Rakuten Planning Record Offer For Tanaka

11:47am: Rakuten president Yozo Tachibana told reporters in Sendai today that Tanaka could still be posted, as they've yet to make a decision on the matter and discussions are ongoing, according to a report from Sponichi (Japanese link).

7:15am: The Rakuten Golden Eagles appear to be settling on not posting Masahiro Tanaka and plan to offer him a contract with a record annual salary of 800MM yen, or around $7.7MM, Sports Hochi reports. Tanaka said in a press conference this week that he had communicated his desire to pitch in the U.S. in 2014 to Rakuten. However, it appears that the maximum $20MM posting fee agreed to by MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball negotiators under the new posting system — a drastic reduction from what Rakuten was expected to receive under the old arrangement — is giving club ownership considerable pause.

The 800MM yen ($7.7MM) offer would double Tanaka's current salary and make him the highest-paid pitcher in NPB history. However, it's much less than what he was likely to get from an MLB club. One GM recently told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that Tanaka was certain to receive a deal worth more than $100MM if posted. The hurler nevertheless appears ready to accept whatever decision Rakuten comes to. "If the team tells me, 'We're not going to post you. Please stay,' the professional thing to do is give it your all and get back to pitching," Tanaka told reporters this week. "I'm ready to do that." 

The starting pitching market appears to be waiting for a resolution on the Tanaka issue, as Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez have all remained on the board while top bats have signed. It's difficult to say where the market heads if Tanaka isn't posted. While competition for pitchers like Santana and Garza would intensify, Tanaka has the potential to drive up their prices further still, as many see him as a $100MM pitcher. Santana's representatives at Proformance are also known to be seeking a $100MM deal for their client. If Tanaka received a contract of that size, the agency could argue that Santana, who's already shown the ability to be an impact starter in the majors, has earned a similar deal.

Tanaka, 25, had a 1.27 ERA in 212 innings this season in Japan and owns a lifetime 2.30 ERA over seven seasons. Teams connected with him recently include the Diamondbacks, the Cubs, the Yankees and the Rangers.


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224 Comments on "Rakuten Planning Record Offer For Tanaka"


MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Jiminez, Santana and Garza will now make millions and millions more.

1 year 7 months ago

Man, none of these pitchers are even worth going after…*sigh*. Sure, Tanaka is no sure thing, but it would have been worth the effort.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

If the Yankees go after 1 of the other 3, I’d choose Garza. AL East experience, arguably the most consistent (though not the most durable), no draft pick loss. Free agent class next year is also very thin outside of Kershaw (who everyone knows in all likelihood he’ll get an extension or re-sign with the Dodgers) and Shields.

sgtschmidt11
1 year 7 months ago

and probably Tanaka too.

John Kreese
1 year 7 months ago

Don’t forget Lester, Scherzer & Homer Bailey. Starting pitching actually seems pretty deep in ’15.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Wow I missed those 3 guys. I’d be surprised to see Lester and Scherzer go though.

sgtschmidt11
1 year 7 months ago

They are all possibles but I’m guessing Scherzer ends up back with the Tigers one way or another.

Randy Jay Pena
1 year 7 months ago

No way I see the Red Sox letting Lester go.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Likewise. Same goes for Tigers and Scherzer if you ask me

Victoria Roberts
1 year 7 months ago

That largely depends on how many years and how much money he wants. If the Yankees get involved the Red Sox will be outbid. I think we have to get used to that with the Red Sox now. They refuse to be crippled by long term deals.

bhambravesfan
1 year 7 months ago

Plus bounce back guys like Josh Johnson, Yovani Gallardo, and Jake Peavy. Add Masterson to that list, as all of those guy could be better than Ubaldo, Garza and Santana

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

Go look at Masterson’s home/road and left/right splits and tell me he’s better than Ubaldo.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

If I were the Yanks, I’d steer clear of Garza. Institute a “no-j#rk” rule for free agents.

Greg Gaugler
1 year 7 months ago

The ole saying goes “Yankee fans will cheer for any Yankee who can hit.” …I’m sure that applies to pitching too.

ChrisCa$h
1 year 7 months ago

Na we hated A-Rod when he was good

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

Maybe you did but he’s been one of my favorite players since before he was traded to the Yanks.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

My point was geared more towards creating a cohesive team… I think Garza will only give you headaches in that regard.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

He was always an easy person for people to blame because he made so much money. He has been a very big part of their success of the past 10 years.

Tim McCollum
1 year 7 months ago

I would go after neither of those three and take my chances with internal options or less expensive free agents. Yes I know the Yankees need a #2 starter but I’m not impressed with any of Garza Ervin Santana or Jiminez.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

“Yes I know the Yankees need a #2 starter”

Kuroda is their #2 starter. Unless you mean for the year after.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

John Danks would fit nicely with the Yanks, I reckon. But they have nothing the ChiSox want… perhaps their catching prospect Sanchez + ??

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Yankees top prospect (their only 1 in the top 100, I believe he’s in the top 40) for a guy who’s had 3 straight subpar seasons and is still owed a good amount of money the next several years?

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

That’s a gamble, I know. But he’s a prospect and the ChiSox may not want anything else from the Yanks. Danks is a 29 y.o. lefty that I think has some upside. It wouldn’t be a popular trade, but I would take a chance on him. Given his horrible 2013, there may be some leverage.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

If White Sox are in need a catcher, Yanks would give them JR Murphy, not Sanchez

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

Or… Yanks can get Montero back and trade him to the White Sox. But really, I admit, I can’t tell you the difference between Murphy and Sanchez.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Except Montero’s catching days are gone, pretty much like Napoli.

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

Sanchez has very real power and is still very young, it would be laughable to even suggest Danks for him given how replacement level Danks has been the past few years.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

They could take a chance on him but no way they would give up Sanchez for him let alone someone else too. Sox have no bargaining position, Yankees or any other team would have to give up nothing really to take on that salary.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

So Yankees should give up their top prospect for a backend starter making $14.25M a year for next 3 years?

If they wanted go that route they just sign Vargas for less aav and lots more durability.

Rob Tedesco
1 year 7 months ago

That assumes CC is a #1. :)

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

CC is a stud. I think he’ll have a bounce back year.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Not giving up on the guy based on 1 subpar year. Look at Lester in 2012 and how many people thought he was done (despite being a bit young to be done) and how the Red Sox should trade him or let him go after next year. 1 year later, he’s a World Series champion and, while this doesn’t exist, he’s probably the World Series MVP runner up to Big Papi.

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

It’s CC’s change up that’s the problem. In 2013 batters hit .283/.354/.460 off of CC’s fastball, that’s not great but it’s right in line with his 2012 fastball slash line of .289/.347/.458. In fact all of his pitches maintained an almost identical slash line to their 2012 counter part outside of the change. In 2013 batters hit a whopping .314/.363/.509 off the change and when you compare it to his 2012 change slash line of .181/.228/.255 it really stands out just how bad his change was in 2013. He lost velocity off the fastball but batters success off of it was almost identical to the year before, he has to figure out a way to get his change up to be that dominant pitch it was before hand and he has a chance to be top of the rotation CC again.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah I read about that not too long ago.

bucsws2014
1 year 7 months ago

What, no mention of Liriano?

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Hmmm, he’s not listed as a free agent next year (see 2015 MLB Free Agents)

bucsws2014
1 year 7 months ago

Odd indeed. B-R has him as an FA for 2015 and Bucs have no team option with him I know of.

slider32
1 year 7 months ago

Tanaka becomes the big loser in this one. Since pitching is the most important facet of baseball and pitching is unpredictable from year to year it is impossible to say how teams will fair. Since this is the Hot Stove season we all have our ideas of how to make our teams better. For the Yanks I would think they try and sign 2 pitchers not any of the big 3 left. I think CC and Kuroda, are 1.2 with Nova a good 3. So that means they need to sign a 4 and 5 if they think Phelps can’t do the job. They always have Warren, Nuno, Huff, or Turley if they are desperate. I think they are hoping for good news from Pineda and Baneulos for 2015.

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

Considering Nova has never thrown more than 170 big league innings and he’s been very inconsistent in his short career I’m sure they would feel much better with him as a number 4 pitcher going into the year.

Jose Batista
1 year 7 months ago

I agree with you to an extent.If your the Yankees next year is very important because Kuroda isn’t coming back so now you’d have to sign 2-3 pitchers. The Yankees are a border line playoff team. The bullpen hasn’t improved neither has the rotation.

Jose Batista
1 year 7 months ago

I’d rather go after Ubaldo if Ublado gets hes act together he can be a solid #3 pitcher and then you can go out next free agent class and sign a #2.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Rotation last year – CC/Kuroda/Pettite/Nova/Hughes

As of now, they just await on Pettite (slightly above average) and Hughes (well below average) replacement pitchers. Figure for the last spot it would be a mix of starters such as Phelps, Pineda, Warren, etc.

If Tanaka gets posted and if the Yankees get him (2 big if’s but definitely possible), then their rotation is pretty much all set and is a big improvement on last year.

Bullpen I agree with needs work to be done. They’re going to have to remove a couple of bench players (right now I have 5 – Cervelli, Ichiro, Wells, Nunez, and either KJ or Roberts….because as it stands now A-Rod is on the roster still).

Jose Batista
1 year 7 months ago

Tanaka isn’t getting posted. Ubaldo is a solid #3 one thing that Pettite gave you though is innings. Pineda is a major question mark and i think Warren is fit more as a long reliever.

Jose Batista
1 year 7 months ago

I think it’s a blessing for the Yanks you don’t know what your getting Irabu, Igawa.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Could also be getting Dice-K or Darvish. Nobody knows.

Jose Batista
1 year 7 months ago

Some teams are already getting impatient. I’d rather go after Ubaldo then next year if Scherzer, or Kreshaw is available go hard after one of them.

Jose Batista
1 year 7 months ago

Who’d you rather have Kreshaw or Tanaka.

bdiddy7
1 year 7 months ago

Who said Kershaw was going to be available? Dodgers will lock him up before he hits the market.

Jose Batista
1 year 7 months ago

Kreshaw is going to be the first 7 year 200 million dollar picther.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Who’s Kreshaw? :p

Obviously Kershaw unless he’s seeking $300 mill

Truuthfully depends on years and AAV. Kershaw is still young so a 10 year deal, while crazy, isn’t as crazy as other 10 year deals such as A-Rod, Pujols and Cano. Meanwhile Tanaka If He Gets Posted (again, If), would probably come at half the years and at the very minimum, half the cost of Kershaw most likely.

I don’t see him leaving the Dodgers. I think Dodgers will re-sign him. Then again, I did not see Cano leaving the Yankees either.

Jose Batista
1 year 7 months ago

Sorry for the anal like model of just getting one word mixed up. My point is you don’t know what your getting with Tanaka Darvish at least faced mlb hitters Tanaka really hasn’t Kershaw is proven you know what your getting but we can agree to disagree.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Where did I say I know what they would be getting with Tanaka (if they got him or for any team who gets him for that matter)? Are you putting words in my mouth on purpose or something?

First you said I said Tanaka is going to the Yankees. I never said such a thing. I said he could, I did not say he would. There’s a difference.

Then you’re saying I said he’s going to be like Darvish, when again I did not say such a thing. And again, I said he could, I did not say would.

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

Dice K is on the good side of the ledger? Maybe for two seasons then he fell apart, try Iwakuma.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

No but I”m just using him as an example. Dice-K was about average at best. Igawa and Irabu were terrible. Darvish has been excellent. We won’t know how he would pitch until we see it.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

That’s still unknown. From Rosenthal – Rakuten is “still undecided” about whether to post Masahiro Tanaka, according to a Sponichi report posted via Yakyubaka about 2 hours ago.

Jose Batista
1 year 7 months ago

Rakuten can keep him for two more years make more money off of him and win rings with him. Also once he gets here there isn’t a 100 percent grantee that he wants to play for the Yankees you will have teams like the Dodgers, Rangers going hard after him to. Also not to mention that he would have Yu Darvish to show him the ropes.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

I never said he was going to the Yankees. Hence the 2 If’s. One would be If he got posted and one would be If he went to the Yankees.

Jose Batista
1 year 7 months ago

But your making a strong case as well as the other Yankee fans that Tanaka is a sure thing.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Not at all. I never said he’s a sure thing anywhere. Heck even ESPN NY is mentioning that the Yankees are moving on from him. And they rightfully should because this still can be awhile.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

And from Olney – One executive believes Tanaka will be eventually be posted, after machinations: “All sides are doing the dance they need to do.”

Pingston
1 year 7 months ago

I wonder what restrictions there are on otherwise compensating Rakuten… Might we see side-deals for other affiliations, marketing contracts, etc. If something concrete along this line is offered, Rakuten would have added incentive to post. But $20 million is also a pretty good incentive. I think he’ll be posted and a lot of teams will weigh offers. I fully expect the Yankees, Rangers, Mariners, Blue Jays, Cubs, Giants and Angels to be among those waving $$ around (based on what I’ve read). Is the ‘Mariners nearing budget limit’ line from today just a fake-out? Signing Tanaka will sell a lot of extra off-season tickets for some teams, and that could be their incentive to go high (e.g. Mariners, Blue Jays). Plan B puts big $$ in pockets of the 3 remaining MLB FAs…

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

Does the draft pick really matter at this point for the Yankees? They’ve already signed 3 players tied to compensation so they’ve obliterated their pool money as is, they may as well just sign who they like the most regardless of draft picks.

Garza may be “more consistent” but his career numbers are right in line with Jimenez. (Slightly better ERA but worse FIP and xFIP) who is a year younger, has 1000 more innings pitched, and has much more upside. Garza was also highly overrated during his time with the Rays if you look at his peripherals, so I don’t see it as this huge advantage.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

A draft pick > no draft pick. Plus more teams will lose their first or 2nd round pick once all the other free agents with QO are signed so it would make the Yankees and everyone elses 2nd round pick just drop (as in better).

Again, I’d rather go with the experience and more consistent guy in one of the toughest hitting divisions in baseball. No….not one of….The toughest. Jiminez had a good year but it’s after coming off back to back bad years.

Garza has never had an ERA+ below 100 ever except his rookie year when he pitched 50 innings. It’s been 105 or higher every year except once (2010) when it was exactly 100

Somehow, Ubaldo has better Home stats than at Away. So does Garza but that’s to little surprise. ERA – Jiminez 4.21, Garza, 4.32. WHIP, Jiminez 1.38, Garza, 1.32

Not saying Ubaldo is a lot worse or is terrible, but I’d take the veteran (who as you even said is only 1 year older). He might even cost less also.

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

Back to back “bad” years is pretty harsh, maybe if you only look at ERA. He had a 3.67 FIP, a 3.71 xFIP, and a 2.31 K/BB ratio. It wasn’t the best year (and he was dealing with a loss in velocity and a change in leagues half way through the year) but I wouldn’t call it “bad”. In fact outside of 2012 I wouldn’t say he’s ever had just a straight “bad” year. I believe he has a much higher upside than Garza and he’s proven to be much more durable, two things I highly value in a 3-5 year pitching contract. Ubaldo- 3.92 ERA/3.78 FIP/3.96 xFIP in 1275.2 IP Garza- 3.84 ERA/3.98 FIP/4.00 xFIP in 1182.1 IP

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

I personally don’t use FIP. While no stat is a perfect stat and no stat tells the whole story, FIP leaves out very important stuff such as Hits Allowed (except HR’s) and assumes all other hits are defense’s fault. If a player gave up 5 doubles an in inning and had 2 K’s in the inning and 0 BB’s, his FIP is very good but his ERA, rightfully so, is terrible. I know 1 inning is a small sample but I’m just giving it as an example because there are game lines like that from time to time.

That’s just my personal take on it.

chris hines
1 year 7 months ago

Well then I’m not even going to argue the point sense it would go no where. Basically I think the argument for Garza is that as you said he’s more consistent and Ubaldo is a bit more erratic, but at the end of the day that gets you a difference in a 3.92 ERA and a 3.84 ERA in a1000 inning gap, so it’s basically nothing. The otherside to that is though Ubaldo can hit stretches where he can carry an entire team like he did in the second half of this year when he posted a 1.82 ERA in 84 innings. Garza in the AL never had lower than a 3.70 ERA in any season, and has only posted a lower ERA once in his entire career. Ubaldo has posted a sub 3.50 three separate times and has survived Coors field so he should be able to deal with Yankee Stadium. I think they both settle in somewhere as 3’s in a rotation but Ubaldo has that ace upside when he’s on that, to me, separates them. Plus I think Garza will get more money not being tied to a pick, which as I said shouldn’t matter to our team.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

A draft pick lost and added in sandwich won’t change a 2nd round pick.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Thought I read that somewhere. Maybe on RAB. Ill recheck that.

John Kreese
1 year 7 months ago

Bummer. I was looking forward to seeing this guy pitch in the states.

You’d have to think with this news the Garza’s & Santana’s of the world should be even more in demand.

AceRuby
1 year 7 months ago

Ervin Santana getting $100 million would be insanity to whichever team does that…

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

So the net gain for Rakuten will be about $12.3mil + another year of Tanaka? Probably still what I’d do, in their shoes.

Stormie
1 year 7 months ago

Hmm? Why would they have a net gain of $12.3 million when they don’t post him? They are losing the $20 million posting fee in that case, plus have to pay his salary.

So they will have a net loss of $27.7 million for another year of Tanaka.

sgtschmidt11
1 year 7 months ago

Then they post him next year and get 20 million so it really isn’t a net loss, just a delay of the 20$ million.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

Am I the only person that considers the possibility that he could get injured and not bring in 20MM next year?

sgtschmidt11
1 year 7 months ago

No but that’s not predictable therefor not reliable. They probably have thought of it but are willing to take the risk, since he has shown little injury concern so far. That’s my line of thinking. I’m not saying it’s what I’d do, but we are trying to interpret another’s actions, not decide for ourselves.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

Yea, except everyone on here just assumes they’ll get 20MM next season.

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

My number was clearly based on the assumption that they’d post him next offseason.

rct
1 year 7 months ago

Plus, they probably hope that MLB will change its posting rules as a result of their decision. So, keeping him for another year could net them much more money.

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

I find that doubtful. They just signed a 3-year contract.

rct
1 year 7 months ago

Oh, I’m not saying it’s likely or anything. I’m just assuming that it’s part of Rakuten’s hope. If MLB’s new policy is actively preventing someone from getting posted, it would make sense for them to re-examine it.

hediouspb
1 year 7 months ago

nope- the plan was put in place to:
a) allow more freedom to the players coming over to negotiate with teams
b) give the owning teams more reason to keep players longer (makes no sense to let a guy go until the year before he’s a free agent)

rct
1 year 7 months ago

Yes, that’s the idea behind it. But the limiting $20MM posting fee is currently and actively preventing Tanaka from being posted. If MLB as a business wants more fans/money/ratings, they’d be wise to up that amount.

hediouspb
1 year 7 months ago

mlb has more money than they can spent. this is an agreement between both leagues (japan and mlb) and they aren’t going to make decisions based on one individual

rct
1 year 7 months ago

Having a bunch of money doesn’t stop organizations from wanting more.

Yes, it’s an agreement between both leagues, but it is immediately detrimental if it prevents Tanaka from being posted. If you think this will only affect Tanaka, I must disagree. I can’t foresee any major Japanese players getting posted when there’s an agreement in place that severely curtails the ability of both parties (NPB teams in the immediate, MLB in the long run) to make more money.

The agreement is in place, I assume, to foster parity in both leagues, which should in turn make for more popular leagues. But imo, not having agreements like this in place have worked out fine in the past and have made both leagues plenty of money.

hediouspb
1 year 7 months ago

it sets up a system that encourages teams in japan to keep their players until they are a year from free agency. that is probably something they do want, and waiting one year for a player isn’t going to kill them. even if he gets hurt someone will give them $20m.

teakayfortoowon
1 year 7 months ago

The $20M is constant, they either get it this year or next, so they’re just spending $8M for one year of Tanaka.

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

This is exactly what I said, yes.

teakayfortoowon
1 year 7 months ago

The options are: 1) Post Tanaka this year and get $20M 2) Pay Tanaka $7.7M this year and post him next year for $20M

Since the $20M appears in both choices the difference is just Tanaka’s 2014 salary so the net “gain” is -$7.7M + another year of Tanaka and not $12.3M + another year of Tanaka.

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

They don’t already have the $20mil so I’m counting it as an expected gain. You’re just taking it as a given. We’re saying the same thing in different frames of mind.

teakayfortoowon
1 year 7 months ago

Yes but they need to make their decision based on how their choices relate to each other, and since they expect to get $20M whether they post him this year or next it doesn’t really affect their decision. They do need to consider the risk that Tanaka gets injured and that in turn reduces the posting fee which reduces the value of keeping him for another year though. I’d expect that’s not particularly likely though so it’s probably a minor consideration.

teakayfortoowon
1 year 7 months ago

It’s like when a team’s considering whether to exercise a $15M option or a $5M buyout. They’re going to spend $5M no matter what, so what they need to decide is if that player is worth spending $10M.

Marky Mark
1 year 7 months ago

They’ll gain in other areas.. ticket revenues, merchandise, etc.. and he’ll be put up eventually, so they’ll get 20 million whenever that happens

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

And they also get to play their ace for a least one more season, which should make the team that much more competitive. Funny how nobody seems to consider this as a factor.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

Yea and one TJ injury away from no posting, that’s the other factor.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

By that logic he should be posted but nobody should make an offer. Because it’s all a risk.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

That’s the logic of a GM, and the risk they should weighed, but MLB GMs only risk missing out on A player in a pool of talent the size of the oceans combined. Rakuten doesn’t have another guy sitting around that’ll post for 20 MM by almost the entire MLB if Tanaka goes down. Make your money while you can when you can. The best analogy I can think of is college football, injuries to top 5 players, and teams passing on them & money flying out the window.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

By that logic baseball isn’t even remotely about fielding a winning team.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

If they cared about winning they’d never post their best players.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

That’s a good point, and I agree. It’s the essentially the same as when MLB teams trade away their best players for prospects. The fans of that team have to make the judgment whether ownership is building for a more competitive future or simply generating more profits for themselves.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

I’d take the money now, and use it on player development honestly. Make the team better, use it to bring in a AAAA guy from the states as well.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

As a fan that’s what you hope they will do, but as we’ve seen here in the states, sometimes owners use it mostly to line their own pockets.

Sam Wu
1 year 7 months ago

A “Farewell Tour” of Tanaka would be potentially very profiting

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

They need to get 4x his salary in merch/ticket rev etc.. to surpass the 20MM they’d get in posting.

Marky Mark
1 year 7 months ago

No they wouldn’t, it’s not like they are never going to post him.. they’ll be the 20 million eventually

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

20MM – 7.7MM salary = -12.3MM. They’d need to make 7.7MM in rev just to break even. You’re assuming that nothing happens to his value. He has a bad year/gets injured – posted or not posted it could happen – and it reduces his value if not makes it disappear. Why wait on taking a bankable 20MM at the current rate, versus next year with a little inflation or the year after that w/some more inflation. The value of that 20MM posting fee dilutes the longer they string it out, while it’s unlikely that his value in NPB will match the posting in 2014 or even 2014 and 2015 combined. Merchandise sales of Japanese born MLB players cost 4x as much as their own NPB jersey sales in Japan.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 7 months ago

Posting him next season is the logical choice. In international PR alone, the Value to Rakuten is huge to keep in for one year. Very likely that ESPN and MLB Network will cover highlights every one of his starts, so the team will get international exposure every time they play.

They will generate a lot more revenue than his salary in 2014 if they keep him… and they will get the exact same $20MM next year. There is very little downside, unless he gets hurt.

I would put the “Net Gain” as well over $20MM when factoring in this value.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

If he gets hurt or regresses, then what?

SluggerBro
1 year 7 months ago

Rakuten needs to stop already and give the people AND Tanaka what everyone wants. I get he’s mad but life is unfair, just stop.

pastlives
1 year 7 months ago

WIlling to bet you’d feel differently if your favorite team’s best player wanted to leave for Japan.

Teddy
1 year 7 months ago

true but you would never see any japan team willing to give a player 20 million a year at this day and age

teakayfortoowon
1 year 7 months ago

Muni no!!!

*Edit – whoops, read that as your favourite player not best player.

SluggerBro
1 year 7 months ago

From what I understand the Japanese want him to come to America and play for MLB. It’s a thing of pride.

pastlives
1 year 7 months ago

ok that’s not really possible to prove, but anyway, they’re running a business, they don’t live off “pride”. It’s not a great source of pride to be like, “well okay America, thank you got giving me a third of what I would have gotten last year for Tanaka, just because you guys felt like changing the rules”.

SluggerBro
1 year 7 months ago

Wow, you really don’t understand anything about the Japanese people do you? Well putting that aside the business aspect of it would still benefit him more considering he’ll get 20 million and not have to spend the biggest contract in NPB history to keep him.. so you’re wrong on both accounts.

pastlives
1 year 7 months ago

um no, you are…either they’ve done the math and it’s a good business strategy to keep him, or they’ve decided that they’re going to keep him out of PRIDE. It’s one or the other. I’m not sure what exactly you’re trying to say…that all of Japan is going to be in an uproar that their best baseball player is…staying in the country?

SluggerBro
1 year 7 months ago

How is to lose 20 million dollars and spend 7-8 million to keep him a good deal? If you read much about Rakuten you would know they call him a maverick, he’s doing this purely to make an example and get back at MLB business aside. Also considering every other NPB team offered to give the Eagles money if they posted Tanaka i’d say a fair amount when him posted.

1 year 7 months ago

It was Rakuten that was borked by the process. Baseball is a business in American and Japan – they’re just making a business decision for their franchise here.

1 year 7 months ago

It should be noted that while many U.S. outlets are acting fairly definitive with the “not being posted” story, we are not going that far with it. It’s not as if we have a quote from the Eagles’ GM or something right now. So while it seems to be leaning in the direction of him not being posted, I advise just waiting to see how the story progresses.

burnboll
1 year 7 months ago

Just curious. How do you pronounce your last name? “Durrks”, “Die-erkes”, “Deerk-es” or “Deerks”?

Btw, very good reporting by you guys over the last couple of weeks.

carmot
1 year 7 months ago

Gosh, thank you for maintaining some journalistic integrity. I’ve followed this situation closely for many months. I see no definitive report. I see Ma-Kun left Kleenex Stadium after a workout and still had no word. I see “expectations” that he may not be posted. I see reports that Rakuten will offer him this contract.

But some of this “reporting” done by others is crazy. One NYT article without substantive sources given, a tweet, and then everyone seems off to the races. Then it became “multiple sources.” Even the Fox article doesn’t hold a byline, but cites Rosenthal as a source, go figure that one.

I’ll wait for some sort of confirmation from those actually in the know before I believe all this. Coskrey, Allen, Newman, and a few others are the ones I’ll wait for a definitive report from. Just two minutes ago Jim Allen tweeted: “Officially Rakuten is saying ‘no decision yet.'”

liberalconservative
1 year 7 months ago

This is more about the posting fee not about him staying. The team is saying fine you want to restrict our posting fee he is not going anywhere. It would be like Mike Trout going to be posted as a free agent and the Angels only get $20 million for him. Of course they would say no way.

Commander_Nate
1 year 7 months ago

The finances of NPB are different though. Sure, it’s not the record amount they were hoping to get, but it’s still enough to fill all or most of a roster in NPB. Really $20 million for a player there is like getting $100 million or more for an MLB player like Trout. When you look at it that way, it makes sense and really puts into perspective how ridiculous posting fees were getting under the old system. $75 million is enough to fund probably 3 decent NPB teams, so that would be like the Angels getting $400+ million to post Trout. No way the rest of MLB would be cool with one team getting that much of an advantage for selling off one player.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

Defect. Honestly playing in Japan is like playing AAA ball. Or maybe AAAA. Sure they fair well in the world classic, but how much do American’s honestly care about the world classic? We have the World Series, which is the only thing that matters as far as the baseball world is concerned.

Lance Pistachio
1 year 7 months ago

MLB wouldn’t allow a team to sign a player already under control in Japan without following the posting system. The World Series may be the only thing that matters as far as the American baseball world is concerned but you have to remember that it may be different for someone who lives in Japan.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

Looks like we need to add to the next US-Japan trade agreement. I think the Japanese baseball fans are well aware that the MLB is “the big show”. No Japanese players come to the US to rehab their careers. This is basically a battle between Rakuten and the “free market”. Offering Tanaka the equivalent to $7.7 million a year to stay in Japan as opposed to $15 to $20 million a year to play in the US is a futile effort to tug at Tanaka’s patriotic heart strings. Then again, at this point, Tanaka may have no choice.

Lance Pistachio
1 year 7 months ago

Yes, that is what our cohesive government should focus on, the importation of Japanese baseball players. I’m writing my congressman right away

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

Hey, don’t count that out. We’re potentially talking about near “global baseball”, where 100s of millions are thrown around for younger Japanese players to play in a bigger market. Lesser trade agreements between two countries have been made.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

Obviously it isn’t if he’s been wanting to play in the MLB. If NPB was so great he wouldn’t state publicly that he wants to play in the US. Besides, Cubans defect all the time, pretty sure if he defected they’d let him play. Capping the posting system already tells you that MLB thinks its getting ridiculous.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 7 months ago

I wonder if the compromise can be reached to generate more revenue for Rakuten?

Why not just add a non-refundable deposit (10-15% of the total bid) for any team that does not win the bid)? After the bids are in, Rakuten can decide. If enough teams bid, then Rakuten get easily get over $30MM, maybe even $40MM.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

Only three teams will bid. Defeats the purpose of a fair bidding system.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 7 months ago

Why would only 3 teams bid? Doesn’t it depend on the amount of the deposit?

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

Right, so on a given year, do you see any MLB team outbidding the Yanks, Dodgers, and maybe the RedSox for top Japanese players? Not a fair system if I’m any of the other teams. I suppose if MLB went that route, it’s just life.

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 7 months ago

I think the maximum bid should be raised to about 50 million, I agree with the Japanese team that 20 million in compensation is too low.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 7 months ago

Yes. Rangers outbid all of them for Darvish.

Seattle just outbid Yankees for Cano.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

I think it’s clear at this point from the Choo rumors that the Yanks didn’t *really* want Cano. So I think that argument doesn’t apply. Mariners ended up bidding against themselves.

I do agree on Darvish.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Any amount of teams can bid and only 1 team has to pay for the bid in the end.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

Original point was making losing bids non-refundable. They get outbid and lose their deposit. Few teams would take that gamble knowing they will get outbid by three teams.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Hmm. I wouldn’t say they should lose their entire bid, but maybe a percentage of it (say 10%)?

Lionel Bossman Craft
1 year 7 months ago

That wouldn’t be a bad clause.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

I think the perception of a competitive advantage would make most MLB teams balk at that bidding system. Instead of a closed bidding system, I would allow each interested MLB team a chance to make their pitch to the player. Then negotiate a “release fee” with the Japanese team, which can include player performance incentives/bonuses going to the Japanese team at year-end. If the player is injured for much of the season, let’s hope the Japanese team has put out an insurance policy on the player. I don’t know, I’m thinking out loud :)

Purpose of this type of set-up is to discourage the high up-front pay for the bidding system. Then again, the only way to combat against the high bidding cost is for all MLB teams to just say “no”.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 7 months ago

That is what I mean… make $2MM non-refundable for any team.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah it’s not a bad decision. But I was responding to BadBJay who says the other teams should lose their full bid.

BadBJay
1 year 7 months ago

The original point by bobbleheadguru was to make the deposit non-refundable. But in your follow-up, perhaps a partial non-refundable deposit could be a good way to go.

btharveyku08
1 year 7 months ago

It’s sour grapes for Rakuten, but certainly understandable. I’d try to keep him too if my expected payday plummeted by potentially $35-40MM.

I still don’t see why any NPB team would be in favor of the new agreement. If everyone honors the intent of the deal, Japanese teams get no discernable benefit while also shouldering all of the losses.

1 year 7 months ago

I say good for the Eagles owner, why should he get a 60-70% haircut to please owners of a 8 Billion dollar enterprise and their minion Selig. Given taking 20MM and losing the guy who helps you dominate your league, that’s a pretty easy choice because he can do it all again next year.

The agreement should have been for a % of salary, and to bid there should have been a % of the bid that would be non-refundable. That would have made teams put skin in the game, and the NPL would have enough compensation, a player like Tanaka would have attracted 4-5 serious bids with a non-refundable %, even if it was only 2-3MM, that would scare off some pretenders.

Commander_Nate
1 year 7 months ago

The other NPB owners felt a limit was a good idea as well for their own league, so that’s not totally on Selig.

Sam Wu
1 year 7 months ago

You need to take into consideration that probably none of the other NPB clubs would face the dilemma that Rakuten is facing now for the next 3 years…The chances are they will lose nothing because of this new deal, and when their club do have a player of Tanaka’s capacity that wants to be posted, the 3 years would have already gone by and there may be a new agreement a new system.

Commander_Nate
1 year 7 months ago

Maybe, but I don’t think that’s their reasoning. There were brief rumors that Hiroshima was thinking about posting Kenta Maeda this year as well. The chances they will decide to do it in the next three years are fairly good. If the system works for the Eagles/Tanaka next year and Hiroshima/Maeda a year or two later, plus other players that might be posted in the meantime, I don’t see why they wouldn’t agree to renew it. The only party I’ve heard of being really upset with this agreement is the Eagles front office. Eventually they’ll get over it.

hediouspb
1 year 7 months ago

they probably lost way more than that. under the old rules the yankees could have dumped $100m into the posting fee and it wouldn’t have hurt their chances to get under the cap.

Commander_Nate
1 year 7 months ago

There certainly is a discernible benefit: $20 million dollars, which is equal to a lot of NPB teams’ annual payroll. That money goes into player development, drafts, signings etc. Part of the reason the other teams agreed, according to the Japanese media, is because they were getting fed up with the fact that one team suddenly got a $50+ million cash infusion for selling one player. It was becoming a balance issue. I have a feeling Rakuten wouldn’t have cared if this had happened when the Fighters were posting Darvish for example. They’re just bitter.

btharveyku08
1 year 7 months ago

That discernable benefit is fool’s gold compared to what Rakuten would have gotten with the old deal. So of course they’re bitter. If other teams were getting fed up with one team getting a windfall, require a portion of the larger posting fee to get distributed to the other NPB teams, the way we distribute money through the luxury tax. That would bring more money overall into the NPB, and Rakuten likely could’ve retained a larger chunk than $20MM. Any way it is looked at, Rakuten has significantly less of a reason to post Tanana with the new deal than with the old one.

Commander_Nate
1 year 7 months ago

They might have discussed that and rejected it for all we know. The politics of NPB are different than MLB.

Either way, this system is better than the old one. Now that the MLB luxury tax plays more of a factor and players get a choice, small and mid-market teams have more of a chance, whereas before NPB was pretty much a bonus farm system for a few teams in New York, Boston and LA with one or two others sneaking in from time to time.

btharveyku08
1 year 7 months ago

I agree. All I know from the NPB is that Rakuten (obviously) was not happy with the new deal, and I feel for them from that standpoint. It’s certainly a better deal for MLB. The politics of NPB seem very strange indeed, like the league is more of a fledgling league than I’d anticipated before, not unlike MLS.

I was just saying that I could certainly see a greater benefit to the Eagles keeping Tanaka for another year. As long as he stays healthy, they likely make more money by keeping him for a year, cashing in on more revenue and sales, and then getting the same $20MM next year.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

I feel like I had a comment on here that you responded to but it got deleted for some reason. And I obviously can’t remember what I said.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

But at any rate. You’re talking about money that isn’t on the table. I said… a comparison of the net revenue from keeping him vs posting him and taking the 20 MM. If you say he is worth 2x the 7.7 they want to pay him, that’s still -12.3 (Posting 20MM less ((7.7*2)-7.7 salary)). So he’d have to be worth almost 4x what they’ll pay him just to break past the 20MM posting that he’d garner in 2014. They’d make more by selling his MLB jersey at their stadium than having him on the team. YES network reported that jerseys of Ichiro, Matsui, and Darvish rake in $400 each in Japan vs $128 for NPB’s biggest star jerseys. Just makes more dollar sense to me.

Sam Wu
1 year 7 months ago

I am guessing part of the reason for the other 11 NPB teams who agreed to this is because it’s only for 3 years, and with the exception of Maeda of the Hiroshima Carps, I don’t think there is another player with Tanaka’s impact that could be posted within the next 3 years.

toufu6
1 year 7 months ago

How difficult would it have been for NPB and MLB to just wait 1 year until their new posting restriction of 20million would go into effect? That’s the basis for this move by Rakuten to not post him in the first place. They’re basically missing out on 30 million dollars here (if Tanaka received a post similar to Darvish or Daisuke, and he surely would have). It wouldn’t have been so hard as to wait until a year where there is no phenom trying to cross over…. if those other 11 owners in NPB had any common sense, they would’ve waited. Now Tanaka’s going to destroy them all for another year

dc21892
1 year 7 months ago

What does it matter if they did it this year or next? For one player? There’s going to be other Japanese stars that MLB wants in the years to come, so waiting one year would not have mattered. The only difference it would have made is with Tanaka.

jtmorgan
1 year 7 months ago

Their previous deal had expired. If they tried to push it back a year for 1 player it could have lead to him leaving on his own and MLB not honoring Rakuten’s team control of Tanaka. Could have had another Nomo situation which lead to the agreement in the first place of him retiring from Japan so he could play in the MLB.

Hanley
1 year 7 months ago

Good he was wasting our time

mack22
1 year 7 months ago

How do you waste “out time”? Is that opposed to wasting “in time”? That a boy! saved by the edit key.

Cam
1 year 7 months ago

I’m sure Tanaka sends his apologies to the readers of MLBTradeRumors, Twitter and more.

Dick Armada
1 year 7 months ago

I think he’ll still be posted. He’ll make double that per year in the US.

mack22
1 year 7 months ago

This actually works out pretty well for the Dodgers. If Tanaka doesn’t come to the Majors till next year LA will go after him, this year they really don’t need him

Hanley
1 year 7 months ago

Dodgers aren’t a good team he won’t sign with them

ChrisCa$h
1 year 7 months ago

Number 4 starters make that here.

Marky Mark
1 year 7 months ago

Their record offer is 7.7 million, and mike pelfrey is making 5.5 mil per plus incentives… Hilarious when you think about that

AmericanMovieFan
1 year 7 months ago

Phil Hughes made over $7MM last year and makes $8MM a year…now THAT’S hilarious.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

A Rod has 7.7 MM dollars worth of toilet paper.

BigJGibs
1 year 7 months ago

Enough with this back and forth already. First Rakuten says they’ll honor his wish to pitch in the states and post him, then they decide to NOT post him and instead offer him a fraction of what he would make over here and Tanaka says the “honorable” thing to do is accept it and stay. Gimme a break, the “honorable” thing to do is honor your word, respect your player’s wish, and post him.

Cosmo3
1 year 7 months ago

Exactly. To me Tanaka’s response is absurd. He would come here and instantly be guaranteed $100mm at least, and probably still make a few dollars more after that contract expired if he wanted to. And he’s passing that up to show “honor” to the very team that wants to block him from that kind of wealth, which they’re doing because it’s in THEIR best financial interests.

If the eagles want to make tanaka take it in the shorts to serve their best financial interests, he should feel no guilt about turning around and doing the same to them. This is a purely business decision and Honor does not fit into this equation–the eagles have certainly shown that.

jb226
1 year 7 months ago

Nothing you said is wrong, but we also have to recognize that Japan has a different culture. They still live in a society where it is not uncommon to work for a single employer for their entire life (though just like when that was true in the US, it’s starting to erode). They put a higher premium on honor and commitment than we do here, where it is more about bottom line financial decisions and our best job prospects typically involve leaving and going somewhere new.

I actually read an article not long ago about how, because firing somebody is so taboo in Japan, they would offer them a buyout and if they didn’t accept it, they would stick workers in an office with nothing to do hoping they would quit. I’m not judging it as a good thing or a bad thing, but the reality is it’s a different culture and it’s hard for us to wrap our heads around given our American perspective on business.

Tanaka can undoubtedly make more money if he were posted and I’m sure he’s fully aware of that, but it’s not ours to judge how he values that against the other considerations in his head.

AmericanMovieFan
1 year 7 months ago

Brilliant response/analysis.

gwell55
1 year 7 months ago

Plus Tanaka isn’t a free agent in Japan so they control his rights just like the MLB team that sign young players here have their “rights” for so many years. Actually this MLB – JPL is nothing more than buying those rights to sign a non free agent player from the club. It is nice that the MLB wants to change the price of that negotiation for THEIR league’s advantage and not Japans. But that isn’t in a absolutely fair deal to Japan’s teams either.

TommyL
1 year 7 months ago

The first thing that needs to be “Honored” is Tanaka’s contract with the Eagles. The team has every right to keep him or demand economic compensation for allowing Tanaka out of their deal.

Guest
1 year 7 months ago

You do know he is under a contract right…

BigJGibs
1 year 7 months ago

Yes I do, and what exactly is your point?? Mine is that if they want to hold him to his contract then hold him to his contract. Don’t go out publicly and say you’re going to honor his wish to pitch in the states and post him, and then say nevermind you wanna keep him no matter what a few days later.

calabio
1 year 7 months ago

Sharks value jus sky rocketed. As well as cubs willingness to trade him. Tanaka was top list for them. Should get interesting for a lot of teams that were in on tanaka

Dylan Griffin
1 year 7 months ago

Great news for the Red Sox if true. Their starting pitchers will draw more trade interest, Tanaka won’t be going to the Yankees, and Red Sox have a better chance at Tanaka next offseason if he happens to be posted then.

Randy Jay Pena
1 year 7 months ago

I like those odds but not sure if Tanaka will be that great by next year or in 2016 because he would be 26 27 when he becomes a free agent and who knows if his arm will still be effective by then. The guy I would of love the Sox to get is Kenta Maeda that guy was lights out in the WBC, but that’s if his team posts him.

David C. Ruckman
1 year 7 months ago

Is Yoshi “Kamikaze” Tanaka posted? I’ve read that guy’s got a lot of heart.