Latest On Masahiro Tanaka Posting Situation

We learned earlier today that MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball have formally agreed upon modifications to the inter-league posting system. Of course, the most immediate ramifications of that agreement relate to whether and when star Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be posted by his current club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles. The lack of clarity as to his MLB availability seems to have held up the upper-level starting pitching market. Indeed, as MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth explained yesterday, five of the top ten players still free on the open market are starters. 

Here's the latest on Tanaka:

  • Tanaka told reporters that he had expressed his desire to pitch in the majors next season in a meeting with team president Yozo Tachibana, Sanspo reports. (Japanese language link; thanks to MLBTR's Aaron Steen for the translation.) However, the team hasn't made a decision yet, the righty said. "I'd like to show what I can do on a new stage," Tanaka said. "[Rakuten] graciously listened to what I had to say."
  • A final decision on posting Tanaka could come down as soon as tomorrow, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this evening. Tanaka "is expected to learn his fate Tuesday," according to Hernandez, who reported that club officials were scheduled to meet with the 25-year-old hurler. As Hernandez also explained, an earlier report from Sanspo said that Rakuten will, in fact, post Tanaka. But, as Hernandez notes, that report did not provide any quotes from owner Hiroshi Mikitani or other top club officials. And, of course, the more recent report noted above raises further questions as to whether a resolution is imminent.
  • Given the $20MM cap on posting fees provided under the new agreement, a relatively meager sum compared to prior fees paid for top-level arms like Tanaka, it is not unreasonable to consider him a virtual free agent if posted. Indeed, as ESPN's Buster Olney tweets, there is little reason for any team not to throw its hat in the ring since the posting fee is refundable to any club that does not sign him. As Olney explains, that makes for a risk-free chance at signing Tanaka which probably carries some public relations benefits.
  • Given his age and essentially open-market availability, if posted, Tanaka would fit the Cubs' plan of building around young players, Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago writes. "We wish there was a free-agent market for young players," team president Theo Epstein said in November. Given Tanaka's situation, just that opportunity could be at hand for Chicago (along with the rest of the league, of course).

Aaron Steen contributed to this post.

 


169 Responses to Latest On Masahiro Tanaka Posting Situation Leave a Reply

  1. Yanksfan2010 2 years ago

    Hope they post him, and he joins the Yankees.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      My guess is that for the 3rd time this offseason (Seattle & KC), and the 2nd from time from Seattle … the Yankees will get “Yankeed” yet once again this offseason by the M’s.

      • Edgar4evar 2 years ago

        The M’s should totally be going hard for Tanaka. They should be in position to offer a very large contract as well as a great landing spot for a Japanese player, and especially a pitcher.

        • The_Unnatural 2 years ago

          The M’s should be going hard for Tanaka? He’s THAT good?

      • slider32 2 years ago

        Teams should be carefull what they wish for, sometimes these players don’t turn out to be that good. Dice K , Albert Pujols, a Josh Hamilton come to mind.

        • markjsunz 2 years ago

          It is very suspect when a player has a monster season signs a big contract and becomes injury prone. roids?

      • slider32 2 years ago

        Seattle still needs some good hitting to surround Cano like Cruz, but they would have one of the top pitching staffs if they sign Tanaka.

        • maqman 2 years ago

          The M’s have a pitchers park, pitching should be their strength.

          • slider32 2 years ago

            Pitching should be everyone’s strength if they want to win, the problem is that pitching is very unpredictable. Just look as the Red Sox the last 2 years.

      • slider32 2 years ago

        Yip, they got Yankeed signing Beltran, McCann, and Ellisbury. I would have to think that they just didn’t want to over pay for those players like KC and Seattle. I think they made the right move!

  2. James 2 years ago

    FINALLY on the precipice of a RESOLUTION. Mr. Tanaka’s team has been throwing ice water on a significant part of the hot stove proceedings. I think Rakuten honors his wish and every hot stove fan gets the feast of rumors and innuendo that comes with a good ole fashioned bidding war. Just don’t end up in pinstripes please.

    • InvalidUserID 2 years ago

      Because they’ve gotten the last two Japanese phenoms (Dice-K & Darvish). Oh wait.

  3. Muhamed Mashkulli 2 years ago

    Free Tanaka!!!

  4. Vmmercan 2 years ago

    How is this a good resolution for anyone except the player? The Japanese teams are now capped and for a player like Tanaka, at a comically low amount. The MLB teams are saving money on the posting fee but now every team in baseball is going to be in a bidding war. It’s money that counts towards payroll and involves multiple years (and probably more of them) instead of just one lump sum. I see it costing MLB more from how large the player’s contract will now be for an unproven commodity and it rips off Japanese teams with the posting fee. Why would either side agree to it for big time players?

    • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

      The owning team is under no obligation to post him. They can simply allow his contract to run out, just as in MLB.

      • Runtime 2 years ago

        Yes.
        But it would make that specific team look bad in the eyes of potential FAs.

        • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

          I don’t see why it would, or why the team would care if it did. MLB teams hang onto controlled players for the lengths of their contracts. It’s just routine.

          • Morley C 2 years ago

            I can’t imagine the uproar if, say, Justin Verlander wanted to be released from his contract so he could go and play in the interplanetary baseball league.

          • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

            Neither can I.

          • Runtime 2 years ago

            Except, Justin Verlander isn’t playing for Erie SeaWolves. The NPB is a joke compared the MLB and Tanaka is miles better than any team in that league… obviously he wants out.

          • Runtime 2 years ago

            I didn’t say it would look bad in the eyes of the fans or ownership. I said it would look bad in the eyes of potential FAs.

            It might be perceived as an act of aggression against a player for wanting to leave…

          • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

            I don’t get your point. The situation isn’t unlike a player in MLB who wants to be traded to a team where he’d get better playing opportunities. Just because he wants to be traded doesn’t mean he will be.

          • Runtime 2 years ago

            It’s not the same as a MLB player wanted to be traded though.

            It’s like if a player was being held down in AA and wants an opportunity to play on a bigger stage.

            What does it say about your organization if your response to players when they say “I don’t want to play here anymore, I deserve better” is “Too bad.”? I understand about “holding onto your assets”, but if a guy straight up doesn’t have his mind in the right place on your team… that’s something completely different.

          • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

            I guess we are just not going to agree on this, because the more you tell me how different it is, the more exactly alike it seems. Today’s developments in the Tanaka saga seem to back up my viewpoint that players in both the MLB and NBL know what it means to be under contract.

        • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

          I don’t see why it would, or why the team would care if it did. MLB teams hang onto controlled players for the lengths of their contracts. It’s just routine.

      • bhambravesfan 2 years ago

        I feel like it is kinda like trading Stanton, if you can get the same package in a year, why send him packing earlier than you have too.

      • Vmmercan 2 years ago

        But they weren’t under obligation to post him before, either.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      Since the Posting Fee hasn’t had any impact on the Luxury Tax, I have a feeling that MLB arranged this knowing that with a low posting fee it would jack the player salary up, effecting luxury tax, and will be more of a substantial hit against these high rolling market teams.

      This new arrangement obviously will benefit the small market teams the most unless the player is adamant about joining one of the teams with luxury tax issues.

      Maybe this was MLB’s way to “attempt” to cap the large market teams from over spending on these players, and give the rest of MLB teams a chance for these high profile players. Just a thought of mine is all. Maybe I’m wrong?!

      • kcstengelSr 2 years ago

        i think you are on to something. with more teams bidding, a team like the yankees probably have little hope to stay under the luxury tax after whatever tanaka demands.

      • slider32 2 years ago

        Why post on Tanaka if you don’t want to spend over 100 million on a pitcher? So it really doesn’t help the small market teams because they won’t spend that kind of money!

        • Commander_Nate 2 years ago

          We just saw the Mariners drop a Federal Reserve bank on Robinson Cano not even two weeks ago, and Arizona is supposedly one of the teams most interested in Tanaka. Small market teams will find a way if they want to.

          • slider32 2 years ago

            You are talking about 10 teams that will spend 100 million on Tanaka, that’s it.

          • Commander_Nate 2 years ago

            Maybe, but that’s a lot more than only one even getting the chance like it was before.

          • Douglas Bath 2 years ago

            Seattle is a small market?

      • Vmmercan 2 years ago

        I think you’re onto something, my only question with that is it’s still going to negatively affect small market teams since they will still have to sign players to big contracts affecting the luxury tax. It’s not like big markets will just stop taking risks. The player isn’t going to magically leave a huge contract on the table just because smaller markets posted, you know?

    • bernbabybern 2 years ago

      Considering Rakutens entire team payroll this year minus Tanaka was probably around 20 mil, I hardly consider that amount “comical”.

      • Vmmercan 2 years ago

        I’m basing it on what it would have been under the old system, which, at a minimum, is 1/3rd.

    • Commander_Nate 2 years ago

      I think part of it was a competitive balance issue in NPB too. There were some comments from…I think it was the Yomiuri front office about the amount of money posting teams were able to dump into player development getting ridiculous. $20-30 mil is basically the range of NPB payrolls every year. Even after taxes and whatnot, that’s a ton of money a posting team suddenly has available for drafts, signings, etc. A $75 million injection for one team could have had a huge effect on the league. Imagine if MLB teams were able to give up a top player for that kind of cash. It would drastically alter the market and not in a good way.

      This agreement still gives the posting team a nice chunk of change, but also gives the player a say in his destination, doesn’t upset the NPB balance too much and allows more than the top 5 or so MLB teams to have a chance at these players.

  5. Andy Todd 2 years ago

    C’mon Rangers… C’mon… at the very least, M;s. Just no Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, or Giants please!

  6. They should have made it $20MM for each team, non-refundable.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      That wouldn’t be reasonable. 20 teams posting would give the NPB team $400M.

      But I do favor charging a 10-20% non-refundable fee to all teams the player doesn’t sign with. I think $20M is too low, but this would probably average $30-40M in posting fees on the top tier Japanese players.

    • Teufelshunde4 2 years ago

      That would be very foolish to have a no refundable posting fee. It would guarantee only the huge market teams like Yanks and Dodgers get first dibs on talent. With a decent size posting fee of 20 million that helps the player and medium size market teams. Levels the playing field just a bit.

  7. Pingston 2 years ago

    This could be epic. The signing makes so much sense for so many teams.

    Rangers would have Darvish and Tanaka together. Mariners have strong Japan following already and have made it clear they will spend. Yankees freed of Cano burden. Blue Jays need at least one more reliable starter (and have the money). Dodgers want to get farther. Red Sox want to return to mountain. Giants, Tigers, Cubs, etc.

    My question remains what will happen in Tanaka signing aftermath? Will top free agents go quickly or will it stretch out as trades get going?

    • raltongo 2 years ago

      and the epic-ness is going to be compounded by the fact that smaller market teams are not out of the race (in theory, anyway), which seems to the the impetus for designing this new plan (from MLB’s standpoint). If Tanaka has some kind of strange affinity for Pittsburgh, PA, and their club looks like it could be on the rise, there’s a chance the Pirates could pony up a large sum of money to land him…(or a handful of other small market clubs could do the same)…

  8. HaloeD 2 years ago

    this guys 2011 and 2013 seasons are unreal! i hope his stuff can be carried over to the mlb!

  9. Tim Bowers 2 years ago

    Rumor has it Bobby Ayala is his idol, I say he chooses the M’s.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      He was Iwakuma’s team mate in Japan, so that may help a lot.

      • Teufelshunde4 2 years ago

        Money will talk if he gets posted. Imo it would make more sense for M’s to go hard after Tanaka instead of trading for Walker in a deal for Price. Keep Walker and get Tanaka and have a staff of aces.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      I think Seattle has the most money available, and will be the most aggressive. With Iwakuma, and Seattle’s Japanese history, and market, I see Seattle as the best fit for him. Plus Seattle is closest to Japan (flight wise)

  10. Jeff Miller 2 years ago

    The Phillies have no history of bidding for Japanese players, but that needs to change immediately. Offer the kid 7-years $126M ($18M/year) and build a rotation around him and Hamels. Then move Lee for high-end prospects, even if it means eating $10M/year.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      Philly has already stated they won’t eat any of Lee or Hamels contracts

      • Modifish 2 years ago

        Amaro could be eyeing this up. He’s been quiet and he loves pitching and will spend to get it. If somehow Tanaka could be brought to Philly, I don’t think Hamels or Lee go anywhere. Amaro would try to give it a shot this year and despite the age of the core it is possible that the team can win 92-95 games with Tanaka Lee and Hamels the top three. Heck they can win 90 without him if everone is relatively healthy. I’m not as down on the team as everyone else seems to be and think that Sandberg can get more out of them than Manuel did.

    • Douglas Bath 2 years ago

      the Phils would still lose 90 games next year.

  11. Anthony Hughes 2 years ago

    I think the 3 most likely landing spots are the Yankees, Dodgers, and Mariners, with the Rangers and Angels also considerations. The Yankees are perennial contenders and they do have a history with Japanese players and they can offer big money. The Dodgers are probably the most complete team he could join and ready to seriously contend now (just look at that rotation if he goes there) and, like the Yankees, could pay him top dollar and also have a history with Japanese players. The Mariners have Iwakuma on their roster and the obvious tie-ins with Japan, and are looking to clearly make a splash, although I would argue they aren’t guaranteed contender status like the Dodgers and probably Yankees are. The Rangers are interesting with Darvish there and a recent history of winning, but I’m not sure they would match the Yankees-Dodgers in bidding. The Angels really need a top-of-the-rotation starter, but I see them as a longshot since the Dodgers look so much more appealing on paper.

    • JasonPen 2 years ago

      The Cubs are the front-runners in my opinion. They have alot of money to spend and they have been patiently stacking young talent.

      • drwheelock 2 years ago

        I say Seattle. Even after the Cano/Hart/Morrison signings/trade that only puts their 2014 payroll at $66m. Seattle has a Lot of money left and a serious history of these Japanese players, not to mention Seattle is closest to having him visit Japan and be reunited with playing with Iwakuma.

        • Jake Willock 2 years ago

          The Cubs only have $50M committed in 2014, $30M in 2015/2016, and $20M in 2017… Don’t forget that Hiroshi Yamauchi passed away this year and he was the one who had the final say in all major acquisitions. I have a feeling this will greatly affect the Mariner-Japanese signings. link to baseballprospectus.com

        • Jake Willock 2 years ago

          The Cubs only have $50M committed in 2014, $30M in 2015/2016, and $20M in 2017… Don’t forget that Hiroshi Yamauchi passed away this year and he was the one who had the final say in all major acquisitions. I have a feeling this will greatly affect the Mariner-Japanese signings. link to baseballprospectus.com

        • Jake Willock 2 years ago

          By the way… like the name

        • Jake Willock 2 years ago

          By the way… like the name

      • JoeCroninAndRonSanto 2 years ago

        With the way that they have their youngsters spaced out, between 1.5 years and 3 years, it appears that they can afford to front load this contract (and Samardzija’s). They will still come out pretty when the new TV deal lines their pockets.

      • Douglas Bath 2 years ago

        the Cubs would still lose 85 games next season even if they get this guy. (of course that would be 90 without him).

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      You put Tanaka in that Seattle rotation and then trade for one of these 4 SPs Price/Lee/Scherzer/Hamels and WOW…

      1. Felix
      2. One of Price/Scherzer/Lee/Hamels
      3. Iwakuma
      4. Walker or Paxton
      5. Tanaka

      That would be the BEST and deadliest rotation in MLB!

      • slider32 2 years ago

        Going into last season the Nats and Rays had the best rotations, it doesn’t guarantee anything.

      • Anthony Hughes 2 years ago

        Except there is absolutely no way that they could still have Walker if they made a trade for any of those pitchers that you hope they can trade for. Scherzer isn’t going anywhere, and you can’t get Price without giving up Walker. I would imagine the same goes for Hamels and Lee. I would think that if the M’s could somehow sign Tanaka, they would be thrilled with a rotation of Felix/Tanaka/Iwakuma at the top, while still being able to hold onto Walker and Paxton. And they could still sign a solid back-end veteran starter if need be (Bronson Arroyo or somebody similar, who won’t require a lot of years).

  12. 王威評 2 years ago

    Ms will be the favorite because
    1. History with Japanese players
    2. A Japanese Owner
    3. Closest city from Japan
    4. Teammate of Iwakuma

    And the most important part, Ms got $$$ available.

    • John Kreese 2 years ago

      All good points. The M’s have a lot of things going for them for sure.

  13. Taylor Hope 2 years ago

    Mariners better go hard after Tanaka. I’d much rather roll the dice on him (which is it really rolling the dice?) than deal Taijuan for Price. A rotation of Felix, Iwakuma, Tanaka, Walker, Paxton doesn’t sound too shabby at all.

  14. bobbleheadguru 2 years ago

    Saw an idea in a post earlier that made a lot of sense to me….

    Make a part of the money non-refundable to any team that posts. Let us say posting fee is $20MM… make $3MM non refundable. If 11 teams post, then Rakuten generates $3MM * 10 = $30MM + the “winners” $20MM posting fee, for a total of $50MM.

    • First Bleed 2 years ago

      I was going to make a similar but different comment that the team gets $20 million + X% of the players contract. I think your method is better because taking a percent of the players money would not be fair for that player.

    • JoeCroninAndRonSanto 2 years ago

      Very good idea but it has to be a percentage, thus the rate won’t fluctuate per contract or deprive the NPB teams of some reward. Say we set the rate at 12% and the posting fee is at 8 million with 16 teams bidding. The NPB team receives 14.4 million (if the player signs with a team) and the additional 8 million from the signing team. Using this logic apply 12% to Tanaka, going rate of 20 million with 20 teams bidding. Rakuten receives 45.6 million from 19 teams and 20 million from signing team, total of 65.6 million is not too shabby from a player projected to sign from 120-150 million. Thoughts?

      –Contract Litigator

  15. mikefichera 2 years ago

    This guy posts he is a Yankee. No doubt in my mind. They need the SP they have Kuroda to act as an ambassador the deal is as good as done. Assuming he doesn’t ask for 200mm.

  16. Serge Jays Fan 2 years ago

    Howdy! Well I think The Blue Jays will pass on this Player, like usual, because of Their dubious 5 yeas long contract cap, but Mr Anthopolous told in the past, They can be flexible for just a small bit longer, but I think it is not enough for Mr Tanaka to sign with the Jays. I am for the length of contracts being control very much , but if the MLB would implement it, but now I think it is only the Blue Jays Who has that Policy, if They continues like that, The will I think never Win the World Series except They develop well Their Prospects and Young Players, but last year They traded most of Them, so I do not think Mr Tanaka will come to the Jays. The Jays are very quiet this Winter, because They are dreaming if They trade Relievers for a number two starter, The will have to include a very good position player. To add Mr Tanaka would help, but I think it is only a Dream and not very realistic. Thanks for reading all this and Take good care and be safe and Have a nice day.

    • John Meloche 2 years ago

      AA recently said they could potentially go to 6 years but they will pay a higher AAV on a shorter deal. You can still sign a guy at 5 years + options with a higher AAV…

  17. start_wearing_purple 2 years ago

    At this point I don’t see how the Mariners don’t go all in especially when you consider they’ve already been linked to Price. They might see inking Tanaka as a better alternative to trading for Price and potentially losing him in a couple of seasons.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      Agreed. Might come down to them and the Yankees. Possibly the Dodgers but their rotation is pretty deep so I don’t see them spending as much even thought they have the $

      I think the Angels should go after him too.

    • Karkat 2 years ago

      Not to mention that there’s a lot of money to be made in Seattle from inking a big Japanese name.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      With only $66m committed in 2014 contracts don’t be surprised to not only sign Tanaka aggressively, but still make a trade for one of Price/Lee/Hamels

      • start_wearing_purple 2 years ago

        Actually if they go after Tanaka then I think they should follow it up by going after a closer like Balfour or possibly see how much the Phils will eat on Paps contract.

  18. Evan 2 years ago

    The Yankees will sign Tanaka. Cashman has already said that he is going to add 400 innings to the roster, and Garza & Santana are horrible fits at Yankee Stadium. Tanaka is the primary pitcher they are after, and this guy is no joke. Think of NPB as somewhere in between AAA & MLB, the dude went 24-0. My only concern is the ridiculous amount of innings he has pitched, and that certainly seemed to affect Dice-K in his later years. But again, Tanaka is only 25 years old. For 6~7 years, I would roll the dice on him.

    • slider32 2 years ago

      I do think the Yanks will be very motivated to sign Tanaka and would go over the 189 to do it. At this point they would be a major contender in the East if they land Tanaka. After spending money on Beltran,Ellisbury, and McCann I don’t see them penny pinching now!

      • Evan 2 years ago

        I agree with you. After Ellsbury, I’m highly doubting that they were committed to the 189 in the first place. I mean they still have cap room if A-Rod remains suspended, but they still need to sign 2 more starters & a reliever to have a contending pitching staff. I still like the Red Sox in the East b/c of their pitching depth.

      • drwheelock 2 years ago

        When aren’t the Yankees motivated? They’ve already hit the luxury tax once all their ARB players $s are dished out. And now with Arod issue being prolonged out to possibly late in January it really is hindering NY to finish their shopping list. The Yanks have too many holes in their rotation, bullpen, infield, and way too many over aged veterans. I honestly don’t see them contending in 2014. In fact wouldn’t be surprised to see them miss 2014 playoffs for 2nd yr in a row

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      Yeah but will Tanaka choose to roll the dice on the Yanks knowing they have so many holes in their lineup and bullpen?!

      • SierraM363 2 years ago

        What are you talking about? They just signed Brian Roberts!

      • SierraM363 2 years ago

        What are you talking about? They just signed Brian Roberts!

  19. It’s not going to be easy to predict where Tanaka goes. There are so many teams with their own pros and cons. It could come down to the most money, it could come down to being closer to home and it could come down to being comfortable with the team. One thing is for sure though, he is going to sign a big money contract regardless so he can be as picky as he wants to.

    I really hope the Yankees go all out and can get a little cheerleading from Hiroki, Ichiro and even Matsui. I’m sure they will be a big part of their pitch to him. I really love how they removed the “unfair bidding system” and replaced it with “semi free agency” lol.

  20. slider32 2 years ago

    Even with the new signing system only about 10 teams will seriously go after him. Teams like the Yanks, Sox, Rangers, Angels, Dodgers, Cubs, Nats, Jays, Mariners, and Tigers will spend over 100 million to get him. The other 20 teams are just watching. Tanaka could narrow that list down by location or being a contender.

    • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

      Probably, but I wouldn’t be surprised if 20 or more teams put up the posting fee, since it’s without risk. It’s going to come down to more than money in the end, though. Some teams have no doubt scouted him more seriously than others, and they are going to be the real contenders.

      • JoeCroninAndRonSanto 2 years ago

        Your exactly right. I can see some team like Baltimore, Colorado, or Oakland jumping the gun and making him a 150+ million dollar offer because their scouts love what they see.

    • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

      Probably, but I wouldn’t be surprised if 20 or more teams put up the posting fee, since it’s without risk. It’s going to come down to more than money in the end, though. Some teams have no doubt scouted him more seriously than others, and they are going to be the real contenders.

  21. With other teams that are looking to contend, I’d think they’d push more for available starters at the moment like Garza, Santana and maybe even Shark, rather than wait around, even though Tanaka appears to be a superb talent. Think I read yesterday that he may not be officially posted until January, and that would probably be much too late for a few teams with a shot at contending. This has to give the Cubs an advantage, to an extent. They’re in no rush to make moves and while they don’t have beaucoup loot to spend, the 20MM posting fee plus money that could have gone to (possibly soon-to-be departed) Shark should get the job done. Signing Tanaka would definitely speed up their rebuilding process, too, and I don’t think it’s a pipe dream to think they extend Shark, sign Tanaka and then reach down into that deep farm system and trade for Price.

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      Cubs have about 100 million in payroll from their peak spending days and 50 million from last year. Only the Yankees have more room in their payroll from last year. But as could be pointed out Yankees were quoted as attempting to stay under luxury tax in which case they have no chance. Although I doubt that commitment and if they aren’t willing to go out and get a pitcher their off season signings seem pointless.

      • They were at about 145MM in ’10 and it doesn’t “appear” they’re ready to get back to that point just yet, especially with all of the politicking Ricketts and the FO have been doing in regards to Wrigley renovations and that process. Don’t think they’re strapped, but I think room on the payroll and ability/willingness to spend are different.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          For the right set of players they would be. Wrigley Renovations will mostly be paid for by the new scoreboard, plus increased revenues from concessions. Regardless they still have 50 million dollars in payroll below last year’s. Plus they need to give this fan at least a reason to come to the park this season.

          • A new TV deal after ’14 should elevate them to a status that shuts Boras up, I believe. Feel coming away with Tanaka this winter would be enough that we see a spike in attendance, but even more I just think it would address a huge need at the ML level.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            The real TV deal happens in 2019 when both CSN and now the WGN deals will expire. 2014 will be a small boost in revenue. I don’t really think they are not spending because they can’t afford it. If that were the case they wouldn’t have spent 50 million last off season.

            Think it has more to do with not wanting to be tied down by long contracts on players that will be on the wrong side of 30 with declining skill sets by the time most of these prospects establish themselves. Plus it would cost much needed draft picks for many of these players. Prospects first, then big contracts to fill the rest of the holes.

            Tanaka fits in well though because he’ll still be in his prime several years down the road.

          • You’re right. I forgot about the cable deal in ’19, which will be the big one. I honestly felt with their first-round pick being protected, they’d pursue Ellsbury or Choo, but apparently that wasn’t and is currently not the case, and I agree with you that their age combined with where the Cubs are have got to be the reason the Cubs have sat out on them.
            Also think the Cubs looked at this FA class and besides Tanaka, didn’t see anyone worth going gaga over. If they don’t dole out big bucks this offseason, they could have a shot at Kershaw, Pablo Sandoval, Bailey or even Scherzer next winter.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Yeah i figure next year will likely lead to another bottom 10 finish and that’s possibly when they’ll be willing to forfeit their 2nd plus round picks to gather some extra players. 2015 will likely be the year. Just locked up my season tickets last week after my number was called. Went with two of the cheapest seats just to hold onto my tickets. Wish they had waited until next year as I figure 2015 resale on tickets will start jumping up there as some of these prospects start panning out.

          • I think ’14 will be terrible, but mainly because the Cubs will start to do more to see what they have in terms of the future. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Baez, Alcantara or possibly Bryant in September and by ST’ 15, at least a handful of position players should be ready to at least fight for a roster spot. The depth on the farm has got to be the best in the majors.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            I could see both Baez and Bryant being called up as soon as that special Arbitration date passes. They may wait on Bryant til September but I don’t think Baez makes it that long. At worst he’ll be called up around the trade deadline once some roster space has been cleared via trade.

  22. $5427573 2 years ago

    If he’s actually posted the bidding is going to get insane. I’m thinking like $20MM AAV in a 5-7 year contract insane. Cubs, Mariners, Blue Jays, Dodgers and possibly Yankees (depending on their willingness to blow through the luxury tax) are going to be in a good old fashioned “all-in” bidding war.

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      Doubt the dodgers are going to be in as they are already committed to a very high payroll which will fall right near their last year’s Monster payroll. Toronto is also already in line to be over last year’s budget without Tanaka’s contract

      Yankees haven’t been bothered by the tax in previous years and still have about 60 million in room before they get to their previous year’s budget. Given the amount they’ve invested they are really going to need to get a pitcher to contend now otherwise they are just going to watch even more aging veterans decay on a mediocre team that will likely once again miss the playoffs.

      Cubs also have a lot of space cleared from last year. And the article makes a good point about the quote on there being a market for young players.

      Mariners might be in depending on how much they are willing to put into their cap with the new TV contract..

      It’s going to come down to the Cubs and Yankees IMO.

      • John Meloche 2 years ago

        From the comments AA has made he has suggested that they will be in on Tanaka. The Jays have said to be able to operate with a 150-160 million payroll. By 2016 the current commitment is $27 million as almost all of their payroll commitments come off in the next 2 years. They can easily fit him in

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          Ok well given that with their current arbitration projections and a roster filled with minimum wage guys they are already in position to be at 135+ million, already their biggest payroll in history by about 10 million. Tanaka is going to likely cost an AAV of 20 mil or so so that would put you at 155 with the inability to do anything else this off season and 30 million over the previous high payroll. Everyone has a lot of payroll coming off the books by 2016. Problem is they have a limited payroll this year.

          • John Meloche 2 years ago

            You realize the Jays have one of the riches owners in baseball, they have their own independent TV deal and a stadium that can pack upwards of 50,000+ per game. With the investments they made last year it saw a massive increase in attendance + TV audience. In addition there is more National TV money coming to every team. Their owners (Rogers) just paid 5.8 B for the NHL TV/Online rights.

            Money is not an issue if they get the right players which is something AA & President Paul B. have already said.

            They need a top end pitcher and from the comments to date from AA it sounds like the trade market is more expensive then they want to offer in talent.

          • $5427573 2 years ago

            Agreed, one of, if not the richest of owners, in one of the largest markets (32 million +). Tanaka would be a huge marketing tool as well for the multimedia organization. They really missed out on Darvish, and would be foolish to do so again.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Are you really counting the entire populous of Canada as your market? Hasn’t quite worked out that way, especially since baseball is second fiddle by a huge margin to Hockey. Even if Canada starts paying more attention, that would just take spawn another team. And Clearly Canada is a hard market to thrive in, just ask the Expos. Also not sure if all Candians are fans of the Jays. Would bet a lot of them would root for more local teams such as Seattle, or NY.

          • $5427573 2 years ago

            Yes the entirety of Canada is the market. Baseball is certainly second fiddle to Hockey and in some regions there are more fans of the geographically closer teams like Detroit, Seattle and Minnesota but that doesn’t make the market any smaller if you’re talking about distribution. And the Expos didn’t fail because of a lack of fans…

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Yet they are in the bottom half of total revenue despite by far the biggest “market” according to you.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            I’m tired of hearing this national TV deal. Business 101. No owner is going to suddenly spend the 50 million baseball is giving them because it won’t raise revenues by at least 50 million per year. How rich they aren’t won’t matter as these baseball owners are still running an independent business which will have to run on its own.

            I don’t care how big a stadium is when they don’t outdraw the Cubs who have much more expensive tickets. Sure the Blue Jays will try but they’ll bale out especially considering the Ace caliber pitching they already have in their system.

          • John Meloche 2 years ago

            Toronto is a multi-cultural hub so signing a player like Tanaka makes a lot of marketing sense and of course improves their club without giving up their minor league talent. That is the issue they face… they want a #1-2 but none of the FA’s meet that criteria and a trade would almost have to include Stroman or Sanchez which is something they do not want to do.

            You can make a financial businesses case. Last year attendance was up 20% TV revenues also massively increased. With another strong front office commitment they should expect more increases. Toronto & Canada has a massive population of Chinese & Japanese Canadians which will be a nice pull with Tanaka. Last year Darvish pulled a nice crowd cheering him on.

            I believe the head office also regrets not going harder after Darvish which is also why you should expect to see the Jays as one of the max bid teams. There is no reason they will not go max bud but that does not mean they will beat out the other teams and sign him.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          Given that with Tor’s current arbitration projections and a roster filled with minimum wage guys they are already in position to be at 135+ million, already their biggest payroll in history by about 10 million. Tanaka is going to likely cost an AAV of 20 mil or so, which would put you at 155 mil with the inability to do anything else this off season and 30 million over the previous high payroll. Everyone has a lot of payroll coming off the books by 2016. Problem is they have a limited payroll this year.

      • John Meloche 2 years ago

        From the comments AA has made he has suggested that they will be in on Tanaka. The Jays have said to be able to operate with a 150-160 million payroll. By 2016 the current commitment is $27 million as almost all of their payroll commitments come off in the next 2 years. They can easily fit him in

      • $5427573 2 years ago

        Toronto’s budget is only constrained by whatever Rogers corporation wants it to be. They could easily hit the cap if they felt there would be a good return on their investment.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          So could any other team.

          • $5427573 2 years ago

            Any of them except for the mid and small market teams…

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      Doubt the dodgers are going to be in as they are already committed to a very high payroll which will fall right near their last year’s Monster payroll. Toronto is also already in line to be over last year’s budget without Tanaka’s contract

      Yankees haven’t been bothered by the tax in previous years and still have about 60 million in room before they get to their previous year’s budget. Given the amount they’ve invested they are really going to need to get a pitcher to contend now otherwise they are just going to watch even more aging veterans decay on a mediocre team that will likely once again miss the playoffs.

      Cubs also have a lot of space cleared from last year. And the article makes a good point about the quote on there being a market for young players.

      Mariners might be in depending on how much they are willing to put into their cap with the new TV contract..

      It’s going to come down to the Cubs and Yankees IMO.

  23. Quikmix 2 years ago

    no way are the Angels in on him. to be “in” on a contract the size it will take to sign Tanaka essentially means that they are out on any serious attempt to extend Trout.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      Love it. And I read yesterday Angels too are in a position right now to have luxury tax issues in 2014

    • Guest 2 years ago

      Unless he signs for less than 12 AAV or wants a shorter deal, for example 3 years, so he can hit the FA market again before age 30 as an established MLB starter there is no way I see LAA signing him. So all in all it is very unlikely LAA signs him.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

      Keep in mind LAA has 26.1 Million coming off the books next year, in the form of Blanton and Wells. That will essentially cover the AAV of Mike Trout’s extension (assuming he is extended). If not he will be make 20-25 Million by his second year of arbitration. LAA needs to build a winning team while using Wells/Blanton money to pay Trout. Tanaka could still fit into that picture.

      • drwheelock 2 years ago

        Next year Angels are one of few teams that have a whopping 10 players hitting ARB next offseason too, and one being Trout. That’s going to more than eat up all of that $26.1M and then more!

        Don’t see Angels in on Tanaka personally.

        • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

          Which 10? Angels have: Ernesto Frieri, Kevin Jepsen , Juan Gutierrez, David Freese, Salas and Chris Nelson this year. Other than Trout who is first time Arbitration eligible next year?

      • drwheelock 2 years ago

        Next year Angels are one of few teams that have a whopping 10 players hitting ARB next offseason too, and one being Trout. That’s going to more than eat up all of that $26.1M and then more!

        Don’t see Angels in on Tanaka personally.

  24. NRD1138 2 years ago

    Well The Cubs need to so something quick because I doubt the loyal Cubbie fan will want to be told they are going to be terrible again for another year while they rebuild. Tanaka is by all accounts really good, even if you take the perspective that the Majors are more difficult than the Japanese league he still will be pretty darn good. If the Cubs get him then you have your first 3 in the rotation being Tanaka, Samardzjia
    , and Wood. This could be pricey, but the Cubs also do not have to lose a pick or lose any of their young players in this acquisition

  25. MadmanTX 2 years ago

    The Cubs will never get Tanaka. He’ll likely join the Rangers, once they make their pitch with their strong presence in Japan.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      No way Cubs land him.

      • Cubstein 2 years ago

        Why? Is it the huge amount of cap space they have available?

        • mack22 2 years ago

          because the Cub’s can’t compete, and are not close in doing so.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Really because we have Baez, Bryant, Olt, Hendricks, Edwards, Alcantara all set to make a debut some time this year. Next year we’ll see the likes of Almora, Soler, Pierce Johnson. Plus several other guys with a lot of potential. Not sure how far they are from competing but the Dodgers tied down with aging veterans aren’t going to be competing for too much longer.

          • mack22 2 years ago

            The last year the Cubs were remotely competitive was 2009. Every other year they were in last place. (not counting the Astros that’s in the AL now) Why is getting Tanaka that big of a deal for you anyway. You’ve got so many other issues to address without dealing with one Starting pitcher. Build your farm system.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            You do realize the Cubs have one of the best farm systems in the majors right. Lack of pitching depth right now is our biggest problem and Tanaka would be a big step towards rectifying that. Any holes in our position players could conceivably be filled by prospects early in 2015. Gotta figure Castro, Rizzo and Castillo have locks on SS, 1B and C. 2B could be filled this year by Alcantara, Baez or Watkins. 3B could be filled with Olt, Baez or Bryant. CF we have Almora another year away with lake looking to show last year wasn’t a fluke. OF Soler and Bryant even Jackson or Vitters.

            At most we need another OF as far as positional players. Catching depth would be nice as catcher’s tend to get injured. We have another solid 1B product coming up in Vogelbach who figures to fill in at DH if the NL switches (I really hope not.) SS is also a little thin as Baez figures to fill out and not be capable of really playing the position in the long haul. But then we have Castro locked up so not a big deal.

          • Swarley 2 years ago

            You do realize when mlb.com releases the 2014 top 100 prospect list, the cubs will likely consist of 10% of it, maybe more. The consensus seems to think 2016 the cubs will be playoff contenders (that’s without Tanaka).

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      No way Cubs land him.

  26. ice_hawk10 2 years ago

    As much as I’d like to see my Jays wind up with Tanaka, I think the bidding is going to get so ridiculously out of control I’d rather see them bide their time and pick up one of the remaining free agents. By all accounts Tanaka is more of a mid-rotation starter and if that is true then the only thing he has over Santana, Jimenez and Garza is age, and that might not be a big deal given the ridiculous number of innings on his arm. He may be 25 but with the arm of someone closer to 30. I’d rather give $100mill to someone like Garza.

    • $5427573 2 years ago

      I thought most accounts had Tanaka at #1 or #2. Not quite an Ace, but high-end. All the other free agents are definite #3’s and at best #2’s on a good day.

  27. mack22 2 years ago

    Tanaka will pick the Dodgers, closest to Japan, pitcher friendly park, Major contender.

    • Commander_Nate 2 years ago

      Mike Trout, same money and everything else.

      • mack22 2 years ago

        apples & oranges. Trout was a kid and needed to go where it was told. Tanaka is a FA and will choose where and if he wants to go.

        • Commander_Nate 2 years ago

          I’m saying playing with Mike Trout is a selling point. Competing directly against Darvish and Iwakuma might be too.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            And being the Man in Chicago would be a huge selling point. Just from a personal marketing perspective alone. But given that he has no ties to any of these places make it more likely that $$$ talks and Cubs have the cap space.

          • Commander_Nate 2 years ago

            You might be right, but the Angels haven’t been over the cap yet and Arte Moreno is hardly a penny pincher. Tanaka’s the type of guy you’d be willing to break the threshold for. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            But they are already pretty much committed to their highest payroll in history. Don’t see either LA team being serious contenders. Either NY team, Cubs, maybe even WSox, Braves and Orioles are who I see as serious bidders and my guess is it cubs down to NYY vs. CHC. Cubs currently have the biggest difference between this year’s and last year’s salary commitment and even that was still close to 50 million below what they’ve paid in the past.

          • homunculus 2 years ago

            True, but Beckett, Billingsley and likely Haren (unless he has a great year) will come off the books next year so they’ll be in the mix. All things being equal, Tanaka has already mentioned that he would prefer to pitch on the West Coast so…

          • Anthony Hughes 2 years ago

            Yeah I agree with this…Dodgers have a lot of money coming off the books. If you add Brian Wilson to those 3 players you mentioned, that’s roughly $48MM alone coming off the books from 4 players, and it could be more if they move Kemp or Ethier. Granted, there will be some raises in there too (possible Kershaw and/or Ramirez extensions, plus arb cases like Jansen), but still, lots of money coming off. Dodgers will always have the ability to add major signings pretty much each season. I still favor the Yankees because of their huge need for him and I think they will offer the most money, but if Tanaka truly wants to be a Dodger, if the money is close, maybe he goes to LA.

          • mack22 2 years ago

            I doubt the Angles have the Allure of the Dodgers. We’ll see.

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      Yep he can just drive out to his home town. Fact remains he still needs to fly to go home, doubt that extra couple hour flight will be the huge determining factor given it will be once a year round trip. Dodger’s don’t have enough money left to be serious contenders on Tanaka.

      Fact remains that they are already committed to above the luxury tax and have almost 30 million that will be going to Arbitration eligible players so they are already above last year’s payroll and being the second year in violation of the luxury tax the penalty goes from 17% on the overage to 30 percent so really they are over. Dodgers don’t stand a chance.

  28. James Exercise 2 years ago

    You guys think the Yankees will let Tanaka get away, like they did with Cano and infante? Emphasis on LET. Hes 25, the Yanks will throw whatever amount of money/years Necessary

    • mack22 2 years ago

      That’s what you guys said last year about Ryu & Greinke

      • James Exercise 2 years ago

        Greinke didnt want to join the media circus, and the Yanks werent high on Ryu like they are on Tanaka

  29. Mikel Grady 2 years ago

    My small market cubs have a shot. Wear blue pinstripes no black. Blue is cooler

    • JoeCroninAndRonSanto 2 years ago

      I agree, cool blue is the way to go.

  30. AsHeR 2 years ago

    Cubs better go all in on this one. If we fail, please o please do not go to the Yankees

  31. AlexChicago13 2 years ago

    I’m hesitant to say the cubs absolutely need tanaka. I’m just afraid that he comes to America and the cubs have another Fukdome or the next Dice-K on their on hands. In my opinion, I’d rather see them trade a few of those OF prospects (and maybe a pitcher or two) and see if they could get David Price who is proven in the MLB already. I try to keep up with the Tanaka news daily, but my work schedule has been crazy. Is he the real deal? or is there some red flags that no one is talking about? Opinions?

  32. homunculus 2 years ago

    I don’t see how they’re any closer to a resolution; it’s the same as before — Tanaka wants to pitch in the MLB and Rakuten wants him to stay for another year. Bottom line, the ball is and has always been in Rakuten’s court. If they’re going to make a pure business decision as to what’s best for their team, it would be difficult to see them posting Tanaka for the same price they could probably get for him after next season.

    The longer this goes, the less likely I think he’s going to be posted. In fact, Rakuten reportedly offered him an $8M to stay.

  33. Karkat 2 years ago

    Observations: Something is seriously up with your internet, browser, or phone o.o

  34. drwheelock 2 years ago

    I think NY will get “Yankeed” again as Cashman put it referring to the Seattle signing of Cano. With so much money in Seattle avail I think they have the means to buy/sludge on Tanakaore than any other MLB

  35. DurhamBoston 2 years ago

    The Yankees are hardly a World Series contender. Right now Vegas has them at 20-1 to win it all. The Mariners? 25-1. Not to mention the relationship Seattle has with Japan and Tanaka has a great friend playing there and it takes 4 hours less to get home.

  36. bhambravesfan 2 years ago

    In the next 3 years yes the Cubs, and M’s have just as good of a chance of contending. Especially if the Yankees intend to stay under the luxury tax.

  37. bhambravesfan 2 years ago

    In the next 3 years yes the Cubs, and M’s have just as good of a chance of contending. Especially if the Yankees intend to stay under the luxury tax.

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