Twins Have Interest In Masahiro Tanaka

Add the Twins to the list of teams that have interest in Masahiro Tanaka, 1500ESPN.com's Darren Wolfson reports (via Twitter). Wolfson does, however, quote a Twins official who says Tanaka's posting is a "long process" and it's "difficult to know where it stands."

The Twins have already spent heavily on pitching this offseason, signing Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to multiyear deals and re-signing Mike Pelfrey. Even the Nolasco move was uncharacteristically splashy for them, so it would be very surprising if they managed to outbid teams like the Yankees and Dodgers for Tanaka.

Nonetheless, Tanaka would, obviously, be an attractive target for Minnesota. He's relatively young and he wouldn't require the loss of a draft pick, and the rotation still arguably represents an area of need even after the Nolasco and Hughes additions. The Twins also continue to be connected to free-agent starter Bronson Arroyo.


79 Responses to Twins Have Interest In Masahiro Tanaka Leave a Reply

  1. Anthony Munsell 2 years ago

    “Insert team here” has interest in Masahiro Tanaka

    • D.j. Wilson 2 years ago

      Exactly. Thank you for posting that, I was going to. Very poor headline choice. I think all 30 teams are “interested,” it’s who can and will be willing to pay the posting fee and then the huge contract.

  2. Bryce Harper 2 years ago

    The Twins actually have a shot at landing him, despite what most people probably think. They desperately need more pitching and still lack an ace. I wouldn’t say anyone in the farm system is a future ace either, at best 2-3 in the rotation. Imagine having Tanaka, Buxton, Sano, among all their other solid young guys!

    • One has to remember that this is not simply, “well he fits the teams need and they have a shot”. This is a two-way street. The ultimate question will be, “Does this team need Tanaka and would Tanaka want this team?”

      I agree the Twins would look good with a guy like Tanaka in their rotation and I’m sure they find him an attractive get. However, while I do not know Tanaka personally or his thinking, one has to imagine with teams like the Dodgers and Yankees looming…the shot you’ve mentioned is quite a long one.

      • Kayrall 2 years ago

        Tanaka is virtually a free agent. This whole added “does HE want to go there” thing can be applied to every free agent. Ricky Nolasco felt that the twins worth worth his time. Why wouldn’t Tanaka?

        • That’s not really an apples to apples comparison. And before anyone thinks I’m picking on the Twins, I am not. You can’t compare Ricky Nolasco to a Japanese import that has the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Mariners, etc. on his tail. I’m sure Nolasco had suitors, but no one was going to offer him what the Twins offered. It was a good deal for both sides.

        • $3513744 2 years ago

          maybe he prefers another team. his point being is that Tanaka has a lot more teams after him. I don’t think Nolasco was in high demand like Tanaka is.

      • Bryce Harper 2 years ago

        Their offense really isn’t too bad, especially with the young talent coming. Really the reason they’re losing is their horrid rotation

    • marvin oliva 2 years ago

      I agree, do not count the Twinkies out. I am no where near a Twins fan, but I recognize when a team has a decent plan in place. Tanaka would fill out that rotation very nicely and those young guys coming up can provide the offense they will need. Quazi-TB Rays model. Good pitching, inexpensive hitting with young prospects

    • chad 2 years ago

      Seems like it would be a good idea but couldn’t it be risky given track records of Japanese pitchers outside of Darvish? If they signed him and then he stunk it would set organization further back. Also, didn’t they sign that Japanese middle-fielder a couple years back? What was his name? Well, its not important because the only thing he is remembered as is being a waste of money. Twinkies got some good young chips, still a few years a way I’d say.

      • Allan Williams 2 years ago

        Those in this part know better than to speak of him… (Nishioka.)

        • 0vercast 2 years ago

          He-who-shall-not-be-named was again an All-Star upon returning to Japan. That’s what ya call ‘twisting the knife.’

      • Alex Ginebra 2 years ago

        Hiroki Kuroda says hello. He’s the most successful Japanese pitcher in the majors to date. Darvish may have the most electric stuff to ever cross over, but he still has to prove more than just what he’s done in one season. Let’s not act like all Japanese pitchers are scrubs besides Darvish. Some Japanese pitchers were very successful as relief pitchers (see Takashi Saito, Kazuhiro Sasaki & Koji Uehara). Yes, names like Irabu and Igawa were complete busts. But Matsuzaka and Nomo have both put up All Star caliber seasons before losing it and falling into the bust category. Anything can happen. But Kuroda still wears the crown. He’s the model of consistency and durability over his MLB career.

    • cman 2 years ago

      “The Twins actually have a shot at landing him,”

      No they don’t. This is lip service by the Twins front office. Oh yeah we are interested, but not really because he’s too much money. No way will Terry Ryan post 75 million for Tanaka.

      • Sam 2 years ago

        The owners of the Twins are billionaires. They absolutely have the money.

        • $3513744 2 years ago

          that’s never stopped them from keeping it to themselves and claiming they can’t afford players.

          • Sam 2 years ago

            I want to explain why that comment is wrong in so many ways but unless you have a real knowledge of the twins organizational history you won’t understand – so it’s just a down vote cuz it’s just not true.

          • Bryce Harper 2 years ago

            I know the history and how frugal they are. Was the Ricky Nolasco deal a typical deal for them? The Pohlads are giving Terry Ryan more money to spend

          • 0vercast 2 years ago

            Just like they said they would. I didn’t believe it; in fact, I laughed at the notion.

      • stl_cards16 2 years ago

        Good thing the only have to “post” $20MM.

        • cman 2 years ago

          20million yes, but ultimately it will cost a team upwards of 75 million EASY for them.

      • 0vercast 2 years ago

        The Twins owners are some of the richest in pro sports. They’re clearly stepping up their spending in the face of fleeing season-ticket holders and television viewers. At this point, they’re uncharacteristically unpredictable.

        • Curt Green 2 years ago

          You are right. They have lost 3000 to 5000 in attendance a GAME each year for the last 2 years and TV viewership was cut in half. Being a Twins fan, I had to adopt the Cardinals as my go to team when the Twins play like they have the last 3 years.

    • Justin Abbott Olson 2 years ago

      I think you might be forgetting that the Twins do have Alex Meyer and Kohl Stewart, both could be legitimate aces in the future. I am a big Twins fan, and I would obviously love to see Tanaka in a Twins uniform, but I think TR is content with Hughes and Nolasco topping our rotation until Meyer and Stewart are ready to come up.

  3. Sky14 2 years ago

    As much as I would love for the Twins to land Tanaka, it is never going to happen. His price tag seems to grow everyday.

    • Terry 2 years ago

      It is funny how short-sighted people can be. In 1991 the Twins had the highest payroll in baseball. they still have the same family owners. I realize the landscape is different, but do not rule anything out his early in the process. Ebbs and flows in all things.

      • joshdotmn 2 years ago

        I didn’t know this about our payroll. Thanks for making my day.

        • Curt Green 2 years ago

          I didn’t know that either. Here is another fun Twins trivia fact. They are the first team ever to draw 3 million fans in a season (1988).

  4. Devern Hansack 2 years ago

    I feel like he generates too many strikeouts for them to be comfortable.

    • Rashomon 2 years ago

      No doubt they will overlook the strikeouts for that sublime walk rate!

    • Justin Abbott Olson 2 years ago

      You couldn’t be more right, I would like your comment twice if I could

    • 0vercast 2 years ago

      While it holds some truth, this tired ‘joke’ is even more played-out than the “Yankees are soooo old” gag, yet it still manages to find it’s way into every Twins-related comment section.

      • jjs91 2 years ago

        Doubtful some managed to make a yankees to old joke about mulder signing with the angels.

  5. Jerry Mandering 2 years ago

    With the new affordable posting price, now really any team has a legitimate shot at signing him if they’re willing to pay the price. Don’t think it would be very smart for the Twins as probably half their payroll would then be going to two players but it would definitely be an unexpected splash that would in turn generate revenue and likely increase attendance and international exposure.

  6. Rook 2 years ago

    I hope my Dbacks figure a way to get Tanaka. If they don’t though, I would be thrilled if a team like the Twins got him. That would be a lot of fun considering how many comments I’ve seen from the big money teams fans, pretty much being a “lock” to land the guy.

  7. GetTheRunnerOver 2 years ago

    Everyone wants Tanaka

  8. northsfbay 2 years ago

    With small market teams getting more revenue, you can’t count them out anymore. Who knows. Nobody expected the Mariners to sign Cano.

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      If they’ve made room in the salary cap for him sure but don’t count on teams suddenly spending more than their previous budgets because of that revenue. Spending that money won’t bring that amount of additional money in revenue back to the team.

  9. TheoHoyer 2 years ago

    Sorry Twins fans, Tanaka will not be signing in Minnesota. With all the teams interested in Tanaka, why the hell would he choose Minnesota? We know Nolasco signed there because of the years/money.

    Downvote me all you want, but there is no way he signs in Minnesota.

    • NYBravosFan10 2 years ago

      Wow, it’s nice to meet you Mr. Tanaka!! Nice to know that you’re not wasting any time in eliminating teams from your interest and being outward enough to keep the fans updated.

      • TheoHoyer 2 years ago

        I am not Tanaka, but there are many more attractive places to sign than Minnesota.

        • NYBravosFan10 2 years ago

          I was merely trying to get the point across that maybe he’s not necessarily looking for the winningest team possible. Maybe he is after years/money. Or maybe he wants to go to a team/city that is most welcoming of his nationality.

          • $3513744 2 years ago

            But to be honest, none of those reasons seem to add up to the Twins.

    • Sam 2 years ago

      Re-read your comment and insert cubs cuz odds are he won’t be on your team either.

      • TheoHoyer 2 years ago

        When did I say anything about the Cubs? lol odds are he wont sign with 29 MLB teams. Great insight, Sam.

        • Sam 2 years ago

          Oh please Theo Hoyer. You fool no one.

        • Sam 2 years ago

          What? Your comment was Tanaka will not be signing in Minnesota. Why would he choose Minnesota? Yeah that’s some sparkling insight there as well. You give 0 reasons why you feel this way and yet you’re sure he won’t.

          • $3513744 2 years ago

            you must be confused. He asked where in any of that he actually mentioned anything regarding the Cubs. you don’t have to agree with him but he gave his reasons if you just take the time to read. so hateful. sheesh.

          • Sam 2 years ago

            No reason to bash the twins either. Cubs reference made due to his name.

    • johansantana15 2 years ago

      If Nolasco signed there for the years/money, why wouldn’t Tanaka sign there for the years/money? Your comment possesses a severe dearth of logic.

  10. cody2818 2 years ago

    Just curious, does anyone know how much money Tanaka has made playing professionally in Japan, converted into American dollars?

  11. northsfbay 2 years ago

    There have been Japanese pitcher busts. We will see which team wants to go high on the bidding.

    • Sam 2 years ago

      Honestly, the highest touted Japanese pitchers have a darn good track record of being categorically NOT BUSTS. I expect tanaka to be no different.

  12. Rashomon 2 years ago

    I was rooting for Nishioka to succeed and although things didn’t work out, I wonder what his opinion of the Twins organization is. I believe this organization would love to expand its international appeal and if you look at their scouting practices, they have already invested strongly in international prospects like Sano and Kepler, and a few years back, led the farm leagues in Aussie employment percentage. Also, the press box at Target Field is HUGE, in anticipation of events like the playoffs and the All-Star Game. I think they would like to welcome the Japanese press back to it if they could. Speaking of the All-Star Game this year, there would be no better way to turn some heads their way than by signing Tanaka. We read that Terry was cleared to spend up to $15 million on one player and this guy could be the ace they need and it would make all the pitching moves they’ve made this offseason more appropriate. I would love a rotation of Tanaka, Meyer, Nolasco, Gibson and Hughes to start off 2015.

  13. Teddy 2 years ago

    Guys we all know where Tanaka is going…the nationals of course. His last name literally is AKA NAT spelled backwards

  14. BCleveland3381 2 years ago

    I just don’t see the Twins having that kind of money to spend. The need for Tanaka is there. The Twins signed a whole bunch of pitchers, but their entire roster is filled with #3-5 starters. They don’t have an ace, or even a #2 starter on their roster. Even Arroyo is a 3 on most teams if they got him. Tanaka would be a good fit, especially pitching in that ballpark, I just dont see it happening. No way the Twins outbid the Yanks or Dodgers.

    • Sky14 2 years ago

      This seems like a fair assessment. The Twins probably could afford to go after Tanaka because their payroll was lower than it probably should have been the past couple years and outside of Mauer and perhaps Nolasco they do not have any major salary commitments for the foreseeable future. Clearly they have been very aggressive but I do not see them going after a player at any cost like the Yankees. Everyone knows Tanaka will be expensive, so the Twins expressing interest means they feel they might be able to afford him depending on how high this gets which likely will be more than they can tolerate. .

  15. James Exercise 2 years ago

    So, if Im not mistaken, the Dodgers have counted themselves out, the Rangers have done so as well, leaving the Yankees, Angels and DBacks… and the Twins as potential suitors. Does anyone see the writing on the wall here? And dont tell me Dodgers and Rangers are bluffing whenthey say: our payroll is pretty much set, but you know, never say never!

    • johansantana15 2 years ago

      Why would Coletti or Daniels give away his team’s bargaining position like that? The only people that believe anything GMs say about personnel during the offseason are fans. Other GMs, agents, players, and knowledgable analysts realize that GMs bluff on free agents all the time in order to not give away their negotiating power.

      • James Exercise 2 years ago

        The only parties with a bargaining position here are Tanaka and agent Casey Close, theyre the ones in demand here. No MLB team has powerover Tanaka. the positiois: you want me?? Pay me. To say that you do or dont want him gives away nothing, therefore, Daniels and Colleti arent dancing around, they really mean it when they say, our budget is tight right now.

        • Jose Villasano 2 years ago

          yea yall right but remember i forgot where it was on this website that the Dodgers are the favorite to sign him and people have been saying that the Dodgers are going to make an impact deal soon so who knows

        • johansantana15 2 years ago

          By saying that they are not interested, they are attempting to keep the price for Tanaka down because they are interested.

  16. Tko11 2 years ago

    As much as they do need him there is really no way he chooses Minnesota over cities like LA or NY. The only way would be if the Twins offered a lot more money than the Angels or Yankees which is not going to happen.

    • cman 2 years ago

      Do you mean ” there is really no way he chooses Minneapolis / St. Paul over LA and NY City? Depends on what he wants. If he’s looking to win a world series over the next 3 or 4 years the Yankees are NOT the place to go even though they always have lots of money to spend.

      A good chunk of that team is OLD and nearing retirement. Jeter 39, Beltran 36, Teixeira 33, Soriano 37, Roberts 36, Suzuki 40, Wells 35, Rodriguez 38 (if he ever plays again), Sabathia 33 and Kuroda 38. Rivera and Pettitte have already retired.

      If Tanaka wants to win a world series he’s better off heading to the west coast and pitching for the Angels or the Dodgers. They certainly have the money to spend and both are much younger teams than the Yankees. Remember he’s only 25.

      If he’s looking for the Hollywood life style or BIG city living then yeah…..the west coast and NY City are the places to go, not the Twin Cities. The Twins certainly are much further along in rebuilding and replenishing their farm system. But again the question is what is he’s looking for.

  17. tenncub 2 years ago

    OK, we get it. Everybody is interested in Tanaka. It seems like it would be more newsworthy if you could find somebody who isn’t.

  18. Rusty_Arcadia 2 years ago

    The Yankees and Angels have both said that the tax ramifications will not dissuade them from going all in after Tanaka. The Cubbies also seem to have the wherewithal to slug it out for him. The Dodgers, Rangers and Mariners have all said that they are reaching their spending limit… But they are probably not all being honest. The point… $20M posting fee is chump change but Tanaka will likely get more than 100M to sign and it will likely be with a win-now type team. Any team that isn’t willing to spend $120M+ on him, isn’t really in it IMO.

  19. Anthony 2 years ago

    The Twins don’t have one single chance of landing Tanaka, yet an article suggesting they do have a chance was written. The result: A slough of comments and I happily read them all. A slow day at Trade Rumors.

  20. Pei Kang 2 years ago

    Would love to see a team like the Twins or Cubs get Tanaka…they can use the media exposure from the signing.

  21. 0vercast 2 years ago

    Though I would love it, I highly doubt the Twins are going to make themselves legitimate contenders for Tanaka’s services. Sure, they uncharacteristically spent some real money this offseason, kudos to them, but they’re not going to cripple themselves with another import after how poorly the last one worked out.

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, and let’s not forget how the were ‘interested” in Mark Buehrle a couple years back, offering him a low-ball one-year deal while he had a four-year deal on the table. Being ‘interested’ is one thing; being a realistic suitor is another.

    Perhaps someone should remind them that they must sign him to an absurd contract ON TOP of paying the $20MM to Ratukan.

    • cman 2 years ago

      Amen. And to be perfectly honest I’m not sure he’s not worth the risk. His fastball is FLAT. Like Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey flat. He also has a nasty tendency to leave his low 90’s fastball up.

      That is a recipe for disaster at Yankee Stadium, which is a total hitters park. Typically, Japanese pitchers see there ERA, BB/9 and homerun stats double when they transition to MLB!

      Unless he is a total freak phenomenon, (which the scouting reports don’t seem to support), I see an average 3-5 starter. If it takes $20M to post for him and then he demands 100+million to sign, simply not worth it.

  22. Curt Green 2 years ago

    Because the last player from Japan they signed worked out so well.

  23. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

    How do the Twins have interest in Tanaka and the Orioles don’t?
    Also, I guess the Twins have really soured on Worley.

  24. They should do it just to scoff at bud selig as he leaves office for that whole franchise folding nonsense

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