Orioles & Yankees Notes: Tanaka, Rodney, Igawa

Orioles fans are upset over the team's trade of closer Jim Johnson, and they want the team to become more active in the free-agent market, CSN Baltimore's Rich Dubroff writes. Dubroff suggests that Masahiro Tanaka would be a good target, but even if the Orioles don't aim that high, there should be plenty of starting pitching available, with Ervin Santana, Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez and Bronson Arroyo still on the market. Santana or Jimenez would require the O's to forfeit their first-round draft pick, however, and they likely won't want to do that. Fernando Rodney would be a good choice to replace Johnson at closer, Dubroff argues. Here are more notes on the Yankees and Orioles.

  • The Orioles need to "make a statement" after backing away from their agreement with Grant Balfour, argues MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko. Kubatko suggests that now would be a good time for the Orioles to begin signing free agent pitchers to four- or five-year deals, despite their reluctance to do so in the past.
  • The Yankees need to sign Tanaka to have a good offseason, Richard Justice of MLB.com writes. The Yankees are unlikely to stack up well against their AL East rivals in Boston and Tampa with a rotation headed by C.C. Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova, Justice argues.
  • If the Yankees sign Tanaka, he won't be the first Japanese ace they've acquired, Jay Schreiber and David Waldstein of the New York Times point out. They plucked Kei Igawa from the Hanshin Tigers prior to the 2007 season, paying $20MM plus a $26MM posting fee. Igawa pitched a total of 71 2/3 innings for New York, posting a 6.66 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9. Of course, Tanaka is a different pitcher, with statistical and scouting profiles more convincing than Igawa's. Schreiber and Waldstein point out, however, that Tanaka threw 160 pitches in a recent start, which is certainly a legitimate red flag.

38 Responses to Orioles & Yankees Notes: Tanaka, Rodney, Igawa Leave a Reply

  1. HHHDMS 2 years ago

    CC, Nova and Kuroda didnt match up last year, so I would think they wouldnt again this year , they need Tanaka or one of the remaining free agent starters.

    • Riaaaaaa 2 years ago

      Kuroda would be good if they managed his innings better. They had to rely on him alot throughout the season and it finally got to him toward the end. Nova seemed to figure things out and was actually our best starter overall last year, hopefully he can repeat that in 2014. CC is the biggest concern in my opinion out of the three. If he can even go back to what he was in 2012, I could live with that but what he gave us last season was awful. Tanaka clearly doesn’t need to be the “ace” he was in Japan, he needs to be a solid #2 or 3 which is what scouts predict. If he fills that role then I wouldn’t mind filling the 5th spot with Phelps/Pineda/Nuno/etc. If everything goes according to plan the Yanks could have a pretty good rotation next season.

      • Since_77 2 years ago

        You have to wonder is the off season surgery in October 2012 to remove bone spurs “and clean out his left elbow” affected Sabathia’s 2013 season. Organizations always try to put a good spin on these surgeries especially after the Yankees gave him that huge extension.

        I am excited to see what they can get from Pineda in 2014.
        Krouda would have been better if they scored more runs for him.

        • LazerTown 2 years ago

          For sure. A pitcher with 3.31 era shouldn’t be 11-13.

      • HHHDMS 2 years ago

        The Yanks big three got out-pitched by Boston and Tampa which is why I feel they need to add depth. I agree with everything you have written for sure though, but it was the Sox who won it all and the Rays have Price , Archer and young arms that stifled the Yanks bats

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      They only allowed 15 more runs over the season than the RS. Relatively their pitching wasn’t that bad, it was simply that no matter what their offense couldn’t score runs.

    • Joseph Albanese 2 years ago

      The pitching kept them in it. It was the putrid offense that was the problem.

  2. AZDbacksfan1 2 years ago

    You gotta feel bad about what happened to Balfour. Especially considering that the O’s have done NOTHING to acknowledge the situation. Hoping he gets the same contract with another team.

    • mattyg7 2 years ago

      What do you want the Orioles to say? They did what they were perfectly at liberty to do and explained why they backed out of the deal. Do you want them to hold a press conference and apologize to Balfour? They’re moving on.

  3. JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

    -Fingers in ears- Igawa never happened lalalalala

    Seriously though, they cant let a rough past experience prevent them from taking a needed risk

    • Chris Barrows 2 years ago

      If it makes you feel better, he was a really nice guy in Scranton. Had the pleasure of chatting with him through his translator on more than a few occasions.

      Ok, no, I don’t feel better saying that.

      • JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

        I remember a game in 07, I believe against the Sox when Julio Lugo (maybe?) broke Jeff Karstens leg with a come-backer. Igawa came in and threw 6 shutout innings, giving up 2 hits. I was thinking “Hey, is he finally gonna do it?”

        • Chris Barrows 2 years ago

          I remember that game. It was from the bullpen and unexpected. I don’t think he performed well when he knew he was going to start for some reason.

          He wasn’t bad in AAA, but he was very much a AAAA pitcher.

    • chris german 2 years ago

      Been saying that for the last 3 years, They let Darvish get away because of that, time to let it go. Igawa wasn’t the only bad mistake they’ve made, Kevin Brown and Carl Pavano were pretty horrendous too. Guess they shouldn’t sign any more free agent pitchers…

    • skrockij89 2 years ago

      Yeah Igawa was awful but Tanaka is 100 times better than him.

    • Joe Brady 2 years ago

      I think the biggest problem was that the NYY didn’t want to trade him for fear he would succeed elsewhere. He pitched well in AAA in 2007 and 2008. I can’t believe an NL team wouldn’t take a chance on him, ala AJ Burnett, if the NYY picked up all but $2M of his salary. It’s almost like they wanted to punish him.

  4. Blahable 2 years ago

    O’s will get Arroyo, Garza, or Rodney they seem pretty talented at getting past their prime/mediocre pitchers.

  5. Stoibs 2 years ago

    Fans are mad at the Orioles for trading Johnson? That move is looking better and better. Just sign Bailey at one-third of the price. Webb is almost the exact same pitcher that will cost about one-fifth of what Johnson will. Also got Weeks and Freitas. Going to see some massive Arb raises for Davis and Weiters. Saving ten million will go a long way. Markakis contract is done after this year. Gives them a lot of room to sign the important guys longterm. Something like Garza and Bailey would greatly improve this team. Not a lot of great bats left on the Market, but a guy like Kyle Blanks of the Padres could be had for something very reasonable. Seems like Medica has taken away some of those at bats that would normally fall into Blanks’ lap. If the Orioles can pull of those three moves and get some extension talks started with the big guns, then I would be willing to say they had a successful offseason.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

      I am lost here.
      Bailey and Garza have been on the DL for the past three seasons correct?
      Balfour who hasn’t been on the DL since 2005.
      If the Orioles found a way not to sign Balfour, how in the world could they justify trading for Bailey and signing Garza? As for Blanks, I really don’t know that much about him.

      • Philip 2 years ago

        Blanks is another player that has huge upside but cannot stay healthy

  6. Leonard Washington 2 years ago

    I am more than a little nervous for any team giving Tanaka a 100M+ deal.

  7. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

    Orioles fans are upset that the O’s traded Jim Johnson.
    I am not upset over this. I was upset with what happened with Grant Balfour and I know that I am not the only one.
    Fernando Rodney can’t hit the plate with a fork, so the answer is no and it’s always been no for that very reason.
    As for Tommy Hunter as the O’s closer, that get a big NO! as well. When the Blue Jays resigned Kawasaki, it reminded me that Tommy Hunter was on the mound and when Kawasaki came up to bat and for some inexplicable reason Hunter stopped throwing his fastballs and decided to throw some sort of change up and needless to say, it did not end well.

    I will be honest, I have no idea what the O’s are doing!
    From my viewpoint, Angelos has no intentions of bringing a winner to “Charm City.”
    Duquette is as aloof as ever and Showalter annoyed me to no end last year with a lot of his coaching decisions. I don’t see anything getting better in Birdland and it has me very concerned.

    PS I hope Balfour files that Grievance!

    • James Samuel 2 years ago

      File a grievance for what? Not passing his physical? this is why we always here “player signs such and such deal PENDING PHYSICAL”

    • BadBJay 2 years ago

      You hit the nail on the head… the O’s brain trust is in depression. I think Showalter is the best out of the three (with Angelos and Duquette) on making baseball moves. If I had Angelos’ ear, I’d tell him to let Buck run most of the moves this season and they will be better off. Saying Buck is a control freak is like saying the sky is blue. But he has a good track record on building teams… especially when he leaves a team.

  8. Bumbsy 2 years ago

    I don’t think Igawa spooked the Yanks at all (Darvish). Everyone knew what the Igawa signing was. The Red Sox signed Dice-K earlier that off-season and the Yanks needed to get a Japanese fella too. I don’t think they would have went after Igawa if another team signed Dice-K.

    I’m a Yankees fan, a lot of us had no expectations of Igawa. I don’t remember his numbers in Japan, but I do remember looking at them and not being impressed. I feel it was a move based solely on what the Red Sox did, ordered from The Boss.

    • BadBJay 2 years ago

      a $40 million investment should follow with it, some lofty expectations. And as I remember, expectations for Igawa were high – but quickly quashed by his ineffectiveness early on. Irabu was another miss. Considering past posting fee numbers, Tanaka at an initial fee of $20 million, is actually a steal today (considering his last season)… just to negotiate with him. It’s obvious the Yanks need talent in the starting rotation and a no-brainer they’ll be aggressive. I still think he’s going to the Dodgers but a NY signing will be interesting to see how Tanaka performs in the AL East.

  9. Mike1L 2 years ago

    I know I’m in the minority among Yankee fans, but I’m indifferent to negative on signing Tanaka. We don’t know how his skills will translate hers. If the “mandatory” alternative is spending big bucks on someone like Santana/Garza/Jimenez/Arroyo, then it’s simply a question of how you want to roll the dice, and none of those four have the right combination of health, consistency, and talent for the money they are asking. If I were Cashman, I’d be inclined to not to go for any of them. The Yankees, as currently constituted, are not a championship level team. They still won’t be one adding any of those five. I’d rather wait for the A-Rod decision and then decide how to plug the holes.

    • Frittoman626 2 years ago

      I can see your point on Tanaka, but the fact of the matter is the Yankees have the need for a young pitcher that could step in as their ace for years to come, and Tanaka has the potential to do so. He’s only 25 and dominated in a league equivalent to Triple A. Yes there is a big risk, but sometimes you have to do it, especially on a team that has no front end starters waiting in the fold like the Yankees (Pineda is not the same pitcher he was in 2011 and he will be lucky to become at least a #3 starter and Banuelos has not pitched since 2012 and hasn’t thrown the necessary innings to pitch a full season).

    • Frittoman626 2 years ago

      I can see your point on Tanaka, but the fact of the matter is the Yankees have the need for a young pitcher that could step in as their ace for years to come, and Tanaka has the potential to do so. He’s only 25 and dominated in a league equivalent to Triple A. Yes there is a big risk, but sometimes you have to do it, especially on a team that has no front end starters waiting in the fold like the Yankees (Pineda is not the same pitcher he was in 2011 and he will be lucky to become at least a #3 starter and Banuelos has not pitched since 2012 and hasn’t thrown the necessary innings to pitch a full season).

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Those who refuse to take any risks will never be winners. Yes, there are risks here. However, doing nothing ensures another 85 W season. Signing Tanaka along with another bullpen arm and maybe Drew gives them a chance of being a championship team. All you have to do is make the playoffs, what happens after that is a lottery.

      Arod is going to be suspended for at least 100 games, and even if he is not, the Yankees have plenty of money. Between the new stadium that reduces revenue sharing payments, 400 million in the News Corp deal, 25 million in new national TV money, they are loaded. They lost 50 million in revenue last year just by missing the playoffs, they can recover that 50 million just by maintaining last years payroll and winning.

  10. Brian Baker 2 years ago

    IIRC, Kei Igawa cost more than the Tampa Bay roster a few years (and he was in AAA!)

  11. jram 2 years ago

    I wonder if the yankees could give Tanaka a signing bonus to reduce the amount of the deal, in order to stay near their wanting 189mm payrol

    • Angelo M. Reina 2 years ago

      A bonus still counts. They take the bonus + Total amount of the contract / # of years of the contract to determine how much to apply to the 2014 payroll.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      They could give him a 30 year 180 million dollar deal with it being front loaded the first 10 years. The AAV would be 6 million and Tanaka would get 160 million over the first 10 years and then 20 million over the next 20 years. The Yankees could release him after 10 years and be on the hook for 20 million (when it will be worth about 1/2 what it is now assuming 5% salary inflation per year).

      Maybe there is some rule against this, but in any event, a rule of thumb is giving more years reduces the AAV which is what is important for the LT calculations.

  12. indybucfan 2 years ago

    Don’t forget about Hideki Irabu. They got a lot out of him too.

  13. Fat, Ugly Inner-City Sweathog 2 years ago

    Yeah, Dice-K was supposed to come in and dominate the league too. Major League lineups are a different animal. I’ll believe it when I see it with this guy. There is Yu Darvish, then there is Kei Igawa, Kenshin Kawakami, Daisuke Matsuzaka, etc.

  14. Nicholas Koch 2 years ago

    Balfour and Yankees great fit

  15. tender-4 2 years ago

    The yankees did good without good pitching they hung in for a while and there used up pitching.then again they went off the radar. they also missed tex,alex,and jeter, tanaka this team goes over the wall this year. he will be good with the other pitchers and they need to make it happen.

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