year so what makes you think they’ll get the best case scenario this year?

    • docmilo5 2 years ago

      The M’s aren’t crying broke. What they are saying is there aren’t quality players to spend their money on. Tanaka would be worth the money. Santana isn’t worth $100 million. Garza and Jimenez aren’t worth 4 to 6 years. The M’s brought in a legit #3 bat and weren’t spending $100+ on a guy like Choo who has only 3 years of 150 game MLB seasons at the age of 30.

      Don’t be suprised when Tanaka wears blue and teal.

  16. skrockij89 2 years ago

    Mariners will spend. They don’t make it public that they go after free agents.

    • Chase Johnston 2 years ago

      Except they really, really did for Cano.

      • Zach 2 years ago

        They didn’t make that public at all. The Ms are super tight lipped compared to most teams.

      • drwheelock 2 years ago

        Interesting thing about Cano rumors is that ‘Seattle was in on Cano’ and the entire media and Yankee fans mocked the rumors. In fact, Yankee Brass kept posturing and not budging above the $170m range thinking Cano wouldn’t ‘ever’ sign with the only team that was rumored to be above the Yankees offer.

        Then all of a sudden there was news Jay Z and Cano were heading to Seattle on a flight. This usually doesn’t happen unless a deal is eminent and there are plans on signing docs.

        Just interesting how that whole Cano signing went down. But until Jay Z and Cano were on the same flight to Seattle everyone was like ‘what’?! So like skrockij89 said above, Seattle is very good at keeping things out of the publics eye. Just sayin.

        Devoted M’s fan here, but I actually like the thought a few weeks ago that they were tapped out and maxed out on payroll for 2014 when we are sitting at the $80m range. This alone is great posturing, if Seattle’s intent is to go after Tanaka and 1-2 other FAs. This way they not all are expecting the Cano type money, or overpay for each of the FAs.

  17. rapture2938 2 years ago

    Why would the Rangers move Holland? If the Rangers are trying to stabilize their rotation they should trade Ogando, who they have a hard time viewing as a starter due to always becoming injured.

    • Charlie Burns 2 years ago

      Maybe Grant had Gardner confused with Carlos Gonzalez…even then though, that is a bit overpay on the Rangers part.

  18. Taylor 2 years ago

    Couldnt the rangers backload a contract a bit for Tanaka and reallocate Rios’ salary there from 2015 and on and let Choice play an corner OF spot?

  19. Prozack 2 years ago

    How about Randall Delgado and cash for Derek holland?

  20. astropolis 2 years ago

    The sadist in me wants the M’s to consider granting a spring training invite to Daisuke Matsuzaka in the event they can’t come to terms with Tanaka. Maybe even really sweeten the pot by luring Kei Igawa away from the Orix Blue Wave. Ideally, I’d like to see the M’s trot all three out behind Felix/Kuma. And then watch them defy all the odds and stomp all over the AL West.

    Dream big.

  21. ADFranzFerdinand 2 years ago

    Here in Seattle, we’ve try not to think about Bill Bavasi and his era of poorly thought out trades.

  22. Robert Muldhoon 2 years ago

    The M’s are NOT at the max of their payroll.

  23. dkudzin 2 years ago

    He has already stated 2 important things that everyone seems to keep overlooking. First, he wants to pitch in the mlb to show his stuff. With that said do you really think just pitching for a mlb team is all he wants? No. He wants to display his talent on the big stage, the postseason. M’s won’t be there neither will the yankees. Secondly he stated he wants to pitch on the west coast….guys what team is on the west coast has the easiest road to the post season? And it doesnt hurt that the team in question is a power house spender.

  24. lwayne 2 years ago

    The Rangers could sign him and pay for him with Stadium naming rights, and if nothing else drive the price up for the club that does get him. Rangers prolly need him less than other teams named here. Seeing the adjustments Darvish had to make, especially the umpiring, more starts, and ball size, there is no guarantee Tanaka can quickly make it if at all. Umpiring was especially difficult for him. When the same pitch back to back, and start of game and later innings is consistently called differently, there is a mental adjustment. My guess is the first 2-3 years will be a value loss for the signing team. Could be a great long term deal though.

  25. lwayne 2 years ago

    The Rangers could sign him and pay for him with Stadium naming rights, and if nothing else drive the price up for the club that does get him. Rangers prolly need him less than other teams named here. Seeing the adjustments Darvish had to make, especially the umpiring, more starts, and ball size, there is no guarantee Tanaka can quickly make it if at all. Umpiring was especially difficult for him. When the same pitch back to back, and start of game and later innings is consistently called differently, there is a mental adjustment. My guess is the first 2-3 years will be a value loss for the signing team. Could be a great long term deal though.

  26. LoneTXRanger 2 years ago

    I don’t see why people think that Rangers need to move on Tanaka. He is unproven and going to cost lots of money, I don’t think he’s worth it if we will have to move Rios or Holland. Holland has too much value off the field to trade him, and Rios can bat for an acceptable average and generous power. I feel that if they can’t get Tanaka, then why don’t they just go after a mid tier starter who won’t break the bank. I feel confident in our rotation as is, there is no need to add another starter. (but I would like if they did)

  27. LoneTXRanger 2 years ago

    I don’t see why people think that Rangers need to move on Tanaka. He is unproven and going to cost lots of money, I don’t think he’s worth it if we will have to move Rios or Holland. Holland has too much value off the field to trade him, and Rios can bat for an acceptable average and generous power. I feel that if they can’t get Tanaka, then why don’t they just go after a mid tier starter who won’t break the bank. I feel confident in our rotation as is, there is no need to add another starter. (but I would like if they did)

  28. Johnny Garcia 2 years ago

    Mariners are at payroll=lazy assumption
    Right now payroll is well under last years opening day budget.

  29. dshires4 2 years ago

    Roster imbalance on the Mariners? The imbalance is that there are more bad players than good players. Tanaka is good. Signing a good players creates more of a balance for the Mariners, and more rotation stability for the foreseeable future.

  30. seth3esq 2 years ago

    So lemme get this straight:

    the Yankees are still referenced as “buying Championships” (even Cashman coins “Yankeed”) … but signing a 31 year old 2B to a 10 year contract only puts dreams of spending another $100M contract for a every-5th-day player?

    Ibanez led the Mariners in HRs: gone
    Kendrys led them in BA/RBI/HIts: gone

    Their replacements have had those numbers when?

    Cano is a great player even when he appears disinterested, and NY doesn’t have anything close to the 1-2 punch in the rotation; but does anyone really think he elevates the M’s past Texas or Oakland in the West? Detroit had a bad year from Verlander, KC has made outstanding moves, Boston is still Boston, Toronto played at new level of underperformance

    … and NY, with the exception of Cano, rarely fielded its complete starting lineup.

    … and that ignores Tampa, Angels, etc.

    How does LoMo & Cano suddenly sky rocket Seattle past 4 of those teams for either the Division or Wild Card?

    … as for Gardner for Holland: no. Bad move for both teams. NY needs to extend Gardner now (i.e., pre-Spring Training) and Texas has a very good rotation that should not be altered so drastically at all.

    Oh, as far as Tanaka:
    a) it’s hilarious to hear any Ranger fan say the words “unproven” when Darvish is their Ace

    b) if what you read/hear is to be believed, Dodgers have everything Tanaka wants

    No offense, just sayin’

  31. ChrisFromBothell 2 years ago

    If so, that name is unprintable in a family paper. :( Anyway, Bob’s “analysis” is pretty silly. M’s absolutely can afford Tanaka, andhave to get a MOTR starter that is not some injury rehab or castoff retread like Harang or something.

  32. Wek 2 years ago

    If Tanaka can reproduce his last season’s performance in the MLB then he’s not a Cy Young contender, he’ll win it unanimously.

  33. Chase Johnston 2 years ago

    Lol. Go look at even the average MLB pitcher that has gone over there. Colby Lewis, a roughly 5 ERA mlb pitcher, had a 2.60 ERA and almost 10 K/9 and under 1 BB/9. Tanaka couldn’t repeat those numbers in AAA.

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