Poll: Which Team Will Sign Masahiro Tanaka?

The Rakuten Golden Eagles have opted to post star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, and now MLB teams will have a chance to battle it out for the chance to sign an ace. The posting process will begin Thursday morning, and will be done by January 24. Effectively, as Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News notes, any team can negotiate with Tanaka if it’s willing to pay the Golden Eagles a posting fee of $20MM.

Tanaka has chosen Casey Close of Excel Sports Management to represent him. Close represents star Dodgers pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, as well as Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees. In addition to the Dodgers and Yankees, Tanaka has been linked to the Diamondbacks, Cubs, Angels, and Rangers. Not all those teams are equally likely to sign Tanaka, obviously. So have at it — who do you think will get him?


252 Responses to Poll: Which Team Will Sign Masahiro Tanaka? Leave a Reply

  1. AZDbacksfan1 2 years ago

    Can someone tell me why nobody thinks the dbacks don’t even have a shot at him? They have plenty of payroll room and they’ve been looking at him since day one, not to mention it seems KT wants to pay big bucks to have him on the team

    • centerfield_ballhawk 2 years ago

      Of all places, why would he want to pitch in Arizona?Just doesn’t seem like an obvious fit for his talents.

      • AZDbacksfan1 2 years ago

        I guess you’re right. I mean, the dbacks are willing to give him a lot of money, but besides that there really isn’t any other reason for him to want to come here. Im pretty sure Japan has heard of the New York Yankees or the Chicago cubs but not the Arizona diamondbacks

        • AZDbacksfan1 2 years ago

          But then again they could make the pitch that Tanaka would become the star Ace that I’m sure he’s always wanted to be in America. But hey, we’ll just wait and see.

          • justinept 2 years ago

            So you’re basically pandering to an ego you don’t know he has while insulting his competitiveness. You’re saying “Hey Tanaka. Don’t go to the Dodgers or the Rangers because you’ll never be a better pitcher than Kershaw or Darvish – an in turn, you’ll never be their ‘star pitcher.'” That’s an interesting tactic…

            As for why people count out the DBacks – it’s because they don’t have much of a history of attracting star talent. Sure, they signed Randy Johnson once upon a time, but that was 15 years ago.

          • LazerTown 2 years ago

            Imo For someone really competitive it is way more painful to watch a team that continually lets you down than having to not be the best player on his team.

    • Mike Query 2 years ago

      Extreme hitters park in Phoenix of all places, take off the homer glasses and think about it from his perspective for a second.

      • jamman 2 years ago

        Hitters park? Yankee Stadium is a hitters park too maybe you forgot?

      • Ferrariman 2 years ago

        and what exactly is Wrigley Field, Fenway, Yankee Stadium, Arlington….

        • Steve Corbett 2 years ago

          Forget Fenway, the Sox ain’t in this one. They’re still feeling the sting when they rolled the “Dice” years ago.

        • Mike Query 2 years ago

          He is Japanese right, maybe you should think about how outside of Texas, those other cities are all major US Cities with a decent Asian population. So like I said, think about it from his perspective. Its more than just a baseball decision for him.

          • “outside of Texas, those other cities are all major US Cities with a decent Asian population.”

            Not trying to be rude or disrespectful, but I’m not really sure what you’re saying here.

            Are you implying that Texas is not a major us city? If so you’re right. It’s a State. Secondly, the DFW metroplex has a pretty good sized Asian population. I know that when Darvish pitches, he has plenty of support from the Asian population.

          • Mike Query 2 years ago

            Numbers are significantly higher than what I found, yet assuming they are right, also still significantly lower than Chicago, LA, Boston and NY. With Phoenix nowhere to be found at all, which was my original point. Im not ruling out the Rangers for him at all.

            And clearly typing Texas rather than Arlington or Dallas or whatever was an oversight.

          • “outside of Texas, those other cities are all major US Cities with a decent Asian population.”

            Not trying to be rude or disrespectful, but I’m not really sure what you’re saying here.

            Are you implying that Texas is not a major us city? If so you’re right. It’s a State. Secondly, the DFW metroplex has a pretty good sized Asian population. I know that when Darvish pitches, he has plenty of support from the Asian population.

          • TEXINTILLIDIE 2 years ago

            The Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex area is the 4th largest in the U.S. And has over 400,000 Asian residents.

          • LazerTown 2 years ago

            Thats it?
            My county alone has more than half of that.

          • George White Jr 1 year ago

            Well Los Angeles Has The Largest Japanese Population In America

          • TEXINTILLIDIE 2 years ago

            The Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex area is the 4th largest in the U.S. And has over 400,000 Asian residents.

      • ConstantinusMagnus 2 years ago

        Arlington is also a hitters park.

        • Anthony 2 years ago

          If this is the case Tanaka will obviously want to pitch at Target Field in Minnesota! Oh, wait, it’s not the Yankees, darn. Gotta pitch for the Yankees, “America’s Team.”

          • blackdodgernatn 1 year ago

            U really think he’s gonna sign brush its a pitchers park…if so send him somewhere in SoCal… If he’s as good as they make him sound he should be capable of pitching wherever he wants lol

    • Dynasty22 2 years ago

      Because the D-Backs are going up against big spenders like the Yankees, Dodgers, Rangers, Angels, etc. Do the D-Backs have a chance? Yes, but compared to those other teams it is slim.

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      They don’t really have a ton of payroll room. They have 7 million less salary than last year, which was their highest salary since 2002. This year they will already likely be above that number just by finishing out the arbitration process with the remaining arbitration players. To sign Tanaka they would have to blow past any previous payroll limit they’ve ever had.

      • jmclennan 2 years ago

        Kevin Towers said their salary “could eclipse” $112 million this year, and even after arb-ing out, they’re only at $99m. Also, in two years, they’ll get a new TV contract, which will likely give them $30 million extra income a year. They have PLENTY of payroll room, especially for the later years of a deal.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          Ok so they’re at 99 million after Arb. Tanaka is going to likely cost a 20 million bid and another 20 million annual. That puts you at 139 million. More than just a small eclipses of 112 million. Even if you don’t count the post fee it’s 119 million with roster spots remaining to be filled.

          The TV deal two years from now doesn’t help them spend money now. Cubs are renegotiating their current TV. D-backs have pitching, I don’t see their urgency for Tanaka.

          • jmclennan 2 years ago

            The D-backs roster has basically no spots left to fill except the fifth starter, so that’s not an issue. At worst (depending on what “eclipse” means), affording Tanaka simply involves weighting a deal a little towards the back end, when the new revenue stream comes in. Believe me, the team wouldn’t have been scouting him if they didn’t think they could afford it.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Well their roster after arbitration and “signing Tanaka” would sit at 19. Filling the remaining spots at minimum costs an additional 3 million so we’re at 122 million. 10 million more than that 112 million figure previously mentioned.

    • docmilo5 2 years ago

      Don’t worry what anybody thinks. Nobody thought Cano was going to Seattle. Seattle isn’t even on this list. The money is going to be there from any of about 5 or 6 teams. It’s all going to be about where he wants to pitch for the next 7 years.
      I’m pulling for the M’s. They have two TOR arms, one being an old teammate and countryman from Ratuken, the other being Felix Hernandez. Seattle signed the top FA this off season and are ready to spend on the top FA pitcher as well.
      Seattle is closer to Japan, not that it means much, and it has a very friendly Japanese community that Ichiro and Iwakuma have appreciated.
      Seattle has a very nice core of young MLB talent that can stack up with just about anyone in Seager, Miller, Ackley, Franklin, Walker, Paxton, Zunino and more in the shute.
      If KT wins this, congrats. As a Mariner fan, I don’t have to tell you what team I’m pulling for.

      • Gilford V 2 years ago

        I will add that the Mariners are still under Japanese ownership and Safeco is a pitcher;s haven, It is a match made in heaven.

    • scott brecht 2 years ago

      your question makes no sense. double negative.

    • acerulli1 2 years ago

      I think the simplest answer is this:

      As baseball fans, we have been trained, through arduous repetition, to understand that when Yankee Need collides with Yankee Desire, the resultant explosion typically yields showers of money, and a whole lot of griping from Yankee haters and bitter small market fans alike.

      And considering that the new process is a straight up bidding war, devoid of the stealth and secrecy of the old posting process, and incorporating the far more capitalistic concept of an agent shopping offers around and playing G.M.’s against each other, the picture on the puzzle box just seems to look more and more like a young Japanese pitcher wearing pinstripes and a Yankees’ cap, no matter how hard one might try to mix up the pieces.

    • acerulli1 2 years ago

      I think the simplest answer is this:

      As baseball fans, we have been trained, through arduous repetition, to understand that when Yankee Need collides with Yankee Desire, the resultant explosion typically yields showers of money, and a whole lot of griping from Yankee haters and bitter small market fans alike.

      And considering that the new process is a straight up bidding war, devoid of the stealth and secrecy of the old posting process, and incorporating the far more capitalistic concept of an agent shopping offers around and playing G.M.’s against each other, the picture on the puzzle box just seems to look more and more like a young Japanese pitcher wearing pinstripes and a Yankees’ cap, no matter how hard one might try to mix up the pieces.

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      Their largest payroll ever was $86M. Those aren’t the teams willing to take a gamble on a $20M aav player.

  2. Junior7188 2 years ago

    Its going to be the yankees, they know that arod is most likely not getting suspended the whole 211 games, sot that means the yankees are already over the luxury tax, so they can give as much as they want, and they should, they need pitching.

    • East Coast Bias 2 years ago

      ARod doesn’t need to be suspended for the full 211 games for the Yankees to reap benefits towards the luxury tax. If he’s suspended for the season, 162 games, his entire salary for the year will be voided for 2014. If he’s suspended for 81 games, then 50% of his 2014 salary, and so forth.

      • bhambravesfan 2 years ago

        Plus he can’t hit 6 hr and earn that extra 30MM. But if he only gets the 50 games for his first offense like everyone else, he is a 46.66MM player this year alone with the 50 games taken out.

        • East Coast Bias 2 years ago

          Uhh… I don’t think that’s accurate.

        • LazerTown 2 years ago

          I think your math is a bit off. He would need to get to 755 hr to get all the 30M. Is only $6M for each.

    • docmilo5 2 years ago

      He’s going to Seattle for the same reason Cano did.
      Money. :)

  3. JonnyAngel 2 years ago

    I think it will likely boil down to where he wants to play and who is willing to give the most years. As much as I would love for the Angels to get him, he will probably sign with the Yankees

  4. InvalidUserID 2 years ago

    Seeing as how it won’t be simply the highest bidder and Tanaka gets to essentially pick his destination, it’s going to be hard to see him in a jersey other than pinstripes. It would either be a west coast team or one of the eastern powerhouses. I think it comes down to Seattle (I don’t buy their “we hit our payroll limit”), the Dodgers (can’t count them out with old Yankee deep pockets) and the Yankees (need plus cash).

    My money is on the Yankees.

    • docmilo5 2 years ago

      Exactly InvalidUserID… The M’s haven’t hit their payroll limit. There just aren’t anymore FAs worth spending their money on. Garza for 5 years with his injury history? Are you kidding? Santana wants $100 million one year removed from a 5.16 ERA? Yikes! Jimenez stinks it up two years in Cleveland and wants what?!
      The M’s have been waiting for Tanaka with their blank check since the Cano signing. Tanaka is going to have Iwakuma to help him transition to MLB so he doesn’t miss a beat. Felix, Iwakuma and Tanaka are going to be the best rotation in baseball when you add Walker and Paxton.
      The M’s have a true #3 hitter in Seattle since Edgar Martinez retired. Cano is going to have a monster year on his way to an AL MVP. Life is good in Seattle. Next year we get an NBA team. LOL

      • bjsguess 2 years ago

        Wow. That is one rosy picture you painted there.

        I do find it funny that you are bashing hypothetical deals that other teams have yet to make while you extol the virtues of handing out the 3 largest contract in baseball history. Typically 10 year deals that pay guys until they are 41 don’t turn out great.

        Could you also please remind us how you envision Cano winning the MVP award? He’s playing in a worse hitters park, on a worse team, with a significantly worse lineup. Basically, the M’s have to make it to the playoffs (currently no better than a 4th place team in the AL West) AND he will have to produce insane numbers. Great numbers alone on a non-playoff team won’t do it (see Trout, Mike who has crushed Cano two years in a row but is still looking for his MVP trophy).

        • docmilo5 2 years ago

          Well, if I bashed a team besides the Yankees or the Angles, I apologize. The Cubs are about 2 years behind the M’s. They’ve got some awesome prospects but Bryant, Baez, Almora and Soler are likely to be ready in 2015 to 2016. They should keep that young core. The D-Backs, I don’t know anything about them. I didn’t like the Eaton for Trumbo move, but since I’m not a MLB GM, what do I know.
          The reason the M’s can spend on Tanaka, if they do so, is they have a large portion of their roster making major league minimum or are just entering arbitration. They entered December with $33.275 million in contracts. They have said they can spend in the $100 million range or more for the right people. That’s nearly an increase in $70 million. The young kids are going to cost about $15 mill tops that leaves $55 to spend. They have spent around $40 mill so far this year. They aren’t broke and they don’t count the posting fee in their budget.

  5. Osiris Torres 2 years ago

    8% seems about right for the Angels chances, but wow that would be something if they could persuade him. After all, our only weakness is starting pitching…oh and the month of April…

    • LAAdesign 2 years ago

      The only real weakness the Angels have been struggling with as of late is baseball.

      • dshires4 2 years ago

        Beautiful reply, LAAdesign.

      • sourbob 2 years ago

        That’s hilarious and I salute you. Still, Osiris Torres is referring to how they’re looking after their offseason, and I’m inclined to agree with the assessment.

        • Osiris Torres 2 years ago

          How he got 34 likes, idk. Maybe a combination of ranger and dodger fans.

          • LAAdesign 2 years ago

            Haha nope. All Angel fan here.

      • Osiris Torres 2 years ago

        Im confused on whether ur name means ur a angels fan or just a troll
        But yeah go ahead and crack a joke about the team if it makes it easier on you. Our pitching has always been the weakness. Since the bullpen has gotten better, only the starting pitching needs fixing. I thought that was obvious.

  6. Dynasty22 2 years ago

    The Yankees are too starting pitching deprived to let Tanaka slip by their fingers. I predict the Yankees.

    • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

      Such an obviously right answer. The team with the greatest need will be the one willing to pay him the most. Much as I’d love to see him pitch for the Dodgers, it’s likely the Yankees will outbid them.

  7. MadmanTX 2 years ago

    Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs etc can offer $400mil for a year or whatever of Tanaka, but he’s going to choose a winning team, a good environment and no state income tax. That’s the Rangers all the way everyday.

    • Osiris Torres 2 years ago

      state income argument is overrated…highly doubt Darvish would’ve picked Arlington if he had a choice.

      • drwheelock 2 years ago

        That’s the point he didn’t have a ‘choice’!

      • bhambravesfan 2 years ago

        yeah when state income is at 8% on 120,000,000 he has to pay 9.6MM. I think it makes about a 10MM dollar difference. I’m pretty sure New York’s is higher than that. Add in a place like Seattle is cheaper place to live and closer to home and yes, I think it matters.

        • Daniel 2 years ago

          I would just like to point something out to everyone. In the U.S., a professional player on a team sport is considered an employee of the team. The player is then taxed based on where the income is earned. The accepted compliance is that you prorate your income based on how many games you play in each state.

          So there are two things to get from this:

          1. The calculation to compare the state income tax for each team is not easy or quick.

          2. Because you don’t always get the full weight of your team’s home state’s tax, the playing field is slightly leveled.

          Example: a player on LAA will have to pay slightly more than half of his state income taxes to CA depending on days off (home games and vs. OAK, LAD, and other interleague), but the rest of the divisional games are income-taxless states: Texas and Washington.

        • LazerTown 2 years ago

          But you still end up paying income taxes in other states when it isn’t a home game.

          Readjust for that and it isn’t quite as attractive, it is less than a million a year. Tax rates are important, but at that salary he can afford to be where he wants to be.

          Kind of like the way many many people that would love to be in California if it was cheaper. Not saying that Texas doesn’t have many great places, but sometimes money isn’t everything, and many 25 yo people do not dream of living in Texas.

    • CDADodgers 2 years ago

      He would be here on a Visa for work, he would be in a different tax bracket all together.

      • Ferrariman 2 years ago

        I’m not sure how Texas works, but in Illinois i know it is you pay income taxes to the area where you earned your “income”(Texas)…not where your residential zipcode is (err..Japan).

        • Ferrariman 2 years ago

          or file taxes for both locations, taxes are always a messy process. Its never so cut and dry.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          Technically both the citizenship country and the United States can claim taxes, however most countries have agreements so people aren’t getting double taxed. Same with States. Even if you earn income out of Illinois if you’re an Illinois resident you still pay taxes on it and you can pay taxes to another state but you get credited with the taxes you’ve paid in another state.

          • Ferrariman 2 years ago

            so in another words…no one is correct.

          • docmilo5 2 years ago

            You have it right Ferrariman. It’s messy but the accountants have to figure out what players get paid for each game and they pay taxes in most of the states they play in accordingly. It comes down to the 81 games you play at home that affects your state income tax if you have one. Washington does not but we have the highest taxes on everything else. Gas tax, employment taxes, etc.

    • jjs91 2 years ago

      The rangers are a winning team all day everyday?

  8. Jonathan 2 years ago

    I can see the Blue Jays o M’s getting him

  9. jamman 2 years ago

    I see no reason why Arizona wouldn’t have a shot this has made it an even playing field now so no longer are the big market clubs just a given anymore. ARIZONA has been scouting Tanaka for month’s in Japan

    • Charlie Burns 2 years ago

      They thing is, every other team has been scouting him aggressively too. I bet even the Astros are thinking about throwing out a posting bid and offer up possible contract.

    • Charlie Burns 2 years ago

      They thing is, every other team has been scouting him aggressively too. I bet even the Astros are thinking about throwing out a posting bid and offer up possible contract.

  10. ShaneRedsFan 2 years ago

    I see the Yankees signing him but I hope the Cubs do just so I can go watch him pitch when they come to Cincinnati!

    • JoeCroninAndRonSanto 2 years ago

      You, Shane, are the true meaning of a baseball fan. Most fans wouldn’t want a potential ace to stroll into the arms of a division opponent.

    • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

      Baseball fan first!

    • RIYankeeGuy 2 years ago

      Classy post and more noble than I sir. Still, an easier comment to make with the state of the Cubs as is. I wonder how’d you feel if the Cardinals were the ones with heavy interest in the potential phenom.

  11. James F 2 years ago

    I voted Other because I think it’ll either be between the Tigers and Yankee’s.

    • Jeff Miller 2 years ago

      Why would the Tigers spend $100M+ to sign Tanaka when they’ve gotta worry about extending a proven star pitcher in Max Scherzer?

      • James F 2 years ago

        Because they could still trade Scherzer who they should’ve traded instead of Fister.

        • Jeff Miller 2 years ago

          Sure they could trade Scherzer, but why would a team that has been to 3 straight LCS trade a big time proven SP and then spend $100M+ on a guy who has never thrown a pitch in the big leagues? As highly touted as Tanaka is, it’s a big step up from the NPB to MLB.

          • James F 2 years ago

            They have like 3 players that cost more than some teams’ payrolls and when Scherzer becomes a free agent, there’s a good chance he’ll be paid more than what Tanaka will get. Technically a free agent, something like this usually never happens. Young and good and although Wins are not the greatest indication of a good pitcher, 24 and 0.

            Obviously Tanaka has not pitched in the majors but he knows how to pitch. (Most likely already know this but has to be said again) Good velocity, good command, low walk rate, step below Darvish in terms of stuff but the difference between the two of them is that Tanaka is a strike thrower. It’s difficult to say he won’t be good in the majors, especially with that splitter and a good comparison in Kuroda. Scherzer can get the Tigers set up for the future if they trade him. Some extra money to spend and prospects to go with it (Which the Tigers lack and could cripple them if Scherzer is extended). Finally, win some more LCS.

            Anyways, I’m calling it a night.

          • Jeff Miller 2 years ago

            Scherzer will likely get more than Tanaka will if he hits the open market because he’s a known commodity. You know what you’re gonna get from Scherzer for the most part. Tanaka could be the next Hiroki Kuroda. He also might be the next Hideki Irabu or somewhere in the middle like Hideo Nomo.

            That’s a huge risk trading a guy who just won a Cy Young for prospects and then replacing him with a complete unknown for $100M+.

            I’d rather spend $130M or so to retain Scherzer than spend $120M+ (including posting fee) for a guy who might be something.

      • bobbleheadguru 2 years ago

        That is exactly the point. Scherzer may be unsignable. Why not give LESS money to Tanaka than Scherzer, to keep the window open (with Verlander and Sanchez) after Scherzer leaves?

        • Jeff Miller 2 years ago

          For some teams, many teams, it makes sense to splurge on Tanaka. For the Tigers, who are already one of the best teams in baseball, it doesn’t make sense to sign Tanaka if it means parting with Scherzer. Tanaka is a complete unknown while Scherzer is capable of winning a Cy Young and dominating the best offenses in the league. Why spend $120M+ (including the posting fee) for Tanaka when you could spend a bit more to keep the proven player?

          • James F 2 years ago

            Think about it this way, long term contracts (Age, amount, length, etc) in bulk. The Tigers will have to pay Verlander, most importantly, 28 million in 2015 through 2019, Anibal Sanchez, and Miguel Cabrera who they’ll need to worry about soon. If they extend Scherzer, they’re going to most likely pay him for more declining years than prime years. On top of that, they have all these contracts along with some of Prince Fielders money owed to him. They could become the next Philadelphia Phillies. They signed Rollins, Lee, Papelbon, Howard to these ridiculous contracts, that it’s crippling them.

            Yes, the Tigers are a good team right now but they also have another ace locked up for a long time (I noticed Verlander threw more change ups in his career in 2013 and less curveballs). If Tanaka doesn’t work out, bummer, but the Tigers will at least have some prospects, regardless of Scherzer only having 1 year left on his contract. Some team will pay a lot for a Cy Young winner who pitched well in the playoffs. (A trade that comes to mind, Cliff Lee to Texas). The Diamondbacks really want an ace (reunion?) and they have a lot of pitching.

          • Jeff Miller 2 years ago

            I get what you’re saying, I just completely disagree with a WS contender trading a top level talent who will become expensive for prospects and replace him with an equally expensive player who hasn’t thrown a pitch against a MLB line-up. It would make more sense to sign Scherzer long-term, trade Anibal Sanchez for prospects and use that money to sign Tanaka.

          • James F 2 years ago

            Maybe but keep in mind, if a team trades for Scherzer, that team will give him a qualifying offer. As a result, that team can replace whatever prospect, be it a top prospect, within the next few years. Also, I don’t want to argue with you about how good Scherzer but he has only had one elite season and his value will most likely not get any higher. With that being said, Anibal Sanchez might not get as good of a return and Tanaka will cost maybe 1-4 million less (Just guessing) than Sanchez. I don’t think many Scott Boras clients have been extended before free agency. I’m more focused on the future of the club, not just 2014. If the Tigers don’t do anything with the large contracts they’re paying their players now, they’ll most likely be in full rebuild mode in 2016 with not many prospects to show for.

            Also, I don’t know if Scherzer signed another 1 year deal yet but chances are, it’s going to be double what he made in 2013.

    • EightMileCats 2 years ago

      No No chance we’re in on him. Tigers don’t need another SP and everything we’ve done with off season shows that we are at or near our spending limit.

      • James F 2 years ago

        Do you think the Tigers will get better by extending Scherzer with their thin farm system?

        • Jeff Miller 2 years ago

          The only way the Tigers get anything of value in return for Scherzer is if he agrees to an extension and with Scott Boras as his agent that’s highly unlikely. Teams don’t fork over 3-4 prospects for players with 1-year of control anymore.

          • Lionel Bossman Craft 2 years ago

            It seems teams are asking for a kings ransom for starting pitcher’s now no matter how much control is left. Pitchers seem to get more in return then position players.

        • EightMileCats 2 years ago

          I think Max is better than Tanaka. Tanaka is likely a 2-3 in the league while Max has been an ace the past few seasons.
          That said, not sure we even resign him. You may see Robbie Ray in Max’s spot next year… And that would be a downgrade

        • EightMileCats 2 years ago

          I think Max is better than Tanaka. Tanaka is likely a 2-3 in the league while Max has been an ace the past few seasons.
          That said, not sure we even resign him. You may see Robbie Ray in Max’s spot next year… And that would be a downgrade

    • bobbleheadguru 2 years ago

      Interesting. Makes sense. Scherzer may be unsignable. They would spend LESS money on Tanaka than a Scherzer extension.

    • Converge241 2 years ago

      Mariners should be listed IMO (re: OTHER)

  12. skrockij89 2 years ago

    The “other” team is the Mariners. Don’t count them out.

    • Jonathan Barlock 2 years ago

      Agreed, Seattle is closest to Japan. Fellow teammate Iwakuma is on the team and the Mariners still have a bit of wiggle room left .

    • Benjamin Caspersen 2 years ago

      They also have the money and Seattle is the most popular team in Japan also he looked up to Kuma

  13. JP 2 years ago

    I’d love it if the Jays surprise us all and get him – but based on AA and Gibbons repeatedly saying the trade route is more likely than FA I’m not holding my breath.

    • Jeremy 2 years ago

      He said he would be actively involved with Tanaka.

    • Jason J. Shaw 2 years ago

      Considering not much is being said connecting Toronto with Tanaka, I’m expecting a snipe attempt to scoop him.

  14. Soxfan1120 2 years ago

    No mention of the Boston Red Sox as a possibility?That would give them the ability to trade Peavy and Dempster.

    • erik moseley 2 years ago

      I agree. I see sox mari ers yanks or dodgers. I think havj g a Japanese player or two will help greatly

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      Yeah Red Sox could be a sleeper in this.

  15. ConstantinusMagnus 2 years ago

    Are the same people who guaranteed that Robinson Cano would never sign with the Seattle Mariners the same who dismiss the Arizona Diamondbacks’ chances at landing Masahiro Tanaka? Have some humility people.

    • drwheelock 2 years ago

      And the same people that are also dismissing the Seattle Mariners now on Tanaka too!

    • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

      Probably yeah but I really do not see anything wrong with that line of thinking. It is just speculation on their part and I might add that I really do not see Tanaka signing with the D-Backs, however, their money is as good as everyone elses though.

    • Trock 2 years ago

      I think people realize that a ton of teams have the payroll to add him. It just all comes down to who they personally think will get him. More so they hope their team gets him

    • acerulli1 2 years ago

      Why do you take it so personally? Everyone has their opinion, and, judging by the comments posted here, most of those opinions are very well reasoned. And it isn’t as if MLBTradeRumors asked us all to handicap the entire league’s chances…we were asked to pick the team we think most likely. And while some people may point out their reasons for not ranking the Diamondbacks or Mariners #1, doesn’t mean they are dismissing any chance those teams have. They are simply saying that, from their point of view, those destinations are LESS LIKELY than the Yankees, or the Dodgers, or whomever.

      When I voted on the poll, I voted the Yankees. That is who I deem MOST LIKELY to land Tanaka. Nowhere did I postulate that ONLY THE YANKEES have any chance. If I were to handicap multiple teams, I would probably have the Yankees as the most likely landing spot, Dodgers/Mariners in a dead heat for second most likely, with the D’Backs next simply because Kevin Towers has been pretty transparent about his desire. I still don’t think Arizona would offer a more enticing opportunity than the Yankees, Dodgers or M’s, though.

      And I will say it once again…if we all agreed all the time, baseball conversation would be all kinds of boring, and the off-season would probably feel twice as long.

    • anon_coward 2 years ago

      LA has a large Japanese population. the M’s are owned by Nintendo.
      why would someone who doesn’t speak any english go to play baseball in arizona? He’ll go somewhere where he can go out and do things on his own

  16. Tim Bowers 2 years ago

    Mariners are getting him, Japan owns the Mariners.

    • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

      True that is why they got Darvish, Matsui, and Dice-K, simply because the country of Japan owns the Mariners.

      • Benjamin Caspersen 2 years ago

        Look at the mariners history they’ve gotten a majority of the Good Japanese players not all, but majority

      • docmilo5 2 years ago

        That’s not the case. The reason those other teams got those players was because they went crazy on the posting fee. That’s not an issue anymore. There isn’t a team in MLB that shouldn’t offer up the $20 million now. It’s all about where the kid wants to play. Every team in major league baseball can afford Tanaka. MLB is loaded with cash.

        • stl_cards16 2 years ago

          So then every team could afford to go crazy on a posting fee. The total dollars aren’t going to be any less to sign Tanaka now than it would have been under the old system.

          • docmilo5 2 years ago

            MLB owners are very wealthy people. They can afford to finance stadiums and pay for the players they want. But, why finance stadiums when you can get local governments to do it? Most teams can afford to spend large on a player or two. Teams like the Yankees, Rangers, Angels, Dodgers and Tigers can afford to pay for many.
            A funny thing happens at major league stadiums (I guess that means Tampa doesn’t have a major league stadium) when there is a quality team. People show up and buy beers and nachos. An extra 8,000 fans in the seats every night for 81 nights pays for a super star.
            Now that the posting fee is $20,000,000, if a MLB team can’t afford that they are cooking their books and skimming money off the top of the organization.

          • stl_cards16 2 years ago

            I have no idea what any of that has to do with anything.

          • docmilo5 2 years ago

            Merry Christmas!

          • acerulli1 2 years ago

            So true. I think the point that most fans are missing is that the new system really doesn’t limit the amount of money teams are going to spend, it really just ensures that far more of the money is going directly to the player, and far less to his old team.

            Everyone could go and post the $20MM, but the majority of the teams in baseball still either can’t or won’t compete with the likes of the Yankees and Dodgers in a straight up bidding war, which is still what is going to occur. The only real change is that the Rakuten Golden Eagles are going to get hosed on that bidding war (comparatively speaking, that is), and Tanaka himself will benefit more.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Point is for a team like the Yankees it’s going to add about 4 million a year to his contract because of the Luxury tax issues. Dodgers would probably pay an additional 3 million and just about any other team will be unaffected. So really it gives the smaller big market teams a better chance. Doesn’t help the small market teams.

  17. Sorry boys he’s coming to the Rays.

    • Aron 2 years ago

      lol plus 1 for the humor

    • docmilo5 2 years ago

      The Rays have the money to do it and keep Price. They just have to keep crying poor to try and get a new stadium.

  18. bernbabybern 2 years ago

    Kind of odd to mention that Close is Teixeira’s agent but not mention that Close is Jeter’s agent.

    • Charlie Wilmoth 2 years ago

      I meant to. Not sure where that went. I’ll add that in. Thanks.

    • docmilo5 2 years ago

      Someone on here said Close is Kershaw’s and Greinke’s agent, too. Cot’s says Kershaw’s agent is someone else, though.

  19. AJ 2 years ago

    I don’t think the Angels will give up the chance after watching Texas and Darvish. Not to say it’s a foregone conclusion that Tanaka = Darvish, pretty unlikely actually, but with pitching the #1 need I think Art will fork out whatever it takes.

    • Charlie Burns 2 years ago

      I think the issue is Arte is a really frugal person and I doubt he is going to waste money going over the luxury tax to take a gamble on Tanaka. I think the Angels are set for the time being with Skaggs and Santiago holding down the lower parts of the rotation.

  20. Steven Russell 2 years ago

    I’m thinking Yankees mainly, I could see Seattle based on location, Japanese presence and Kuma being there. I don’t think Texas will spend the money on him but its a great fit with Darvish already being there and having success with the posting process and transition recently, plus they work out together in the offseason apparently and Texas has to have had major publicity over there the last few years based on Darvish and the world series appearances. I’d bet on the Yankees.

    I’d like to see a team like the Cubs or Backs get him, just to throw a twist in it.

    • northsfbay 2 years ago

      Yankees, Cubs, D’Backs are the favorites.

      • AlexanderMaunu 2 years ago

        The cubs and dbacks are fat from favorites. They have zero added appeal for a Japanese player.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          I’d say the biggest contract offer which the Cubs are expected to offer, is plenty of added appeal. Add in being the face of a team in a major market and a chance to end the longest championship drought in sports. They appealed plenty to Fujikawa last year, who I believe declined higher offers. (sure he got injured and looks like he’s not working out but point is the same regardless.)

  21. asdf asdf 2 years ago

    how does the negotiating part work? say, 5 teams put up the $20mil, does he get to negotiate with all 5 teams, or he has to choose one team and then negotiate the terms? and if they can’t agree on a contract, can he renegotiate with another team?

    • northsfbay 2 years ago

      The team with the highest posting fee gets the rights to Tanaka. If more than 1 team posts the limit of 20 mil, Tanaka can negotiate with those teams. If he can’t negotiate a contract, he plays in Japan and he can be posted again the next year.

      • DieHardMsFan 2 years ago

        You are correct here. That said Tanaka is a free agent next year and therefore will be free to sign with any team he wanted (Japanese teams only post players that are under contract).

  22. rrbass27 2 years ago

    Other should be “Mystery Team”

  23. James Exercise 2 years ago

    He is going to be a New Angeles Dodgekee Angel Mariner and pitch for four teams simultaneously, traveling across the country trying to please four organizations, each paying him a 100 MM each, while simultaneously filming a documentary about the whole process, becoming the first multiorgnizational pitcher in history.

  24. ken conner 2 years ago

    Dodger Blue

  25. jhawk1000 2 years ago

    Has anyone given any thought to the Nationals being the “Dark Horse” team? They have some money and could be real aggressive with trying to get him with the moves they’ve already made. A rotation of Stras, Gio, Zim, Fister and Tanaka would be a serious force in the NL East for the next few years!!!

    • Charlie Burns 2 years ago

      The Nationals would be better off using what money they have left (a pretty decent amount from all signs) on filling in a few holes in the lineup here and there rather than trying to fill in nonexistent ones in arguably one of the best rotations in the entire league.

    • Charlie Burns 2 years ago

      The Nationals would be better off using what money they have left (a pretty decent amount from all signs) on filling in a few holes in the lineup here and there rather than trying to fill in nonexistent ones in arguably one of the best rotations in the entire league.

  26. iwill116 2 years ago

    Watch the Twins get him.. #dreamer

  27. Marc Anderson 2 years ago

    Although it may be a little more than wishful thinking, I think the Rangers will sign him. With Darvish and Tanaka they could have a huge presence in Japan and pull in a lot of money through merchandising, etc. As mentioned on this site before, they can sell the naming rights to the stadium to drum up more cash (and hopefully do so a little more responsibly than last time, what a cluster that turned out to be). I would hate to see them trade Rios to make salary room, but I understand the business side of that transaction and he would be easy to move. Besides, they have Choice and Beltre Jr to hold down whichever corner Choo doesn’t play.

    The only thing that would worry me is the ego’s of Darvish and Tanaka and whether they could get along. I really don’t know much about them as far as that goes, but, after he left, the great Koji said Darvish was a diva and didn’t give him proper respect. Who knows if it’s true.

    And I gotta kind of agree with ShaneRedsFan, if the Rangers don’t get him I hope a division mate does. Angels would be great. Let them commit more payroll plus I would get to see him live a couple of times a year.

    • Kyle 2 years ago

      It’s odd that Koji was the only one to think of Darvish as a diva. He seems to get along great with every other teammate (outside of AJP).
      The Rangers have the money to get Tanaka without trading Rios, Holland, Harrison, and/or Ogando.

  28. MisterBill 2 years ago

    If you believe the NYC sportscasters (2 that I’ve heard so far), it’s a given that he’ll be a Yankee. Pretty amusing to hear their reports.

    • Croagnut 2 years ago

      Its also a given that Arod is suspended for all of ’14.

    • Robert Mango 2 years ago

      The only given is that despite the lower attendance, the salary tax, the revenue sharing, and their payroll, they still made money last year. Arod being suspended is a moot point, it just means they’ll keep $20 something million more if he’s gone for the year.

  29. I was down on the Angels’ chances for awhile, but it makes sense the more you think about it. Tanaka’s signing has little to do with keeping Trout since he’s unlikely to agree to any extension at all. By then all of their big contracts except for Pujols are off the books and they’ll face stiff competition for him anyway.

    Arte knows that this team could really use another big starter. He might be the one to seriously overpay on Tanaka. Yankees probably should as well given that Sabathia is a question mark and Kuroda’s days are numbered even if he pitches well this year.

    • Charlie Burns 2 years ago

      If the Angels cannot afford or develop the stomach to pay Garza (yes, they have been connected to him, but nothing has come about yet), how would they be able to sign Tanaka?

      • They have the money to sign either one. It’s a matter or going over the luxury tax for the right reasons. I don’t think any team likes Garza’s salary demands nor is he is the ace he thinks he is. Tanaka’s a different story and the kind of player who would bring both stellar stats and massive merchandising opportunities.

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      How do you figure Trout signing an extension is unlikely? He’s a top priority of the Angels front office.

      • He had no incentive too. He’ll shatter FA records when he hits free agency. The Angels would have to commit 200 million to lock him up. You think he’ll sign for anything less right now?

  30. Ryan J 2 years ago

    Surprised the Cubs aren’t being credited higher. They have plenty of money they could technically spend so getting outbid wouldn’t be the problem. The only problem is convincing Tanaka to come play for a losing team.

    • brian310 2 years ago

      I could see him wanting to live in Chicago. Best city in the country and Wrigley isn’t a bad ballpark. Plus, they can give him a 6-7 year deal and could at least be competitive possibly for the final 3-4 years of it

      • AlexanderMaunu 2 years ago

        Why would he choose a team with no offense or hope of winning? Chicago isn’t even on the top ten list of best US cities. It is plagued by crime and corruption. Not to mention their stadium is falling apart and will require 100 million plus to modernize.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          You’ve never been to Chicago have you? Crime is only bad in certain areas and for the most part it’s not any more violent than many other cities when you factor in population.

  31. ChrisFromBothell 2 years ago

    The Cubs and the Mariners can make a ‘soft landing’ argument. The Dodgers, Yankees, possibly the Angels can make a ‘living in a major metro area’ lifestyle argument. Rangers, well, I don’t know how much of a pull it is to say “Darvish… and um, our farm seems good… probably can be contenders for the next 3 or 4 years…”. DBacks, I don’t know at all.

    I personally think it could be the M’s because they can pitch it this way: if he goes to the M’s and helps them get a championship, he’s a legend; if he does well on the M’s but the M’s do poorly as usual, they’ll trade him to a contender and he will get playoff baseball anyway; if he’s terrible on the M’s, well, they don’t exactly have a big media spotlight or big expectation there so he can hide out in relative obscurity and he’s still gonna get paid anyway.

    The Cubs’ pitch would be similar but the M’s are about 2 players closer to relevance than the Cubs. (Which puts the number of players that make the M’s relevant at about 4, but still.)

    • irish0625 2 years ago

      Chicago isn’t a major metro area?

    • irish0625 2 years ago

      Chicago isn’t a major metro area?

    • sourbob 2 years ago

      I agree with the assessment entirely right up until the part about how “the M’s are about 2 players closer to relevance than the Cubs.” I think there’s definitely a way to look at their respective immediate rosters and grade the M’s charitably and the Cubs uncharitably and get that, yeah.

      But personally, I’d rather roll the dice on Rizzo than Smoak and Castro than the various M’s shortstops. And while Cano is a terrific player to have on hand and Walker and Paxton and company are an exciting class of prospects, I’d still rather have the Cubs’ slightly deeper and considerably more position player-heavy (and thus less volatile) farm system.

      • AlexanderMaunu 2 years ago

        How do you figure? The cubs have traded away every player that is mlb proven and are in the middle of a painful rebuild. Since tanaka gets to pick his destination the cubs aren’t even in the top 25…

        • sourbob 2 years ago

          I could answer that. But since it’s been explained in any number of articles why the Cubs might make sense as a destination for Tanaka and you clearly didn’t read those, I’m not sure why you’d read my comment either. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ll try anyway…

          The Cubs have a phenomenal farm system that’s within 2 years or so of starting to pay off. They play in a huge market in a city with a not insubstantial Japanese community. With comparatively few large commitments, they can easily afford to make a huge bid for Tanaka, figuring it will be worth it if they can contend by 2016. Since they don’t expect to contend in 2014, Tanaka could get his feet wet slowly.

          Bear in mind, these are widely disseminated arguments, not stuff I made up personally.

  32. Converge241 2 years ago

    My thoughts on most likely:
    1. Yankees due to the ultra spend mode that has been engaged
    2. Mariners due to their efforts, and his relationship/looking up to Iwakuma
    3. Diamondbacks

    My dark horse of a team that I havent seen mentioned personally? The Mets.

    Really EVERY team should put in the bid, only responsible if sign him, at worst helps drive up the demand perception.

    • Greej1938 2 years ago

      Well Said Converge. I agree as well, Mets could be a player in this game that no one is talking about.

    • Robert Mango 2 years ago

      I don’t see the Mets as a realistic option at this point. They don’t have any more money really to spend, Certainly not the type of contract this guy is going to command. Tanaka is not going to sign for $50 million. Min price on the contract’s going to be $100 million.

      • Converge241 2 years ago

        I could see that but wanted to look at whose name never came out that could be an out of left field. I dont see them as realistic in comparison to the others.

      • Converge241 2 years ago

        I could see that but wanted to look at whose name never came out that could be an out of left field. I dont see them as realistic in comparison to the others.

  33. slashieboy . 2 years ago

    If he wants to look really great he will sign in the NL. His stats playing for the Yankees will not look nearly as good.

  34. Randy Jay Pena 2 years ago

    Why does some people think the Sox have a chance at getting this guy? I’m just saying they are going to get outbid.

  35. Emily Rutzen 2 years ago

    I’m kind of surprised that “other” is the number 2 choice. Is that all people who are saying Seattle?

    • Kyle 2 years ago

      I don’t get why Seattle isn’t an option on there anyway.

    • Vegandork 2 years ago

      I mean, Seattle and every other team is pretty likely versus any team up there.

  36. 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

    • Robert Mango 2 years ago

      so i guess if he wants to pitch in the postseason he’ll go to no one? Considering u said he won’t to the yanks based on that reason, and they’ve missed the playoffs twice in almost 20 years, there’s not one team who’s even close to that! And the last time they missed the playoffs and went on a spending spree like this, they won the WS. And please show come evidence of him saying he wants to pitch on west coast, out of every rumor i’ve seen here and other sites, not 1 said that.

      • dkudzin 2 years ago

        Yankee of the last 20 years are not the yankees of 2014 and beyond. There are at least 7 other AL teams better than the yankees right now as we speak. Plus yankees are old. And you can find Tanaka’s statement with a google search.

        • Robert Mango 2 years ago

          so then using the closer to home logic (which i still haven’t found) he’ll stay in Japan. They were going to make him the highest paid pitcher ever in Japan. Guess that really doesn’t have much to do with it, i’m guessing the highest bidder will win this one. No matter how anyone wants to spin it, if the Dodgers and Yankees want him bad enough, he’ll be wearing light or dark blue, depending on which offers more money.

        • Robert Mango 2 years ago

          also, if you’re going to stay on the west coast, why would you annouce that? could cost millions if the Dodgers or Angels think he won’t go to the Yankees.

      • dkudzin 2 years ago

        Yankee of the last 20 years are not the yankees of 2014 and beyond. There are at least 7 other AL teams better than the yankees right now as we speak. Plus yankees are old. And you can find Tanaka’s statement with a google search.

    • AlexanderMaunu 2 years ago

      Any of the western division teams have a chance. The poll should read dodgers, giants, mariners, angels.

  37. Joe 2 years ago

    Can “other” be the Cincinnati Reds? They secretly snuck in a stole Chapman from all those teams a few years back! Could it be why they haven’t resigned Bronson and haven’t even started to talk to Bailey’s agent? Is Bailey on the verge of getting traded? We shall see!!

    • Vegandork 2 years ago

      By this logic, so can the White Sox. The truth is he’s going to a larger market team that’s already a contender, which eliminates both.

  38. doctor8ball 2 years ago

    Blue Jays… Arguably the richest team in MLB… Needs a frontline starter, missed out on Darvish, has done squat so far this off season.

    • David Hrutka 2 years ago

      yea i can see that…only thing stopping the jays is if the owners want to spend that kind of money on an unknown…big asian population in toronto which would make him comfortable along with 2 japanese players in kawasaki and ohka could help him with a smoother transition plus the language barrier

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      How are the Blue Jays even close to arguably the richest team in baseball?

  39. doctor8ball 2 years ago

    Blue Jays… Arguably the richest team in MLB… Needs a frontline starter, missed out on Darvish, has done squat so far this off season.

  40. The easy answer is of course teams like the Yankees or Dodgers, both of which have the money to get Tanaka. However I think the Mariners have to be the favorites at this point or at least one of them. Also you cannot rule out the Cubs. Kris Bryant will likely debut this year and Theo is close to bringing them out of the dumpster. With the Brewers only a shade of their 2011 selves and the Reds and Pirates due for some regression, the Cubs have a window if they make the right moves. Now the Cardinals are still at the top of their class and are unlikely to be unseated next season.

    Also you can’t count out the Rangers. I feel like they may surprise people.

    • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

      True enough, but it’s going to come down to need. The Dodgers’ rotation is close to locked down already. They can justify Tanaka only if they don’t expect Billingsley or Beckett to contribute this season, or they want a hedge against the outside possibility of not being able to extend Kershaw. The timing for the Dodgers would have been better if Tanaka was posted a year from now. The Yankees have the more immediate need.

      • Dodgers.714 2 years ago

        Kershaw will be a dodger for life… No doubt in that. He won’t leave and dodgers will give him money.. Billingsley wouldn’t be back until June or early July.. And Beckett can be traded if dodgers ate his final year of contract. Tanaka would slot in at number 3 with ryu and haren behind him.

        • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

          I’d like to think you are right, but they’ve come a long way without an extension agreement, so that 100% certainty isn’t what it used to be. No matter when Billingsley makes his reappearance, they will still need to find a place on the roster for him. Likewise, Beckett is worthless on the trade market unless he’s been pitching for enough time in the Majors to show that he’s not through. If not, they’d be forced to release him. Adding Tanaka to the mix only complicates matters further. Like last year the Dodgers start with too many pitchers under contract and too few under team control.

    • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

      True enough, but it’s going to come down to need. The Dodgers’ rotation is close to locked down already. They can justify Tanaka only if they don’t expect Billingsley or Beckett to contribute this season, or they want a hedge against the outside possibility of not being able to extend Kershaw. The timing for the Dodgers would have been better if Tanaka was posted a year from now. The Yankees have the more immediate need.

    • AlexanderMaunu 2 years ago

      How are unproven prospects and 1 year players close to contenion? Or even the top half of the climb out of the dumpster? The cubs are wish full thinkers and heavy spenders on marketing. They have been spouting this ad campaign that we are about to be the best team in baseball and they can’t even compete in their easy division.

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, Rangers, and Mariners are probably the top 5.

  41. Rizzo44 2 years ago

    The cubs don’t have a chance to get tanaka. They can bid but I doubt he wants to be on a losing team for the first 3 years on his contract

    • Greej1938 2 years ago

      Maybe more ha

    • Vegandork 2 years ago

      This was my thinking. They can say they’re going after him all they want, there’s probably 25 other teams with a better chance.

      • Cubstein 2 years ago

        Do you realize the depth of the Cubs farm right now? It’s not going to be 3 years before they are competitive, especially if Tanaka comes over and is as good as advertised. With Tanaka this year they might be close to .500. Tanka’s contract is likely going to be 7 years give or take. Cubs give him a chance to compete 6 of those 7 years. Not many teams That will be able to say that to him. Not to mention he comes in as the face of the team. Has the chance to end the longest WS drought. If he’s part of a team that ends the drought he’ll be immortalized in this city. Look at Banks, Santo, Dawson and Ryno. They haven’t won diddly for this team and are immortalized. Also, He has a large market to capitalize on for endorsements.

        Put that together with the fact the Cubs have about as much spending room in baseball with a very good chance at being the highest bidder. Cubs have also not made any major moves, likely because they’ve been holding back for this opportunity and they need a reason to sell this season to Cubs fans, otherwise attendance and viewership will continue to dwindle. (WGN likely offers more on the renegotiated-contract with Tanaka secured.)

        For those thinking he’s only going to a team centered on win now. He’s not Exiting his prime. He’s not signing a one or two year deal. He just turned 25 and is still several years away from his prime.

        • AlexanderMaunu 2 years ago

          Unproven minor leaguers are never bankable. Robinson Cano wasn’t even a top prospect and he is one of top paid players now. Saying your minor league system is the best doesn’t mean anything. They don’t really have prospect depth because minor league success never translates to mlb success. Every time a player gets called up teams are rolling the dice. It all comes down to marketing and convincing your fan base you are close to being a good team. Especially when your team is one of the worst in baseball. Not to mention Chicago has a terrible GM.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Cano wasn’t but plenty of others have been ranked that go onto great success. I don’t expect every player to work out but we have several that have potential to work out to be impact players. Most playoff teams are built around a core of young prospects developed in the farm system and Cubs have a better chance of having that be them than all but maybe 1 or 2 teams.

            I’m not banking on one player but the depth of the Cubs org as a whole.

        • Vegandork 2 years ago

          I wonder what team Cubstein roots for?

          Minor league systems are great to add talent to existing teams, but building from scratch is really hard and can take decades. The Royals and Pirates, for instance, have had top five teams minor league systems for years. Both cracked .500 for recently after many many many years. Most pundits think the Pirates won the Wild Card with a little luck and will regress back. It’s extremely hard to do it that way. Only a few GM’s ever have, and only two teams have been relatively sustainable with that method (the rays and a’s).

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            I wouldn’t call what the Pirates did pre-2008 building from scratch. And I don’t consider what the Royals have done rebuilding either. Yeah, I’m not hiding the fact I’m a Cubs fan and I’ve been keeping track of the minors with excitement. One thing the Cubs can do that teams like Royals and Pirates can’t is sign players like Tanaka, and Soler, having by far the best international salary expenditures, while Houston stood for the most part on the sidelines watching the Cubs do it.

            You know what teams with built up farm systems can also do? Turn around quickly. Not saying they are doing that this year but look at the rays. Friedman had the exact same record his first two years as the Cubs and went from 66 wins to 97 wins overnight without adding any major free agents. Again, not happening in 2014, but be ready in 2015 for a fast turnaround if 2014 looks as bleak as last. If not we may approach .500 this year depending on some players performance.

          • Vegandork 2 years ago

            The Royals and Pirates both had much more highly regarded systems than the current Cubs farm system, which has a few pieces that may be major league regulars but as far as depth goes is an absolute joke of a system, mostly due to terrible drafting in the Epstein era. If the Cubs are going to turn it around, it’s not going to be by their current minors, it’s going to be by buying their way back in with free agents in a few years and hoping two or three of their minor leaguers stick at the same time. In all likelihood, Solar will probably be the only piece that does.

            Your comment on international spending shows your lack of knowledge outside your own system. The Pirates have spent tons of money on international free agents, and have been incredibly aggressive all over the world.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Terrible drafting? You realize that most project them as a top 2-3 system right? They have guys that aren’t in the top ten that would likely be top 3 guys prior to the Theoyer era.

            Sol[e]r is the 5th ranked Cubs prospect right now per BA. Baez, Bryant, Almora and Edwards all rank higher. In addition to that Vizcaino, Olt, Johnson, Vogelbach, Candelario and Alcantara could all arguably make the top 100 prospects this year.

            Who are these huge names the Pirates have been signing on the international market. Cubs signed arguably the top two amateur players plus more. They just inked another top 25 player last week despite already being well past the maximum penalties.

            And when exactly were the Pirates ranked higher than the Cubs current system?

          • Vegandork 2 years ago

            Say the word “arguably” a few more times, and then realize you need to put down the kool-aid.

            Soler is really the only can’t miss prospect the Cubs have. All these guys have ceilings that are pretty good, but Soler’s the only one with a floor that says for sure he’ll be a major leaguer.

            The Pirates have been ranked highly numerous times the last two decades. In fact, right now, some people (like mlb’s Jonathon Mayo) have them as the number one system right now.

            The point I was trying to get you to realize is there’s five teams having the top five systems EVERY YEAR. In the last decade, only two teams have built a sustainable team the way the Cubs are attempting. Two. And they did it with a ton more depth in their minor league systems. Most of those guys above are going to miss. That’s the way it goes. You need to have a lot more guys at that level to do what the Cubs are attempting. It has almost no chance of succeeding.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Who would that be. I see a lot more teams in the playoffs developed off of a core of home grown talent than I do not. You keep giving conclusions but give no actual fact.

            Soler spent most of the season on the DL and was reported as being gassed in AFL, which wouldn’t be unusual if he hadn’t been resting the last several months of the season. If anything he might be the highest risk of the big 4/5 prospects.

            Baez. is the first player in 17 seasons to hit 30 doubles, 30 HRs, 20 SB, and hit 100 RBIs.

            Bryant hit more HRs than any collegiate player in the last 10 years and the most ever using the new composite bats which make it harder to hit HRs. He the went on to have a monster first season and then became the MVP of the AFL. Many scouts think Bryant is MLB ready now.

            Most consider Almora to have the highest floor with a very advanced approach at the plate and he could already be an elite fielding CFer. He doesn’t have the upside as others but is almost guaranteed to be a decent regular with potential to be a fringe all-star.

            Edwards lead the minors in K/9 last year striking out 12 per 9.

            If the Pirates were rebuilding prior to 2008 why would they trade away a young 3B who already had a 30 HR season under his belt for a mediocre prospect and a utility player.

  42. Edwin Martinez 2 years ago

    It’s all fun and games until the Yankees come and spend 400+ million on all the big name free agents. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    • anon_coward 2 years ago

      i’ll be the first in line to pay $100 a ticket for the cheap seats if this happens

  43. Edictor27 2 years ago

    Yankees and dodgers got the money to spend. I would love if phillies would at least throw a bid for tanaka

  44. Joey 2 years ago

    Still confused as to why the Mariners are not listed on here. He has stated that he wants to play on the west coast, Seattle is the closest to Japan, Iwakuma is a former teammate/mentor, and Mariners still have plenty of money to spend. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the M’s sign the biggest bat in the off-season followed by the biggest pitcher then potentially trade for some bullpen/additional bats to back up Cano down the road. Maybe I’m just being hopeful, but there are MANY many reasons why Tanaka could land in a rotation with King Felix and Iwakuma in 2014.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

      There are also many reasons not to expect Tanaka to sign in Seattle:

      1) Last story I saw said Seattle was close to their budget limit.
      2) the Dodgers are on the west coast and are well position to outspend the M’s (and everyone else for that matter).
      3) Even with Cano the M’s are not the favorite in the AL West
      4) Recent bad publicity surrounding M’s front office

      P.S. SF is actually the closest MLB home stadium to japan. (granted LA, SF, Seattle are all approximately 5,000 Mi away)

      • BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

        Too bad there aren’t any MLB teams in Hawaii or Alaska, eh? Really, all the west coast cities are same distance from Japan, for all intents and purposes, and assuming being a relatively short plane ride from home matters that much to the player.

      • AlexanderMaunu 2 years ago

        San Francisco has the same payroll room the dodgers have, giants should be a favorite to sign him. They have a huge Asian population and it’s a pitchers park with an amazing rotation that needs a jolt.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          Giants are the only team in baseball right now already committed to a higher payroll this year than last, which is already higher than their previous high by 6 million. Add in filling out the remainder of the roster and arbitration players and they are out of the running for Tanaka.

          Dodgers and Angels both will have higher payrolls once all is said and done without signing Tanaka. Tanaka will really have to want that hour and a half shorter plane ride to got to any of those teams.

    • Opti-Mets-tic 2 years ago

      I was thinking the same thing. I agree with you.

  45. jmcbosox 2 years ago

    is it possible that when tanaka was quoted as saying that he wanted to play on the west coast he was intentionally setting up a bidding war between the yanks and dodgers? i know the japanese players cherish the game, would that be considered an insult to baseball if true?

    • northsfbay 2 years ago

      Not all Japanese players play on the west coast. Which teams are going high on the bidding?

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      Saying he wants to play in a region? Don’t think so. Still have to question how much he really wants to play on the west coast. All those West teams are at least very close to what they spent last year and after arbitration might already be at a higher payroll. Cubs and Yankees respectively have the most money in the MLB year over year off the books and both figure to be heavy bidders. So in order to stay west he’s going to have to take a heavy discount. And why does he want to be on the West Coast? Is it because he’s closer to home? Is the couple extra hours of flight time a couple times a year he goes back to japan going to be worth leaving millions on the table? Maybe he could justify it in Seattle because of there being no income tax in the state but California is right up there with the highest taxed states.

      • jmcbosox 2 years ago

        The point of my comment was to question if it were possible for Tanaka to imply he wanted to play solely on the west coast for the primary reason of making the Yankees feel they would need to drastically overpay for his services. By doing so he would be creating even more of a bidding war and driving up his personal salary even more. Is it possible Tanaka was saying he wanted to play on the west coast as a tactical move?

      • AlexanderMaunu 2 years ago

        The cubs aren’t even in the top ten richest baseball clubs.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          They are in the top 5, how in you’re magic land aren’t they in the top 10?

      • Jason J. Shaw 2 years ago

        Agreed, an extra hour or two on an occasional 10 hour flight hardly seems to be a deal-breaker.

  46. Jason J. Shaw 2 years ago

    Why is Toronto not on this list?

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      They are, under Other. A lot of fan bases could argue their team should be listed. These are just the teams that have seen the most connection to him. Doesn’t GM is keeping tight lipped and will attempt to swing in and sign him.

      • Jason J. Shaw 2 years ago

        Ah, it’s just the teams that have been vocal about it, not necessarily the teams that would be a reasonable fit to make a play for him.

  47. Gilford V 2 years ago

    The Seattle Mariners will deliver their 2nd shock of the offseason when they sign Tanaka.

  48. ed27 2 years ago

    The Red Sox have been gathering their resources for just this moment. I think they’ll be all in on this one.

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      Red Sox are a possibility, They’d have to break payroll records or unload payroll but I would assume that wouldn’t be a problem after winning a WS.

      • pft2 2 years ago

        They could unload 27.5 million in Peavy and Dempster and get prospects in return and still be under 189.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          They could actually sign him and still sneak in under 189 but it would be their highest payroll ever. But after winning a WS you kind of expect higher payrolls.

  49. pft2 2 years ago

    I think Seattle has a good chance if they want him. Nice pitchers park that is closest to Japan. They have the money and a low payroll, and pitching was a weakness last year after their top 2 guys. They have a Japanese pitcher around Tanakas age who can show him the ropes. No state taxes. Only thing that would make Seattle more attractive would be being in the NL and having a better team, but with Cano, Tanaka and a couple of pieces they could compete for a WC spot.

    I think Boston could blow everyone away if they wanted. They can dump Dempster and Peavy and save 27.5 million while getting a couple of prospects.

    Really comes down to how teams project him. His declining K rate worries me so I would hope any team does a thorough physical and MRI every body part before signing him.

    • MisterBill 2 years ago

      The only thing that makes me want to see the Yankees sign him is my hope that he’ll be a giant bust for them :-).

  50. Neil Fujiwara 2 years ago

    I voted for the Angels, because I am a fan of the Angels, I think he will realistically sign with a west coast team. Angels, Seattle, and Dodgers both have a Japanese connection. I think if Arte gets involved he drops another 125 million offer just because…

  51. Revery 2 years ago

    I call the Cubs jersey.

  52. Kenz aFan 2 years ago

    And I call the Nationals jersey

  53. Danski 2 years ago

    You can send me my Mariner’s jersey now.

  54. tbslim 2 years ago

    I call the Yankees jersey. But don’t send it, just buy it and burn it.

  55. Ryan J 2 years ago

    I’ll take that Cubs jersey, sir.

  56. mmiller54 2 years ago

    I call the Dbacks jersey

  57. Edward 2 years ago

    Well if we’re handing out freebies, I might as well call the Rangers jersey.

    Doesn’t hurt right?

  58. geauxbraves2000 2 years ago

    Well I can just about guarantee I won’t be getting a jersey. Not that I want him to sign with the Braves, because I don’t, but I would really like a new Braves jersey :)

  59. geauxbraves2000 2 years ago

    Well I can just about guarantee I won’t be getting a jersey. Not that I want him to sign with the Braves, because I don’t, but I would really like a new Braves jersey :)

  60. KevLagerquist 2 years ago

    might as well call the Blue Jays jersey, thats right, Blue Jays a.k.a. mystery team 😉

  61. Randy Jay Pena 2 years ago

    Well I guess I’m out of the running since I doubt the Red Sox will sign him but I would love a free Red Sox jersey if they can sign Tanaka.

  62. angelsownredsux 2 years ago

    I call the Angels and I really hope you’re a man of your word.

  63. alphabet_soup5 2 years ago

    Rangers jersey.

  64. Curt Green 2 years ago

    Hee hee hee hee….. BTW, I claim the Twins jersey.

  65. tbslim 2 years ago

    LoL. Excellent point. OK, if I win, save the money, write New York Yankees and a string of expletives of your choosing on a piece of paper and burn that. I will consider that payment in full.

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