Tanaka Notes: McGehee, AL West, Phillies

Here are a few notes on Masahiro Tanaka, who MLB front office types say (via USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Twitter) will cost at least $17MM per season:

  • New Marlins infielder Casey McGehee, who played with Tanaka for Rakuten last season, tells Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel that Tanaka is worth the hype. "His forkball is the best one I’ve seen. … He was really special with that pitch," says McGehee. "Whoever gets him…it’s going to be money well spent."
  • The Athletics will be monitoring Tanaka's situation, but mostly because of the chance that he could go to another AL West team, InsideBayArea.com's John Hickey writes. The A's can afford the $20MM posting fee, but don't typically pay the enormous sums of cash necessary to sign free agents of Tanaka's status.
  • The Phillies are unlikely to do more than "take a flyer" on bidding for Tanaka, suggests Justin Klugh of Philly.com. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. seems "calm and confident in the 2014 Phillies for some reason," so it's unlikely he would make a big move for a top free agent. Also, the Phillies would have little to offer Tanaka, since they don't have a great shot of contending in the near future.


42 Responses to Tanaka Notes: McGehee, AL West, Phillies Leave a Reply

  1. Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

    This just in: Billy Beane avoids huge contracts!

    • liberalconservative 2 years ago

      The A’s scouted Tanaka last year. They will be making him a offer not as good as NY but Tanaka might want to play on the west coast.

      • Stevil 2 years ago

        Every team has been scouting him for many seasons. He’s been consistently good for a long time. I would bet nearly all teams, if not all, will be making him a decent offer.

        Really hard to believe the West coast would be less attractive, given the geographical distance from home and that the West coast stadiums are more pitcher-friendly.

        But who knows, maybe the history and appeal of NY, or even Boston, will be more interesting for him? Those teams are better poised for the World Series.

        I see an argument for teams from both coasts.

        • liberalconservative 2 years ago

          A few teams from Japan go to spring training in Arizona. Boston or NY better poised for the world series? The A’s are too even more than a old NY team.

          • Stevil 2 years ago

            The A’s are poised well for the playoffs. For the World Series? They haven’t upgraded their roster significantly and fell short last year–and the year before. I like and admire the A’s, but I wouldn’t put their chances above Boston or NY’s. Despite losing Ellsbury, they have a promising prospect (Bradely) to step in.

            The Yankees made significant upgrades with Ellsbury and McCann. Adding Beltran was a bonus. They still need a couple of starters, but this is a well-built team that should contend next season, despite losing Cano. Even if they miss on Tanaka, they’ll land other legitimate starters to fill the holes.

            But this is getting off point. There’s plenty of reasons to support Tanaka landing on the East or West coast. Personally, I think the Mariners have a great shot at landing him. They have the history with Japanese players–including his former teammate, a strong following in Japan, a pitcher-friendly stadium, they’re geographically closer, and have the financial resources available to give him what he wants.

            We’ll find out where he lands soon enough.

          • liberalconservative 2 years ago

            Without Tanaka I don’t think NY has a chance to make the playoffs. Their bullpen is very weak and the starting pitching is even weaker. Funny how you think they are better than the A’s when they are so weak in the pitching department. Right now NY is not a .500 club with that weak pitching but they still have time to pick up some pitchers.

          • Stevil 2 years ago

            I didn’t say they were better than the A’s. I implied they will be. The Yankees missed the playoffs last season, the A’s didn’t. But do you think they’ll risk that happening two years in a row?

            If they don’t land Tanaka, do you think they’ll just settle for internal options? You noted there’s still time to address the pitching. I fully expect them to try to land Tanaka AND Garza or Jimenez. If they fail with Tanaka, I wouldn’t be surprised if they landed both Garza and Jimenez. Still plenty of relief options on the market as well.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Yankees fan. But I don’t see Cashman letting off. I think they’ll address every need they have–even beyond spring. It actually annoys me that they have the funding to do just that.

  2. Bob 2 years ago

    spending big money on someone under 30 is not Amaro’s MO anyway

    • Matt Mccarron 2 years ago

      Hamels; 147M at age 29
      Howard; 138M at age 31
      Papelbon; 50M at age 31
      Miguel Gonzalez; 12M at age 27
      Delmon Young; 1M (After Incentives) at age 27.
      Roger Bernadina; 700K at age 29.
      Pence; 14M for 1 year at age 29.
      Lannan; 3M at age 28.
      Revere; Acquired at age 24.

      Phillies fan assume only thing he does it get older guys because of Marlon Byrd, Mike Adams and Jimmy Rollins. Most of the people he signs/acquires are under age 32. No one was complaining when he acquired 32 year old Roy Halladay,or 32 year old Roy Oswalt, because they proved productive. If Byrd, Ruiz and Nieves earn there money, people are still going to hate because they are ignorant.

      • Lord of the Fries 2 years ago

        But Byrd, Ruiz, and Nieves are unlikely to earn their money. Most of the guys you listed didn’t, including two of the biggest guys on there (Howard and Papelbon)

        • Matt Mccarron 2 years ago

          Papelbon did earn his money. 2 years of 30 saves, sub 3 ERA, an allstar appearence(and a allstar game ended) plus Howard was injuried the first 2 years of his contract.

          • Lord of the Fries 2 years ago

            I wasn’t really referring to Nieves so much, he’s your standard backup catcher.
            Byrd has huge question marks, I agree with you there.
            Ruiz’s contract is poor, they overpaid for an aging catcher who had a flukey 2012 and is showing signs of decline.
            Papelbon hasn’t performed badly, but he’s grossly overpaid, even by closer standards.
            Howard’s been a 1 WAR player or worse every year since 2010. It’s likely that he would be underperforming based on his contract even if he was healthy.

        • Matt Mccarron 2 years ago

          Nieves has nothing on his record to say he can’t earn a million bucks in MLB currency. Byrd has question marks, yes. Ruiz arguably the 2nd best defensive catcher in baseball, still has a pretty productive bat. (His 2nd half was pretty good, 5 HR, 30 RBI in under 200 PA) His contract probably shouldnt of had a 3rd or 4th year, but still he is worth 8M a season.

    • juice587 2 years ago

      I think you’re right on but as a Phillies fan I’m still dreaming that this terrible offseason was because he needed the cash to go all in on Tanaka. He’s overpayed before.

      • Matt Mccarron 2 years ago

        Hes not right on. Pence, Revere, Hamels, Howard, Papelbon, Rollins, Delmon Young, MAG, Ruiz and Kendrick all got there paydays from Amaro, before their age 31 season. Going all in on Tanaka would be a big mistake because that takes up the rest of the payroll to fix the offense. Hamels, Lee, Kendrick, MAG and Roberto Hernadez can be a contending rotation is Hernadez is solid and MAG reaches expectations. They contended with a average rotation from 07-08.

        • raltongo 2 years ago

          You do realize that 07 08 was an eternity ago , right? The core hitters in their prime were able to bail out an average rotation. The Phils lineup is set for opening day, so their remaining money will not and should not be used on offense. I like your optimism, I really do, particularly because it seems like only a handful of fans think that the Phils can compete. But to put MAG, KK, and the artist formerly known as Fausto in the same sentence with ” contending rotation” is one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard. Tanaka would jump start the rotation and fan base, the two biggest areas of weakness right now

        • juice587 2 years ago

          Revere, Pence, and Kendrick do not count. They were all arbitration cases so it’s not like he had to do any thinking.

          The one arbitration mess up was Schierholtz who was 28 when Amaro let him walk but opted for Delmon and how’d that work out?

          Rollins was 32 when he signed his extension
          Ruiz’s “payday” just came now at 34

          • Matt Mccarron 2 years ago

            I was referring to his first 4 year, 13M deal.
            I’m not referring to the contracts.. I’m referring to the fact that people say Amaro only gets older guys when in fact he went out and got Revere and Pence when they are both young.

  3. brewersfan729 2 years ago

    Ha, I love the Philly writers going after RAJ.

    • joe 2 years ago

      in philly even the writers take no prisoners, it’s awesome.

  4. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

    Also, the Phillies would have little to offer Tanaka, since they don’t have a great shot of contending in the near future. I guess Klugh has been eating his wheaties recently.

    • cscd1111 2 years ago

      Its something how fans every where underestimate how great it is to play in Philadelphia when times are good it is really good.

    • Bob 2 years ago

      The Phillies offered Gonzalez a ton of money and his physical came back with a red flags. You put Hamels, Lee, Tanaka, and Gonzalez in a rotation. Thats a rotation that can get you to a one game playoff with Cliff Lee pitching.

  5. centerfield_ballhawk 2 years ago

    I’m tired of Amaro and his “this team is fine as is” attitude. This feels like the end of the Ed Wade era…. fans were not happy with the direction that the front office was taking and they let their frustrations be known.

    • raltongo 2 years ago

      They let their frustrations be known no matter what amaro does. If tanaka is a huge bust, and the Phils were the ones to sign him, it’s all Amaros fault. People just love to be critical

    • Phillies_Aces35 2 years ago

      They are fine as is. It’s been fairly obvious that the team is a non contender and the contracts are unmovable short of Lee, Hamels, and Utley.

  6. psabella 2 years ago

    After the fails of some of Japan’s higher priced starters it would seem GM’s would be wary of 17mil per year without one MLB pitch. Remember Dice K and his Gyro ball, sandwich or whatever that was and never happened.

    • Matt Mccarron 2 years ago

      Yeah. you can make the argument Tanaka is a Dice K, but he has higher hopes then Ryu, Darvish. Chapman and Kuroda but they all turned out just stellar. He could be a Dice K, a Contreaes, or a Ryu, Davish, Chapman, Uehera or Kuroda.

  7. Bill Smith 2 years ago

    He can have the best fork ball of all time, but if he can’t control an effective fastball, he’s gonna be the world’s most expensive walk machine.

  8. cscd1111 2 years ago

    Of coarse in a couple weeks the news will be the Phillies have agreed to a contract with Masahiro Tanaka. Everyone everywhere has an opinion this is mine. I’ll be back in a couple weeks to gloat about it..

    • Lance Pistachio 2 years ago

      The real question is will you come back to eat your words in a few weeks if you’re wrong?

      • cscd1111 2 years ago

        My comment will stand its my opinion I have to own it now isn’t that how it works?

        • drwheelock 2 years ago

          Well now necessarily….that’s why they have the ‘edit’ button on these msgs posted. lol

  9. Edictor27 2 years ago

    I’m waiting for the headline “Tanaka agree’s to sign with mystery team”

  10. Bronx Bombers 2 years ago

    welcome to the bronx,masahiro!

    • Stevil 2 years ago

      That is exactly what annoys fans of every other team.

    • Mark Rose 2 years ago

      your bordering on trolling ive reported your comments

  11. Catztradamus 2 years ago

    The only thing that will stop the phillies from signing masahiro tanaka is masahiro tanaka. They can afford him, they have no issue paying him and in reality, the $20mm in payroll only would account for about $14mm in cap space, because signing tanaka makes Kyle Kendrick a trade chip. And if they don’t contend mid season, they move lee, and tanaka takes his spot and they dump papelbon. If they are contending? Ownership won’t care about being close to the tax.

    But it’s irrelevant IMO because I don’t see tanaka choosing the phillies over other competitors for his services.

    But make no mistake. They’ll be in it. And they’ll be in it hard.

  12. northsfbay 2 years ago

    Tanaka is overhyped. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet and he is supposed to an instant all star. It is a gamble. You don’t know how he will do against better competition and you don’t know if he can stay healthy.

  13. Guest 2 years ago

    The first person Tanaka followed on Twitter was Darvish. Darvish tweeted “I’m batman” To which Tanaka tweeted back “I’ll be your Robin” True story. ,,!,,

  14. JoeSeadog 2 years ago

    Keep in mind that Seattle, Texas, and both Florida teams are in States with NO personal income taxes (why Cano went to Seattle, Choo to Texas) So an offer from the Yankees HAS to be higher than those teams in REAL dollars. IE: Choo took less than the Yankees offered but will realize more net dollars in Texas.

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