Tanaka Notes: Posting Fee, Dodgers, Astros

MLB is concerned about "back-channeling" when Japanese players are posted, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports. That would be a situation in which an MLB team and a Japanese team circumvent the $20MM posting fee limit by agreeing to pay a significant amount of money on a lesser player posted later. "A club could guarantee to pay $20 million for the next guy — or the next two guys, for that matter," says a big-league executive. MLB is also concerned about Masahiro Tanaka (or any other player) donating to his old team, although Rosenthal notes that doing so would be inefficient, in that the player would be taxed for his income, and then the team would also be taxed on the donation. Here's more on Tanaka.

  • ESPN's Jim Bowden compares Tanaka to prime Dan Haren, noting his command and great split-finger fastball (via Twitter).
  • The Dodgers, who have plenty of money and have had a relatively quiet offseason, appear to be the favorites to land Tanaka, SB Nation's Grant Brisbee writes. The Yankees need him more, however. Brisbee also points out that the Astros could (not will, but could) be an interesting dark-horse candidate to sign Tanaka, given that they have few large payroll commitments. They would therefore be better-equipped to compete against a team like the Dodgers than some rich teams would. The Mariners' lack of big payroll commitments is how they ended up with Robinson Cano, Brisbee suggests. Tanaka's talent would obviously be appealing to the Astros, and so would his youth.

103 Responses to Tanaka Notes: Posting Fee, Dodgers, Astros Leave a Reply

  1. MadmanTX 2 years ago

    Sure, the Astros could offer Tanaka a Cano-sized contract, but that would hamstring them in filling out the roster. Plus, why would Tanaka choose Houston over the Dodgers, Rangers or Yankees anyway–even for an extra $5mil a year or whatever?

    • Knockdown 2 years ago

      Agreed. The last thing the Astros need to do is deviate from their plan of spending on the draft and developing their guys.

    • Randy Wiseman 2 years ago

      same reason cano did MONEY

      • The_Sports_Dude 2 years ago

        Except the Mariners outbid themselves. This will come down to whether or not the Dodgers are serious about signing Tanaka. If they want him, they will not be outbid by Houston.

        • leif 2 years ago

          L.A. is a quicker flight to Japan also… So Houston or L.A. could be a better choice for him if hiis mind is on flying home to be close to family/friends?? Who knows? Anyway you look at it, if he isn’t stupid with his money, he can sign with anyone that wants him and be set for life. The contract bids between one team and another will be fairly close by the time he knocks it down to 3 teams. Then it is just a matter of what he personally is looking for in a team.

    • Kayrall 2 years ago

      I don’t buy in to the whole “why would he want to play for that team” argument. It all comes down to the negotiations and the sales pitch.

      EDIT: Unless we’re talking about the Marlins.

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      Yeah because I wouldn’t work anywhere for something as little as 5 million a year. You realize 5 million a year is 30-35 million over the course of a 6-7 year contract right? Enough for most to live out their days in luxury and never lift a finger. And if it’s an additional 5 million from Houston you can also add the add the additional million or two over playing for Dodgers or Yankees and paying state tax.

      • Joel Zamora 2 years ago

        Compared to what he was making in Japan he’s not worried about 30 million, I don’t think he would at least.

        • justinept 2 years ago

          But you can’t be sure. No one pegged Cespedes for Oakland – and I’m in no way saying that Tanaka is going to Oakland, but the truth is that we don’t know what these guys are thinking, what they want, or what might persuade them. Maybe money isn’t a factor. Maybe it is. Maybe he wants to play in a warm climate. Maybe he doesn’t care. Maybe he wants to go to a team with a chance to win right now. Maybe he wants to be the guy to change a franchise’s fortunes. We don’t know.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          That 5 million per is more than he was making in japan. 5 Million is not chump change to these guys.

          • Joel Zamora 2 years ago

            To us the average Joe its not but to them it is. Look at Dustin predrioa took way less then what he could of received in free agency

  2. Fleer Carll 2 years ago

    It seems like limiting the posting fee is creating more trouble than it’s worth.

    • WazBazbo 2 years ago

      Well, MLB can posture all they want, but there’s an old saying that “any system man can make, man can break.” Unless they want to spend a huge amount of time, effort and maybe money trying to track every expenditure signed Japanese players make or every motive the teams have for posting on future players, the system will be beaten if teams and players want badly enough to beat it.

      • Fleer Carll 2 years ago

        Right. I had just assumed that Tanaka would give a % of his salary to his old team under his own accord if he got posted at a discounted rate. Even if he gave something like 20% back, he’d still be making a ton more $ here than he would in Japan.

        • WazBazbo 2 years ago

          Completely agree, and I also completely feel that some sort of deal was worked out between Tanaka and the team, above board or otherwise.

  3. leif 2 years ago

    The Astros should go for this guy. Makes tons of sense for their team and fits in their philosophy. The one downfall that marrying the two together right now is the network fiasco with Houston sports athority.

    • Knockdown 2 years ago

      Fits in their philosophy? How? I thought their philosophy was to develop their core through the draft and bring in veterans as mentors.

      • leif 2 years ago

        That is what they are doing now because of no veteran presence. He will not cost a draft pick. He is young, he is a proven work horse, and he will be controllable by his team for a long term contract. This bodes well for Houston’s time line. Though an expensive piece, he wouldn’t have the pressure of a team like the yankees.

        • Knockdown 2 years ago

          But he isn’t a veteran of the American game. If anything he has more of an adjustment period than American rookies do (language, culture etc)

      • justinept 2 years ago

        The core philosophy of any rebuilding team isn’t necessarily to build through the draft. It’s to build the strongest stable of top, young talent possible and to refrain from handing out big, long-term contracts to aging players based on past performance at the cost of draft picks.

        Tanaka fits the mold of top, young talent. His best days are likely ahead of him. And his signing wouldn’t cost the Astros a draft pick. He makes sense for them. Of course, he makes sense for every team.

  4. bernbabybern 2 years ago

    This would only seem like an Astro move if they were ready to compete for the division title. Are they?

    • leif 2 years ago

      Going for Cliff Lee would be a move for division title, not this guy. This guy is going to help your team for years. This is going to be a long commitment. Not a fix to win a championship.

      • bernbabybern 2 years ago

        I should have said “if they are ready to compete for the division in the near future”. If it’s still going to be a few years it seems like a huge contract would be wasted money. I didn’t mean quick fix right now like a Cliff Lee.

        • John Donovan 2 years ago

          All money is wasted if you don’t make the playoffs, but you still have to try. If the Astros don’t start spending some money, the people of Houston will eventually give up on that franchise. I wouldn’t blame them one bit.

  5. leif 2 years ago

    The Astros purse is large as many. Now Crane might be tight and not want to spend now because of tv contracts, but his owners group bought a team with potential to be a huge market team. They aren’t the brewersor the reds.

  6. bernbabybern 2 years ago

    Look, the Dodgers have big money they can throw around just like the Yankees if they want to. But their GM already said they were mostly done, and they already have Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu, so they don’t seem to have a big need like the Yankees. They also have big contracts coming up for Kershaw and Hanley Ramirez.

    • johansantana15 2 years ago

      A GM saying something like that holds no weight. You can’t seriously expect one team’s GM to just give away the team’s position on all remaining free agents to the rest of the MLB like that.

    • Joel Zamora 2 years ago

      Until they win a Championship the need is there

  7. feztonio 2 years ago

    I see the Dodgers in the NL and Yankees in the AL as the favorites; my dark-horses are Seattle in the AL, and Pittsburgh in the NL – pitt went to the playoffs, their fans have tolerated rebuilding for almost 20 years and they have a lot of talent in the minors knocking on the door. there’s no time better for the Pirates to make a move and swooping in and big-leaguing the Yankees and Dodgers and the rest of baseball would be a major statement to the Pirates fans.

    • Charlie Wilmoth 2 years ago

      I can’t see the Pirates doing this. They’ve already said they won’t be
      bidders for Tanaka, and they’ve already said they wouldn’t pay the going
      rate for A.J. Burnett.

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      You realize for the Dodgers to get Tanaka their payroll will be almost 250 Million, right?

      • Joel Zamora 2 years ago

        Which is how much they’re receiving from their new tv deal.they still make plenty of profit.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          Well throw in all that additional luxury tax at an increased level for their second consecutive violation. Don’t see the Dodgers in on Tanaka. They’ve stated as much as well.

          It would be the biggest salary in history trumping any prior Yankee team. It’s a business their trying to maximize profits not eat up as much as they can.

          • thegrayrace 2 years ago

            Where have the Dodgers stated they’re not interested in Tanaka? They’ve scouted him extensively.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            The Dodgers will be interested in Masahiro Tanaka if and when he’s posted, but that interest may be more lukewarm than exepected, says Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Shaikin hears from two sources familiar with the team’s thinking that L.A. won’t pursue Tanaka with the sort of “win-at-all-costs mentality” that marked the club’s pursuit of Hyun-jin Ryu a year ago.

            Taken from a previous MLBTR post on 12/9.

          • Joel Zamora 2 years ago

            When the Angels were flush with cash last three offseasons, nobody expected them to sign Pujols or Hamilton. The Dodgers are being sneaky so as not to drive up the price of the contract. Thats what i would like to think anyways.

          • Joel Zamora 2 years ago

            If they were trying to maximize profits they wouldn’t of taken on BoSox salary

          • YARRitsBLAKE 2 years ago

            Note: Next season the contracts of Beckett and Billingsley come off the books. League is the year after (provided his option doesn’t kick). I highly doubt they haven’t taken those facts into consideration.

            Yes they have extensions coming up for Han-Ram and Kershaw. But I see also them trading one of the bloated OF salaries of Ethier, Kemp or Crawford at some point to make room in the OF or payroll room or both.

    • GrilledCheese39 2 years ago

      Yeah and we can sign Garza and trade for Price while were at it! Price/Tanaka/Liriano/Garza/Cole is ok

  8. frogbogg 2 years ago

    They said Matsuzaka’s control was great too. Transitioning to a different size ball may be problematic.

    There was serious concern about Dice-k’s innings pitched too. We all know that didn’t effect him at all……

    And Tanaka has pitched more.

    • Frittoman626 2 years ago

      Daisuke was a pitcher that relied on his Fastball to set up his offspeed pitches which allowed him to get away with mistakes. Once his fastball lost velocity batters started laying off his offspeed since they didn’t have to worry about a fastball coming and at that point his fastball was batting practice. Also Daisuke supposedly had a terrible work ethic usually doing whatever he wanted rather than what was recommended by his coaching staff and he hid injuries from his team. The reason why Daisuke became a bust was because of ignorance and stubbornness. Tanaka doesn’t rely on blowing a fastball past a batter, so the only thing he and Matsuzaka have in common is that they’re both Japanese

    • Leftover_stew 2 years ago

      The balls are the same size now.

  9. frogbogg 2 years ago

    How about the Marlins as a dark horse? Fernandez, Tanaka, Eovaldi, Alvarez and Turner? They have the money to spend and young core.

  10. fireboss 2 years ago

    I can’t imagine him signing with the Cubs or any team not on the verge of winning where he could make a difference regardless of the offer.
    Astros make no sense at all in their plan to grow into a long term competitive franchise through a strong farm system. They would have to significantly overpay damaging their budget for years to come.
    The Dodgers are already at $197 or so this year and adding Tanaka at his estimated $17M a year will bust the luxury tax cap badly. The penalties for this become onerous after this season.
    The Angels can’t afford him – though they badly need him – thanks to the Josh Hamilton signing.
    Jon Daniels says the Rangers are out barring something “unforeseen”

    I wouldn’t rule out the Jays in spite of their protests. AA is on the hot seat and Tanaka would make them a serious contender.

    There are other possibilities but Yankees make the most sense. They have the payroll room next year and whether ARod’s suspension is
    upheld or not could probably maneuver to do it this if they wished. On top of that they have
    Ichiro and Hideki Matsui to lobby for them. They have to be favorites here in spite of his desire to be on the West coast.

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      I can’t imagine him signing with the Yankees or any mediocre team of aging veterans with pretty much the consensus worst farm system in baseball. Better win in 2014 because it’s not going to get any easier after that.

      • Too Many Idiots 2 years ago

        Your opinion does not equal “consensus”.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          Maybe worst was an exaggeration but enough for a Cubs source to say Yankees “have no upper-level talent” when discussing trade possibilities for Samardzija.

      • RIYankeeGuy 2 years ago

        The Yankees do not have the consensus worst farm system in baseball. In fact, the consensus for the past 5 years has been middle of the road, most recently ranking 16th of 30th in BA 2013 and13th of 30th in 2012 end of season rankings.

        Not a whole lot of MLB ready talent, but Sanchez and Murphy are decent trade chips at a scarce position, while the trio of Heathcott, Austin and Williams have all shown elite tools and maybe one of them pans out nicely. Add on what was widely considered a top 5 draft in 2013 with 3 1st round picks, I’d say the Yanks middle tier grading is appropriate.

        Tanaka has a larger than life personality and his wife is a model. LA or NY makes the most sense, but we’ll see.

        • Jim01702 2 years ago

          Was thinking the same thing.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          In continuation below, I can’t reply below:

          Jason Parks put the status of the Yankees farm system this way. Sanchez would be in the Red Sox 4-6 top prospect range and not another prospect in their top 10. Cubs system is Deeper than the Sox at this point with all the aforementioned players that could potentially crack this year’s top 100. Sanchez is the only Yankee who could be mentioned in that conversation.

          And you were the one comparing the Yankees teams to the current list of Cubs mediocre players. I’m suggesting there is a bright future not to far in the distance for the Cubs with this current wave of prospects.

          • RIYankeeGuy 2 years ago

            Yes and Jesus Montero was a top. 5 overall in baseball prospect before we shipped him to the M’s for Pineda, while Manny Banuelos was into the teens before he tore his UCL and underwent Tommy John.

            You can not depend on prospects as there is a litany of reasons a prospect doesn’t reach his potential whether that be injury, focus, performance, etc.

            The Yankees are indeed too old and infusing some youth like Tanaka would be a great start. I also understand the Yankees best prospects have either been duds or fizzled recently, but the Core Four doesn’t come around every five years and is only part of the winning equation. Every clubs farm system goes through cycles regardless of approach and scouting abilities. Having resources to field proven performers is paramount and should be supplemented, not necessarily replaced by homegrown talent.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Again, sure Tanaka makes sense for the Yankees but does “we would have a youth movement of you” really going to be a selling point to Tanaka, when the same could be said of any MLB club. Not saying all the Cubs prospects will work out but gonna be hard to miss on every prospect.

            And we are positional prospect heavy not as likely to suffer injury as pitchers.

          • RIYankeeGuy 2 years ago

            I was responding to your farm system comment so I used the system rankings in my reply. Still the 2013 org rankings by BA’s JJ Cooper had the Yankees at 11th, so I’m not sure where you’re getting mid 20’s?

            Anyways, I’m not saying the Yankees system approaches the talent of the Cubs system at this time, nor do I believe the Yankees selling point would be centered on young talent. It seems you believe the only attractive selling point to a FA is the teams farm system.

            The Yankees selling point may focus on the organization adding 300 million dollars worth of talent and a clear ability to eat a bad contract in order to acquire new talent if necessary. Maybe the ability to market his brand and give his wife a lucrative base for her modeling career. Who the heck knows? But I think you’re in the minority in thinking the Yankees are poorly positioned to recruit Tanaka and other FA’s.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            And the Yankees are going to drop a lot as a lot of players have fallen off due to performance and/or injury and others are gone to trade. I believe BP suggests a ranking of 24ish is what we can expect for them in terms of Org rankings. Every team has something to offer Tanaka, strength of your farm is not one of them, a high payroll filled with players with diminished skill sets that has after spending 300 million this off season probably not improved over last year is hardly one either. In the end who knows what Tanaka wants or doesn’t. The expectations of win now in NY might be too much pressure. If he goes to NY he has to pay the highest state tax, not to mention what happens if he wants to live in NYC another almost 4 percent taken from his salary. Yankees undoubtedly have payroll capabilities most don’t and as a selling point the highest salary probably talks loudest.

          • Jim01702 2 years ago

            Pretty sure tanaka won’t care how many prospects or where the team ranks in prospects. It’s about money and the Yankees will offer him MORE!

            Also the cubs won’t break the curse in the next couple years, keep dream. Or do what the Red Sox did abd just cheat and get some roids like Ortiz and manny or all the other teams.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            So I guess having A rod on your team is so much better. Again full circle on the Cubs farm,

            If he’s really looking for how competitive a team will be he better look at team’s farm is because that’s what a team will rely on to keep the team competitive over a 6-7 year period.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          Also, that system ranking isn’t organizational rankings. That is near term ranking not organizational rankings. Think BP suggested they’d be a mid 20’s org.

      • WazBazbo 2 years ago

        In my mind, I have the Yankees as the favorite to sign him for a variety of reasons. First, after having been “out-Yankee’d” on Cano, they need a splashy signing. Luxury tax or no, it’s more worth it to their brand (and financially) to keep the fan base happy and pay the tax if necessary. They have the resources. Second, the Yankees are, I’m aware, sure they are not a young team, and this would be a seriously good step in the right direction in that regard. Third, for the additions they have made this off-season, they’ve not done much to upgrade their pitching, and most now list that as among their biggest areas of need. They need the player, they have expressed serious interest in the player, they need the good PR and they have the cash… I’ll predict an overpay at 7/130 just to get him.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          Weren’t McCann, Ellsbury, and Beltran “splash signings.” I don’t disagree that yankees might get him but it’s not going to be that they sold him, it will be because of money offered. All these people that think that Yankees “competitiveness” is a selling point, I disagree. If he really is going to value a team for it’s ability to win, he’s going to pick a team that has the ability to win more than just one season, Teams like the Pirates, Red Sox and Cardinals (as painful as it is for me to say) fit that mold a whole lot more than the Yankees. Yankees have been holding onto threads lately and they threw away a 2014 draft by signing these players.

          • Jim01702 2 years ago

            Red Sox greatly overachieved last year, they will not be as good this year as last.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Is this really coming out of a fan whose team won 85 games despite having more runs scored against it than for it? Red Sox Pythagorean actually suggests underperformance (suggests they should have won 99-101), while the Yankees were suggested to be a 72-79 win team, depending on whether you use weighted or not.

          • Jim01702 2 years ago

            You forget the Yankees had injuries to everyone. Our starters got hurt, then our backups got hurt and in some cases our back ups back up player got hurt.

            And the Red Sox were picked to finish last in 2013.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Yeah, something that happens to aging teams.

          • RIYankeeGuy 2 years ago

            Are you judging an organization’s ability to compete solely on 2013’s results? I’m sure it’s the Yankees consistency, resources and willingness to use those resources that leads people to believe “competitiveness” is a selling point.

            The Cardinals certainly have been elite developers of talent the past decade, but the Pirates, really?

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            I’m judging him on the ability to field a team of core prospects. Something they were able to do all those years while spending that money. Now it doesn’t look so promising that they will be able to do that.

          • Jim01702 2 years ago

            Also when was the last time the cubs won the World Series ? Why would he go there when they can’t even win on.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Could say the same thing about Boston 9 years ago. Now they’ve won 3 in that span. Another selling point for him, be immortalized in Chicago for breaking the “curse.”

          • WazBazbo 2 years ago

            I agree with you on the “competitive” angle. I know very little of Tanaka, but for most of human nature, money doesn’t talk – it screams at the top of its lungs, and I truly think the Yankees will throw the most money at him. The three you mentioned were good signings, but Beltran is part of an aging Yankee team now, and of course McCann and Ellsbury have durability issues that a lot of folks question. This isn’t to say that those are riskier signings than giving bundles of cash to a completely untested player on the MLB stage. As far as overall splash is concerned, I don’t really think there’s a lot of doubt that the press and gossip surrounding Tanaka make him the highest-profile free agent of the off season (or at least tied with Cano, and I really think that losing Cano will figure heavily into the Yankee mindset when bidding on Tanaka).

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            We’ll see on the salary. Cubs have more room than any other team based on last year’s payroll, of course Yankees are up there too. Also depends on whether the Yankees are in fact willing to stay in the luxury tax or settle below it and reset the tax rates. Again they lost out on Cano but they spent 300 mil on three other players already. Cubs have been even quiter than years past so there’s a good chance this is the big name they’ve been sitting back on. I’m not even sure I want the Cubs to get him but for a team that is in year 3 of a youth movement he makes sense as one of the few free agents that is still before his prime years, of course who doesn’t that makes sense for?

          • leif 2 years ago

            Except for the Astros, they have the most wiggle room in payroll.

    • Ron Swanson 2 years ago

      When has he expressed his desire to be on the west coast?

      • Jim01702 2 years ago

        He has not himself stated he wants to only play on the west coast, that supposely came from a friend. Also how many players have said before they want to play on a certain coast only to sign else where.

        • johansantana15 2 years ago

          How many players have lived in Japan their entire life and how many non-West Coast cities have significant Japanese populations?

          • Jim01702 2 years ago

            And what’s that matter? I’m sure Kurosawa and ichiro(who he looked up to) can convince him

          • RIYankeeGuy 2 years ago

            …or even Kuroda and Matsui (similar rock star personality, WS MVP). How about his reported off-season workout partner and batman to his robin, Mr. Darvish over in Texas?

            Recruiting pitches are nice, but at least 4 teams can claim they have a Japanese player to help bring aboard Tanaka.

    • Wek 2 years ago

      You forgot Kuorda who probably is the most relevant of the three.

    • Robb Logan 2 years ago

      I am usually a reader not a guy whom replies but this demanded one. Your logic for the bombers is flawed on your own words. First Tanaka’s contract will put the Yanks over the cap A-Rod suspension or not. As you stated the Dodgers and Angels are in the same boat. However as it stands right now the Angels have roughly 18 Mil to play with. Those 2 teams then by logic have as much chance as the Yanks and the Halos pitching is a glaring hole just like the Yanks is.

      Second the Astros plan would fit perfectly here. They want youth which a signing like this fits perfectly. Ownership has publicly stated the payroll will increase and is already slowly doing such (Qualls, Albers and Feldman as a starting point).

      As for the Cubs if they toss the bank at him he would sign, after all the mighty dollar speaks volumes. To me it would be silly for teams not to post for him since the 20 mil is only paid by the winner who he signs with. 30 teams have a chance in that regard.

  11. MaineBaseball 2 years ago

    In the footage I’ve seen of Tanaka pitch, I can say that Dan Haren wasn’t exactly the first comparable who came to mind…

  12. WazBazbo 2 years ago

    I need to go watch some actual footage of Tanaka pitching; I’ve seen none, and no amount of debate over stats and history can ever replace your eyes. For those of you who HAVE seen him pitch, how would you describe him and who would you compare him to?

    • MaineBaseball 2 years ago

      MLB Network shows footage when they talk about him.

      • WazBazbo 2 years ago

        Yeah, one of the great sadnesses of my life just now is that I don’t get MLB Network. Should change soon, though!

    • Sky14 2 years ago

      Grantland wrote a nice piece on him back in August that has a few comments from people that have seen him play. In the piece Ben Balder of BA compared him to Kuroda based off his use of a fastball-splitter combo. Patrick Newman of NPBtracker said his stuff is better than Iwakuma’s and fastball is better than Kuroda’s and suggests long term he should be better than Ryu. This should give you an idea of what is expected of him.

  13. brianc6234 2 years ago

    If the Dodgers get Tanaka I think the rest of the teams will start demanding some kind of cap on spending. What the Dodgers have been doing is really bad for the future of baseball. How about if a team goes $25 million over the spending cap they automatically get hit with a 100% tax that year?

    • Jim01702 2 years ago

      If they sign him their salary could be almost $250 million.

    • fireboss 2 years ago

      The CBA spells out these progressive penalties.
      For a Club that has an Actual Club Payroll above the Tax Threshold in the 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016 Contract Year, the applicable Competitive Balance Tax rate shall be:
      (i) 17.5% if the Club did not exceed the Tax Threshold in the preceding Contract Year;
      (ii) 30% if the Club’s Competitive Balance Tax rate in the preceding Contract Year was 17.5% or 20%;
      (iii) 40% if the Club’s Competitive Balance Tax rate in the preceding Contract Year was 30%; and
      (iv) 50% if the Club’s Competitive Balance Tax rate in the preceding Contract Year was 40, 42.5%, or 50%.
      The Dodgers have a 2014 payroll of approximately $199 million right now (via COTS) Adding Tanaka at an estimated $17 million would take them to around $216 million. They would pay 30% in 2014 or in round numbers $8.1 million (216-189)*.30
      Payroll isn’t as simple as the contract cost as it contains a portion of player benefits and other things so it could be higher. It is also calculated on AAV not what is actually earned so it could be less as well.
      Currently they are below it for next year however extending Kershaw and Ramirez probably busts it again making the penalty 50% of the amount greater than the compensation tax limit of $189.
      While those numbers are huge it is the equivalent of paying the annual salary of another player on an opposing team.

      • Cubstein 2 years ago

        Their payroll will be higher than that. Right now they are projected to have a salary of 230 million after arbitration and filling out the salary if they stay put. Add in another 20 or so AAV contract for Tanaka and you’re at 250.

        • fireboss 2 years ago

          I did say “right now” the idea was to show how the penalty was calculated not present an exact payroll forecast. As you point out projections for their remaining arb players will raise the payroll and if it hits 250 the penalty is 18.3 M or two average players on an opposing team.

    • thegrayrace 2 years ago

      How is what the Dodgers are doing now any different from what the Yankees have been doing for over a decade?

  14. bjsguess 2 years ago

    That Rosenthal scenario is just silly. For it to work you would need:

    1. An MLB club willing to break the rules (and face possible sanctions like fines/loss of draft picks, etc).
    2. A NPB team willing to break the rules (and face similar sanctions).
    3. The player MUST choose to go to one team despite the fact that he will be a highly sought after talent that is likely to be bid on by virtually every team.
    4. The NPB has to trust that if they ever do post another player that the MLB team will keep their word. Given how infrequently players are posted the MLB team could have entire new leadership by the time another player is posted from the same team.
    5. The MLB team would need to bid in a reasonable manner to avoid getting caught. A guy who is worth $5M but gets posted at $20M will seem incredibly suspicious. You might be able to overpay by a few million without raising suspicion. Anything more than that and you will get busted.

    In the end the scenario is so unlikely that it hardly is worth a mention.

  15. bjsguess 2 years ago

    The Brisbee article is another head scratcher. He excludes the following teams:

    — “The Rangers are erring on the side of gluttonous, but I’m not sure if they have the pronounced need in the rotation, so they’re out.”
    — “The Diamondbacks have a full rotation and a stable of pitching prospects, so they’re out.”
    — “And even though the Mariners seem like a good fit, with a history of successful NPB transitions and a desire to win in 2014, that doesn’t seem like a team needing to spend on starting pitching.”

    So the Rangers are spending too much already and their rotation is solid so he doesn’t fit. The Diamondbacks have a full rotation so they are out. And the Mariners who have plenty of payroll space and holes in the backend shouldn’t be spending big bucks on a pitcher.

    Yet, the man who offers the arguments above says that it’s the Dodgers or nobody? Let’s see … The Dodgers tick every argument that Brisbee uses against other teams. Do they already have an incredibly high payroll? Yes. Do they have a solid rotation without Tanaka? Yes. Do they have bigger glaring holes than adding a $20M pitcher to the rotation? Yes.

    So we should rule out teams like the Rangers, DBacks and Mariners using one set of logic BUT ignore that same logic when discussing the Dodgers. Why? Because the Dodgers are rich and they get whomever they want (according to Brisbee).

    Finally, I’ll just point out the Dodgers haven’t done whatever they want (as Brisbee asserts). If that were the case they would have moved Ethier already and probably Kemp as well. That is unless the Dodgers think that Ethier and Kemp are already the best at their positions. The Dodgers haven’t moved those guys because they are not prepared to eat an appropriate amount of their contracts. Even the Dodgers have to work within some semblance of a financial plan.

  16. Brandon 2 years ago

    I don’t think those saying Tanaka doesn’t line up with the Astros philosophy really understand what their philosophy is. It has way less to do with money, and way more to do with “inclining vs. declining players.” Young, controllable, talented players, whose best years lie ahead of them, who will not be financial anchors near the end of their contract.. ESPECIALLY those that don’t cost a draft pick (hindering the ability to stockpile more of these players) are WITHIN the philosophy. Not all big contracts are created equal. Cano is a big contract, and would be the opposite of what the Astros are looking for. Tanaka, on the other hand, is on a completely different timeline. If their scouts love him, they’ll push all in on him.

  17. Dick__Whitman 2 years ago

    The Net is full of wannabe journalists — and getting fuller all the time, as real newspapers and news agencies dump staff like snakes shed skin.

  18. The_Sports_Dude 2 years ago

    Like who? Rosenthal or Heyman? Give me a break.

  19. BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

    Kickbacks, or back-channeling, or whatever you want to call it, is already prohibited by the posting agreement. The real danger of a NPB team attempting to extract money from a player above the posting fee is that it violates the posting agreement, something both leagues want in place. The primary beneficiaries of the current posting agreement isn’t MLB, it’s the players.

  20. Steely_D89 2 years ago

    That’s an interesting point but kind of hard to prove. What’s to stop the Yankees from buying 1 player a year from Rakuten for $5 mil, $8 mil and $13 mil to make it an extra 20+ million or something. Can you say with 100% that the Yankees are “back channeling”? Or are they, as they would say in their defense, just pursuing international talent they fancy?

    It’s not like an MLB team would be stupid enough to bid $20 mil on some scrub who’s not worth even a million to any other club. For that matter they’d probably be even sneakier about it with money changing hands unofficially

    I do agree however that a team should face a ban (MLB/NPB) should they breach the agreement. 10 years is way too harsh though. Most teams go through 1-2 GMs/owners etc every 3-4 years. Wouldn’t be fair to hammer a team and then have completely innocent people take over. I think a cap of a 3 year ban is good. 3 years without the possibility to sign a Japanese free agent and also remove 33% of their international free agent pool cash..

  21. Cubstein 2 years ago

    Sure you signed a decent couple of players but you lost your best player in Cano. NY outplayed their Pythagorean something I wouldn’t expect to happen again without Rivera, who oh yeah won’t be locking down save situations anymore for you. Now you’ll know what it’s like to be worried in save situations.
    Beltran is another year older and has been on a steady decline since 2009.
    Ellsbury is good because of his defense but another year old another step slower in the OF.
    McCann hasn’t handled as much workload as he used to.
    You no longer have a lock down closer. Get used to uncertainty in save situations.
    Have fun with Soriano’s April through May slump and now about to be 38.
    Sabathia, will be 34 during the season and showed vulnerability last season.
    You can really count on a 39 year old Koruda to perform for years to come.
    Pettitte is gone.

    Doesn’t sound like they are going to be dominating the AL anytime soon or that their built for the long haul.

    Cubs might not be competitive this year but they are set up to be competitive in a year or two for a long time.

  22. RIYankeeGuy 2 years ago

    I’ll take Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran and Soriano over Ruggiano, Castillo, Schierholtz and Lake any day of the week.

  23. Cubstein 2 years ago

    Congratulations, Yankees will be better than the Cubs this year. How’s that make you a contender? Although, I’m not sure I take McCann’s production this year over Castillo’s. Castillo had a solid OBP and was in competition for the GG leading the league in runs saved.

    I’ll take Baez, Bryant, Almora, Castro, Rizzo, Samardzija, Soler, Edwards, Hendricks, Vizcaino, Woood, Arrietta, Strop, Candelario, Vogelbach, Castillo, Johnson, Alcantara and Olt over those three at a fraction of the price for the next 7 years.

  24. Charlie Wilmoth 2 years ago

    Brisbee isn’t a wannabe, and we didn’t choose him at random. He has a very large following that he built mostly on his own, and his writing is unusually original and smart. If you slapped a different name on top of that article, no one would have had any problem with it.

  25. RIYankeeGuy 2 years ago

    I’m sorry, I didn’t realize the goal in baseball was to be in a perpetual state of development and mediocrity. Rizzo has huge holes in his swing and will likely post a wRC+ equivalent to Teixeira, Shark hardly is a guarantee to be on your roster past this season and he took a few steps backwards last season anyways.

    I can list Clarkin, De Paula, Ramirez, Banuelos, Hicks, Jagielo and a bunch of high ceiling, but squarely lottery ticket prospects too. The difference being, the Yankees don’t fantasize about nor rely on prospects. Instead they deliver post-season capable on the field products, year after year. 18 of 20 is good for 90%, what kind of reputation do your Cubs hold?

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