AL East Notes: Price, Tanaka, Yankees, Almanzar

When the offseason began, many speculated that David Price's time with the Rays was coming to an end, as the ace southpaw would be traded at the height of his remaining value (two years of team control) and Tampa Bay could save money and add even more quality prospects to their system.  The perception amongst rival executives now, however, is that Price will stay put through the coming season, ESPN's Buster Olney reports in his latest Insider-only column.  "Ninety percent chance he stays," one rival executive said. "The [trade] market hasn't materialized."  MLBTR readers seem to agree with that sentiment — according to a recent poll, less than 31% of respondees feel that Price will be pitching elsewhere by Opening Day.

Here's some more news from around the AL East…

  • Also from Olney's piece, some executives believe the Yankees and Dodgers will be the two final players in the race for Masahiro Tanaka.  The Yankees have the greater need for pitching and perhaps even more pressure to sign Tanaka now that most of Alex Rodriguez's salary is off the books for 2014.  The Dodgers, meanwhile, have shown they'll pay any price for a player they want, and are "more shameless in their bidding," according to some rival executives.
  • If the Yankees can't sign Tanaka, they could again focus on staying under the $189MM luxury tax limit, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford speculates.  Rodriguez's suspension could make the Yankees' payroll decision more difficult, as had A-Rod's 2014 salary still been fully owed, New York could've added Tanaka and other needed upgrades with the assumption that they'd be well over the $189MM threshold.  If Tanaka signs elsewhere, however, Bradford isn't sure that the Yankees would be willing to pay another big luxury tax penalty for one of the other big free agent starters (Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana or Matt Garza) and they surely wouldn't go over $189MM just to sign a closer.
  • If recent signees Delmon Young and Alexi Casilla make the Orioles' roster, it could hurt their chances of keeping Rule 5 Draft selection Michael Almanzar, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes.  Almanzar was taken by the O's from the Red Sox in last month's draft, and if Almanzar isn't on the Major League roster for the entire 2014 season, Baltimore has to offer him back to Boston for $25K.
  • CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff predicts 24 of the 25 players who he feels will make the Orioles' Opening Day roster.  The 25th spot is being left open for a starting pitcher from outside the organization, as Dubroff feels the O's will add a starter between now and the start of Spring Training.


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64 Comments on "AL East Notes: Price, Tanaka, Yankees, Almanzar"


Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

Does anyone know where the Yankees’ currently stand with payroll? Last I read, it was at 151 million and change, before arb and excluding the 26-40 man. I would think they have about 20 million to spend and can still stay under 189? My prediction is they go as high as six years and 120 million for Tanaka. Otherwise, why not sign Rodney and Balfour if the years are right and then add Arroyo?

pastlives
1 year 7 months ago

because a-rod comes back next year and their luxury tax number goes way up

East Coast Bias
1 year 7 months ago

So what? If they get under this year, their luxury tax percentage resets from 50% to 17.5%.

No one cares about next year’s payroll. This is a golden opportunity to get under to reset the percentage for the next few years.

pastlives
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t know, apparently they care lol, I’m just reading the article

East Coast Bias
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t think you understand how the luxury tax works. Maybe read those articles instead? lol

Luxury tax number never goes “way up” as you said. It only increases 10% per year. So if the Yankees are at 40% right now, next year they will have to pay 50% of whatever they spend over the 189m threshold. If they can get under 189m this year, next year they will only have to pay 17.5%. Following year, 27.5%. Following year 37.5%. Etc… Until they get under the threshold again and reset it to 17.5% again.

That’s why it doesn’t matter what happens next year, because the rate will be significantly lower once it resets.

Also, the threshold goes up. In a few years when they may want to get below the threshold again, it won’t be 189m, maybe something like 200m.

Look it up, it’s all on the wiki page.

pastlives
1 year 7 months ago

Sorry I should have been clearer, I meant payroll, not sure what i meant by luxury tax number haha…meaning that they have to prepare for A-Rod’s 20M+ to be back onto the books after this year

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

They do, but they would only be at 189 for one season. After that, presumably they would go back to around 200 where they usually are. That’s 11 million right there and doesn’t account for Kuroda, Gardner, Soriano, Ichiro, Jeter or anybody else’s expiring contracts.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

But that tax line will go up because salaries are also increasing. So when it does get to 200M I would expect NY to still over it.

Nicholas D'Esposito
1 year 7 months ago

Next year has nothing to do with it, the tax threshold resets if they are under 189 for all of 2014.

jjs91
1 year 7 months ago

RAB had a nice writeup. They are basically over with bonuses unless they trade someone.

Kev D7
1 year 7 months ago

None of those bonuses will come to fruition. Not one.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

No chance that Kuroda pitches 190 innings?

jjs91
1 year 7 months ago

i’m pretty sure kuroda has pitched more innings before. And if roberts doesn’t get his sizemore will cost than something. Either way it’s 2 million or so under cap.

Kev D7
1 year 7 months ago

My mistake, I had read the post that only included the Jeter and soriano bonuses that are indeed unreachable.

jjs91
1 year 7 months ago

Ya it would be a miracle if those happened.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

Axisa from RAB did a nice writeup on it yesterday.
per him
under contract: 153.766M
Arb projected: 14.8M
pre Arb: ~2-5M
other: 12.085M

That is about 185.65M if you take the higher pre-arb numbers, and arbs are as expected That only gives you 4M for bonuses, of which Roberts and Kuroda could easily attain 3M of that if healthy.

Basically if 189 is their plan they are done for the winter.

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

Yeesh. It kind of seems like it’s just media speculation then. They have been in on Tanaka since before A-Rod’s decision and if they’re already right up against it, it would appear they don’t care about the payroll.

My guess would be they go all out on Tanaka and if LA beats them anyway, then they will stay away from the other starters simply because they aren’t worth the investment. It would appear the plan will be: Tanaka and Balfour, or Arroyo and maybe dumping half of Ichiro’s salary and grabbing Balfour anyway.

Brandon.
1 year 7 months ago

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees have somewhere between 8-10 million left to spend this off-season in order to stay under the 189 mark. This is because they need to save about 5 million for mid-season callups and other expenses (which I can’t recall). So yes, technically, they only have 151 million committed, but they only have 8-10 more they can spend.

Light_tower_power
1 year 7 months ago

I think Cubs fans are gonna start getting restless with their rebuild if they aren’t major players for Tanaka… Ricketts needs to step up to the plate and stop worrying about mascots

RobbyH619
1 year 7 months ago

Unless you toss 7 years 120ish mill at Tanaka the cubs have no shot at signing him. You’d be better off trying to sign Garza and Arroyo to 3 year deals each.

schaddy24
1 year 7 months ago

There is no reason to think they wont spend that much. Reports are they will offer “nine figures”, which although vague, would mean they will be in it. IMHO it makes sense to blow him away with an offer. He would speed up the rebuild; and with their current low payroll even if he’s a bust it’s not like hes hurting the luxury tax or something.

Trock
1 year 7 months ago

My thoughts exactly. There payroll is so low right now, getting a guy like Tanaka to start anchoring the rotation is a good way to spend money. If all their position players pay off like they think they will, they should be able to field a really cheap team, and be able to spend all that payroll on solidifying their rotation since that is a weak spot in their farm system.

schaddy24
1 year 7 months ago

Exactly. Then by the time the hitting prospects need new contracts, they will have the new TV deal/network. That will pay the team billions similar to the Dodgers/Yanks. I’m excited to see what pitchers we sign next winter with so many solid arms becoming FA’s. Adding Tanaka, resigning Shark, and adding Scherzer or Shields next winter would be a huge step in the right direction.

RobbyH619
1 year 7 months ago

Huh look at that. New agreement with NPB and the two teams with the most money are projected to sign him…..cause nobody saw this coming. Oh wait I did. Deals a joke that heavily favors the MLB but NPB found a way to stick it to the MLB by negotiating with it’s players on a posting fee of its own.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

No where does it say he is surely signing with the Yankees or Dodgers. I wonder how many of these executives said the Mariners would sign Cano.

RobbyH619
1 year 7 months ago

When you toss 10 years 240 mill at a guy sure that’s a dark horse candidate. If a team wants to toss 8years 160mill for tanaka sure dark horse candidate. But they’ll be criticized for overpaying like the mariners were. Realistically he’ll take the largest contract with the intention of kicking back to Rakuten; doubt many teams are prepping 130 mill bids. If I were a gm I wouldn’t break the 120 mill threshold but again anybody but the Yankees or dodgers, even angels rangers mariners, toss over 120 mill and get into a bidding war with the Yankees dodgers angels mariners rangers they’ll be scrutinized for over paying more than the 5 teams will be.

Kev D7
1 year 7 months ago

Well its better than the arranged marriage that a player had to live through before just to pitch in the MLB.

monkeydung
1 year 7 months ago

as a Dodgers fan, I wouldn’t be upset if he wasn’t on the Dodgers, but I would be upset if he was a Yankee.

Bleed_Orange
1 year 7 months ago

So you would be upset if he wasn’t a Dodger then?

Vmmercan
1 year 7 months ago

I know how deep that rivalry is and how the Yankees can impact the Dodgers’ NL West chances, so I feel for you.

I Want My Bird
1 year 7 months ago

It’s been decided that the Giants, Rockies, Padres, and Dbacks will form the NL West (2) division. The Dodgers will instead conduct public pool exercise exhibitions at various scenic locations around L.A. such as: Malibu, Beverly Hills, etc. Puig will also be at the local car racetracks. Then the Dodgers will rejoin MLB for the playoffs. Reports that Tanaka is actually not a good swimmer, makes his signing curious then, unless it’s just another case of ‘sticking it to the man’.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

Add Australia to the pool tour, and you’re done for the day.

John Kreese
1 year 7 months ago

Interesting speculation on the luxury tax issue. So signing Tanaka could lead to more spending for NY potentially or not signing means they could be done. Should be a fun next 10 days or so to see what happens in Gotham.

WazBazbo
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah… it’s almost odd thinking that the entire Tanaka saga has to be over in ten days max. I’m guessing several free agent SPs can’t wait!

Governator88
1 year 7 months ago

Assuming the Jays are likely out on Tanaka based on length of contract alone, I sure hope the Dodgers land him. I also hope I’m wrong on my assumption.

Mike1L
1 year 7 months ago

The worst dollar for the Yankees is the one that puts them over the threshold. If I were them, I’d skip Tanaka, and I would certainly stay away from the others hanging out there. The Yankees need to think about building long term, and part of it is reloading this year.

ed27
1 year 7 months ago

Tough to do with the need to always contend or risk losing the season ticket revenue which also adds up to a lot of lost money from concessions. The Yankee model for financial success will find it hard to absorb two mediocre years in a row. I know that it sounds logical if they fail to land Tanaka for them to go into 2014 under $189M and then go all out in 2015 without having to worry about the luxury tax but there will be an awful lot of season ticket holders paying big money who will be irate looking at #4 and #5 starters from a group of Warren, Phelps, Pineda, Nuno, etc.

johnsilver
1 year 7 months ago

You do realize that FA themselves could change that entire strategy if more would scratch them from their list of teams they will sign with prior to becoming a FA. i can name Rod Carew, bruce Hurst and Lyman Bostock off hand who readily announced that they were not interested in signing with the NYY.

Time could come that more will not sign with large tax states altogether and not just NY, though those 3 were not for tax reasons.

Best not to plan on always having to build on FA alone was my meaning, Rules can change and the small market owners have made inroads with the NPB owners greater than anyone would have thought with posted players. It’s time to get ahead of the curve in other areas of the game where they might be lacking.

ed27
1 year 7 months ago

The Yankees have done that by signaling they will pay the penalty on international signings (Dominican Republic, etc.). I agree however, their Minor League Director has to be changed and the Scouting Department needs an overhaul.

Mike1L
1 year 7 months ago

Johnsilver, I expect that there will be a number of players who won’t want to sign with the Yankees-it’s not an easy place to play in. I’m suggesting a longer term strategy. Recognize that you can’t do this in one year. Get below the threshold this year, reset the tax rate, start fresh. Make your qualified offers next year to players like Gardner to get back in the draft pick game. Hope to get a little lucky. As brilliant as the Red Sox FO was, they got immeasurable help from the Dodgers.

JacobyWanKenobi
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t think passing on a 25 year old pitcher with a ton of potential helps the long term.

monroe_says
monroe_says
1 year 7 months ago

The bleating about the Yankees’ dance with the luxury tax may just be the most overblown story of the year.

johnsilver
1 year 7 months ago

It might be to some fans, but Some owners, like Sternberg in Tampa, Nutting at Pittsburgh, Loria at Miami are always sitting with ears perked up for when their gravy train goes over (yet again) to keep the mega cash flowing.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
1 year 7 months ago

Well the rumor was Tanaka wanted his family to go to a city where more people spoke Japanese and his wife prefers the West Coast. So I gotta think that gives LA the advantage if the Dodgers at least match the yanks offer.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 7 months ago

Sounds like the dodgers are making a run at NYY’s title, The Evil Empire. Being “more shameless in their bidding” than NYY is quite a feat!

I Want My Bird
1 year 7 months ago

Whoever really wanted Tanaka and doesn’t get him, I could see making an offer for Price as a fallback. I think Price offers have been held back by Tanaka, along with everything else. The last time the US economy was held back by a Japanese import this much, was when Datsun and Honda came over!!!

ed27
1 year 7 months ago

The Dodgers might wait until next off-season and go after a free-agent pitcher at that time while the Yankees could never get Price–a) not enough prospects and b) even if they had the Major League ready people in the high minors they are a division rival.

neoncactus
1 year 7 months ago

After all those years of McCourt, it’s nice to see the Dodgers and shameless bidding in the same sentence.

JSole10
1 year 7 months ago

The Dodgers went from not being able to land any free agents to being in on all the major free agents. The Dodgers are finaly acting like a big market team. If other fans of other teams have a problem with they way the Yanks, Red Sox and now Dodgers spend their money, blame their owners. The owners of those teams want to win and have no qualms on spending their revenue money back to the team.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

Some owners have the revenue to spend and don’t put it on the field. They have no excuses, and fans of those teams should be outraged. Others don’t have the revenue, because of MLB’s broken revenue model.

JSole10
1 year 7 months ago

People act like the Dodgers have been spending big money all these years. They have been penny pinching the whole time when McCourt owned the team. As a fan of the Dodgers I’ve had to witness all these almost signed player scenarios. The Dodgers almost had Sabathia, Fielder, Vlad Guerrero and lucked into Manny Ramirez. This new regime has a championship or bust mentality. Spend on players while protecting the farm system. Like the big spending Yankees of the 90’s. It works if the people you bring develop and the free agents are productive. I think the Dodgers will end up with Tanaka if it is true that he prefers the West Coast.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

Don’t forget Fox. They started the process of running the Dodgers into the ground. McCourt looked good, if only by comparison. Still handicapping Tanaka to the Yankees, but I wouldn’t mind being wrong.

JSole10
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah, but Fox spent money on the team. They didn’t make wise signings and the Dodgers were not profitable but they showed a willingness to win and sign free agents. Brown, Dreifort and Sheffield some of the signings I can remember the Dodgers spending money on. Who did penny pinching McCourt sign? Furcal, Drew and Lowe. “c’mon man”

Jake
1 year 7 months ago

I gotta say, as a lifelong Dodger fan that after the McCourt years, and with the current TV money and attendance, the real shame would be if the Dodgers didn’t bid on every high quality free agent. It would be shameless to sit on billions of dollars without putting the absolute best team they can afford on the field.

Brandon.
1 year 7 months ago

I really would like to see the Yankees compete with what they have. It would be really unfortunate for them to sign Tanaka and blow up the 189 idea. As a fan, now that we have the opportunity, I would like to see them compete without “buying championships”, by signing everyone and their mother. Stay under the cap and maybe they’ll get a little more respect.

MilkMeMore
1 year 7 months ago

respect they have what 27 WS titles ? im sure they have it already

Macfan01
1 year 7 months ago

Most overhyped stories of the offseason.

1. Tanaka coming to America. This guy had better be good, because whomever signs him, if he is a bust it will be laughable to deal with him being a failure after all the talk and hype, not to mention the fat check he will get from someone.

2. Washed up Alex Rodriguez getting suspended (You would think it was 2002 Rodriguez, not a to be 39 year old, double hip operation player who is past his prime.

3. Yankees luxury tax limit or lack thereof, you would think the way the media analyzes this subject that Yankees will go broke if they don’t get under 189. They stand to lose far more in revenues from television and attendance throughout the season than any luxury tax if they have a losing team. Surely they realize this. 189 is all bunk. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees.

4. Chase Headley trade rumors which will pop up throughout the season, nuff said.

Governator88
1 year 7 months ago

I wouldn’t call Tanaka rumours overhyped considering there are several large FA deals in the making who’s future depends on the deal. Rumours and discussions around him are definitely relevant. The rest I agree with.

es7128
1 year 7 months ago

The Yankees would save around $100 million in salary and revenue sharing costs over the next 2 seasons by staying under 189 this year. By staying under 189 their tax resets from 50% to 17%.

RetroRob
1 year 7 months ago

If Tanaka’s wife wants to play on the West Coast, then he will sign with a West Coast team. Yet, more likely, the fact her preference was “leaked” might say something else entirely. They want the Yankees to increase their offer.

johnrhee
1 year 7 months ago

I really want the Seattle Mariners to acquire David Price & Matt Joyce (for outfield/infield depth) from the Rays for Nick Franklin (can also be dealt to the Brewers or Blue Jays for relief pitching help), James Paxton or Erasmo Ramirez, Tyler Pike, John Hicks (blocked by Zunino), and outfielder Leon Landry or Julio Morban. Price w/ Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwamura, Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez, and Erasmo Ramirez or James Paxton would be an awesome starting rotation. For relief pitching help, adding Balfour or Rodney would be a great move unless he cost a draft pick like other top free agents.

thomas kimmell
1 year 7 months ago

Providing that Price remains with the Rays, I predict the Rays have their first 100 win season. Time to buy season tickets at the Trop.

Darin
1 year 7 months ago

If the dodgers sign Tanaka and he is even 80% of what he’s supposed to be, they’ll likely have the best starting rotation in history, or damn close. Given all they’ve spent already, how do they get outbid?

Shawn Johnson
1 year 7 months ago

ARod’s salary is only gone for this year. It will be back next year and beyond. Why do people act like they are off the hook?