Masahiro Tanaka To Be Represented By Casey Close

Masahiro Tanaka has chosen Casey Close of Excel Sports Management as his agent, according to a report from Sponichi (Japanese link) passed along by Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).  As the MLBTR Agency Database shows, Close also represents Dodgers pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke and Yankees star Derek Jeter, among many other MLB notables.

Last night, Tanaka’s club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, announced that they will post the star pitcher, allowing him to make the jump from Japan to MLB.  The free agent pitching market has been in somewhat of a holding pattern because of the Japanese sensation.  Once Tanaka puts pen to paper with an MLB club, it’s expected that dominoes will start to fall rapidly for free agent starters such as Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, and Ubaldo Jimenez.

The Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Yankees, and Cubs have been among the clubs most frequently linked to Tanaka, but there should be many more teams with serious interest in landing the 25-year-old.  The team that signs Tanaka will almost certainly have to fork over the maximum $20MM posting fee to his NPB club, but it’s a tax that is well worth paying for those that feel he is far and away the premier pitcher available this winter.


Full Story | 60 Comments | Categories: Masahiro Tanaka

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60 Comments on "Masahiro Tanaka To Be Represented By Casey Close"


livestrong77nyyankz
1 year 8 months ago

As well as Derek Jeter

coco1997
1 year 8 months ago

Two other Dodgers pitchers? How convenient.

Nate
1 year 8 months ago

At least it’s not Boras

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 8 months ago

Or Jay-Z. But I agree…definitely not Boras.

Karkat
1 year 8 months ago

I was stunned!

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 8 months ago

I was too but all things considered, Boras might prolong the process plus this guy might be aware Boras might seek the maximum amount of years (6+) and money while most reports have Tanaka seeking 4-5 years on a shorter deal which would set him up for another big payday since he’ll be about 30.

LazerTown
1 year 8 months ago

TBH if I was in his boat I would take the larger deal. It’s a big risk leaving $40M on the table expecting that you will perform at the ace level needed, especially since Japanese pitchers are abused.

Jeffy25
1 year 8 months ago

And he in particular has a huge number of innings pitched so far.

But you should sign every deal like it’s your last

Prozack
1 year 8 months ago

Bad news for the cubs and the diamondbacks….

Zach
1 year 8 months ago

As long as we’re making huge assumptions I’ll say this hurts his chances to be a Dodger. His agent will want LA to save for a huge payday to Clayton (they just can’t let him go and not get the wrath of their fans) and get a huge Tanaka contract with another team.

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 8 months ago

Dodgers can afford to sign both Kershaw and Tanaka. Both are young and if Tanaka is as good as advertised then both are worth BIG contracts.

arbfuldodger
1 year 8 months ago

yep..both Bills and Beckett’s contracts are up next season (29M total) and the TV contract kicks in as well …so money will not be the problem. and from what I’ve heard Tanaka wants to play on the west coast. Team I think could suprise and get him is the M’s.

Anthony Hughes
1 year 8 months ago

And if you add Wilson and Haren to that, that’s $49MM coming off the books next season from just 4 players. Granted, some guys will get raises (Kershaw, Jansen, AJ Ellis come to mind), but when you factor into account more money from more players coming off the books with the raises, there is going to be plenty of money to sign Tanaka if they want to. It’s just going to come down whichever team he feels most comfortable with. I don’t think he’s like an MLB player that is most likely to take the absolute highest bid. He’s not going to leave a ton of money on the table, sure, but I think for a guy who’s leaving his country and his entire way of life behind, comfort factor is going to be most important.

YARRitsBLAKE
1 year 8 months ago

Agreed. The dark horse in all this are the M’s. They’ve shown their willingness to spend this off-season to get to a win-now mentality. They have the legacy of Ichiro, and now have Iwakuma, on their side. Dodgers have the legacy of Nomo, and recently had Saito and Kuroda as names on their list of Japanese players to star on their roster.

YARRitsBLAKE
1 year 8 months ago

Not to mention the extra revenue Tanaka could bring in from the Asian community. Los Angeles has a huge Asian population, and Nomo-mania went very well for the Dodgers last time around. Tanaka could have a similar effect – maybe not as significant, but similar.

Additionally, Arbfuldodger brings up a good point regarding the albatross contract of Josh Beckett being done, and Billingsley’s being done as well next season. Granted, their annual salary values will probably be equivalent to what Kershaw will be earning with his new contract next year.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 8 months ago

That would be a massive breach of responsibility, an agent begging to get sued.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 8 months ago

Instead of anonymous DR, try explaining how it would not be a breach of responsibility for an agent play the interests of one client against another.

Brian Mok
1 year 8 months ago

I know its not like the NBA but dodgers should get their rotation to do a recruiting thing since Tanaka is basically a free agent. Also throw lots of money

Bradley
1 year 8 months ago

His agent wants the Dodgers to save for Kershaw… yep.

YARRitsBLAKE
1 year 8 months ago

Dodgers save? What planet have you been on for the last two years? 😛 And that’s coming from a Dodgers fan that has accepted we are the new “Evil Empire” and we just spend whatever we want.

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 8 months ago

You had a lot of Dodger fans saying they were in on Cano and were probably going to sign them, even after Magic Johnson said they wouldn’t. The Dodgers have alot of money, but now that they are over the luxury tax and will be for years to come. I think they will be smarter especially with Kershaw’s impending free agency.

YARRitsBLAKE
1 year 8 months ago

I actually never said the Dodgers were in on Cano, nor did I think they should go after Cano. 10 years for a player at his age is preposterous.

mack22
1 year 8 months ago

Yep Seattle will be left holding the bag, just like the the Angels are with Puljos

GeronimoJansen
1 year 8 months ago

So basically what you’re saying is he’ll be a Dodger by 2014.

Harrisonc27
1 year 8 months ago

I don’t think the yanks will let him go

Harrisonc27
1 year 8 months ago

I think the yanks are prepared to offer more than what they offered choo. My guess is 7 yr/ $185 mill

Runtime
1 year 8 months ago

Yikes.
I’d say more like 6/$130

Commander_Nate
1 year 8 months ago

That would make him the highest paid right hander in MLB history by about $40 million without a single MLB inning to his name. Sort of doubt anyone goes THAT crazy.

JaysFan1996
1 year 8 months ago

5 years 100 million + 2 club/player option of 25 million each if he stays healthy that sort of thing

Runtime
1 year 8 months ago

That’s about right, IMO. Top end $130m if there’s lots of “high profile” competition.

JJ
1 year 8 months ago

Yankees vs dodgers

northsfbay
1 year 8 months ago

Yankees, Cubs, D’Backs.

LoneTXRanger
1 year 8 months ago

I think this bodes well for the Dodgers, but it might not have as profound effect that people think.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 8 months ago

I think you are right. Someone has to show him the money. In the end, that’s the thing that matters most.

Jay Sanders
1 year 8 months ago

Premier starter of the free agent market? I’d rather sign Garza or Jiminez for $75 mil then pay $125 mil for a guy who’s never thrown a MLB pitch.

GRN_
1 year 8 months ago

While sure they are less risky ,but they also don’t have the upside and the youth of Tanaka.

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 8 months ago

And other then Garza they won’t cost a draft pick.

Commander_Nate
1 year 8 months ago

$75 million and a first round pick. Can’t leave that out.

GRN_
1 year 8 months ago

Not for Garza though

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 8 months ago

Garza could be an interesting fall back option for the Dodgers IF he wasn’t going to be pursued by a bunch of teams.

I’d rather risk a big contract on Tanaka than Garza. Garza’s poor performance with Texas was troubling, along with his injury history.

drwheelock
1 year 8 months ago

Yeah but there is more excitement in the ‘uncertainty’ factor!

YARRitsBLAKE
1 year 8 months ago

Dodgers might be getting…..closer now to Tanaka….

JJ
1 year 8 months ago

and the yankees

Guest
1 year 8 months ago

It was meant to be a pun…oh well. I failed XD

northsfbay
1 year 8 months ago

Teams that are desperate for a starting pitcher would be more willing to gamble on a big contract to a starting pitcher. Tanaka was over pitched. That would be a concern to some teams.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 8 months ago

I doubt it very much. Over pitching is a highly overrated concept. In the not-so-old days it was commonplace for pitchers to log 300 innings a season and do it for 15 years. Either he’s healthy or not.

Macfan01
1 year 8 months ago

I expect the Yankees to overpay big time for Tanaka. This is no Cano situation, they already said they would do 10 years if it was Mike Trout age wise, remember when the Angels got angry about his name being mentioned by the Yankees president, though he was using it as a reference to why they would not do 10 years for Cano at this point of his career.

Well Tanaka is. 25, so still in his prime years.

They also stated if they are going over the luxury tax limit it will be way over, not just barely over.

Tanaka fits the desired age range and their biggest remaining NEED.

Zach
1 year 8 months ago

It wasn’t Trouts age that influenced that statement. it was his age and the fact he is the best player in the world. Tanaka is a totally different situation entirely.

Macfan01
1 year 8 months ago

Since we are speaking about talented players in general on this subject matter, thought it would be self explanatory that it was talent within an age range thus names like Trout, Cano, Tanaka.

Of course some mediocre player in his 20’s would not get a 10 year deal.

carmot
1 year 8 months ago

I’m a bit surprised Tanaka didn’t sign Arn Tellum of Wasserman Group. Tellum reps Darvish, found the NPB loophole for Nomo, and creatively found a way to get Kobe to the Lakers. The fact Boras wasn’t even on his short list of final considerations may speak volumes about Ma-Kun.

Boras might’ve “guaranteed” a 7-year deal, since teams know he prefers letting clients test free agency. I find it hard to argue against the “perceived value” of Tanaka. At his age, with no pick/pool $ compensation, and no elite prospects required via trade… “Just” a 20M posting fee to get into the conversations. Some team figures to offer at least 6/130. With the PF, that totals a 25M AAV.

Still, I’ll say the odds actually favor Tanaka being worth his contract. YMMV.

David Galvan
1 year 8 months ago

add San Diego to the group.

Knockdown
1 year 8 months ago

Why? Do you have legit knowledge or are you just wishing?

pft2
1 year 8 months ago

20 million is about what the average development cost for MLB’ers is (which includes the cost of those who don’t make it), and in any case, teams will simply take that cost into account and lower what they can pay in salary.

Knockdown
1 year 8 months ago

Per player? That is not even close to being right. If you mean per draft class then you are pretty close.

pft2
1 year 8 months ago

Per player that makes it to the MLB. It includes all costs, scouting, drafting, bonus, salary, player development (coaches, trainers), travel and other costs for the farm system. Again, it puts costs of players who never make it on the backs of those players who do make it to the MLB. Most teams only yield 2-3 players per year from the farm system (on average) and perhaps only 1 significant player per year

Baseball on Earth
1 year 8 months ago

Casey Close? This most certainly means he will be a Dodger in 2014.
Case Closed.

CubsFan5
1 year 8 months ago

Kershaw and Greinke, psh. Casey Close represents the real winner here… Josh Vitters.

Oldredgunslinger
1 year 8 months ago

Nope, the real winner here is Gretchen Carlson.

CubsFan5
1 year 8 months ago

Touche