AL West Links: Tanaka, A’s, Astros, Castro

Could the Athletics be stealth contenders for Masahiro Tanaka?  A Major League executive tells Bill Madden of the New York Daily News to "watch out for Oakland" as a suitor for the Japanese right-hander.  "They’ve got as much money as any team and they like doing these big international things — as with their signing of (Yoenis) Cespedes and the fact they were second to the Reds for Aroldis Chapman five years ago," the exec said.  Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com explores the possibility of Tanaka joining the A's and thinks the executive might've just been speculating, but while he feels it's unlikely the A's can outbid the field for Tanaka, Stiglich notes the A's have already made some surprising moves this winter "so no sort of Tanaka speculation should come as a complete shocker."

Here's some more from the AL West…

  • Speaking of Tanaka, ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider subscription required) opines that "he would be absolutely perfect for" the Astros.  Tanaka is young enough that he'll be in his prime when Houston will theoretically be able to contend, and the Astros can afford to make a big contract offer since they have so few long-term payroll commitments.
  • Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle breaks down the question of whether the Astros should trade or extend catcher Jason Castro.  There's clear value to keeping a cost-controlled, power-hitting catcher on one-year deals through arbitration, and yet without an extension, a trade becomes more logical the closer Castro gets to free agency.
  • Trading for outfielder Michael Choice "was the best move made by the Rangers this winter," opines MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan as part of a reader mailbag.  Sullivan sees Choice as a candidate to help the team in 2014 and take over as Alex Rios' replacement in 2015.  Texas acquired Choice as part of the deal that sent Craig Gentry to Oakland last month.
  • The Rangers drafted Jameis Winston in the 15th round of the 2012 draft and Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News talks to Texas assistant GM A.J. Preller and other club personnel about how serious Texas was about signing Winston and still letting him play football for Florida State.  Winston, of course, is quarterbacking FSU against Auburn in tonight's national championship game and says he aims to be a two-sport star a la Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders.  Winston is next eligible for the MLB draft in 2015.
  • In other AL West news from earlier today, the Mariners will need approval from ownership before going ahead with any more big moves, and the M's signed catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal.

MLBTR's Zach Links also contributed to this post


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46 Comments on "AL West Links: Tanaka, A’s, Astros, Castro"


Riaaaaaa
1 year 6 months ago

Next thing you know the A’s will be “favorites” for Tanaka.

Riaaaaaa
1 year 6 months ago

Next thing you know the A’s will be “favorites” for Tanaka.

kungfucampby
1 year 6 months ago

Oakland also won the bid for Hisashi Iwakuma but couldn’t come to terms with him when he wanted $100MM.

Tyler
1 year 6 months ago

What you talkin bout? Iwakuma makin 1.5 mil a year.

Snoochies8
1 year 6 months ago

When they won the posting, the offseason before Seattle signed him, his agent wanted Barry Zito money. Iwakuma then fired his agent soon after that whole debacle

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

The way he has played he should have got that much.

Eric Espejo
1 year 6 months ago

Yes he is now. The A’s won the original posting bid then tried to negotiation a multi year deal with him. His agent at one point called the A’s offer insulting and as the A’s had won the posting, and no deal was met Iwakuma had to return to play in Japan for a year. After that year he signed with the M’s for significantly less money than the A’s were going to pay him the year previous.

Tyler
1 year 6 months ago

What you talkin bout? Iwakuma makin 1.5 mil a year.

kungfucampby
1 year 6 months ago

Oakland also won the bid for Hisashi Iwakuma but couldn’t come to terms with him when he wanted $100MM.

Kendall Cooper
1 year 6 months ago

Since when have the A’s had “as much money as any team”? Sorry, but they do not have near as much as other big market teams like the Yankees.,,

Jason Parker
1 year 6 months ago

LOL I’m pretty sure the A’s have something like the 5th wealthiest ownership in baseball they are just cheap and reluctant to spend.

Snoochies8
1 year 6 months ago

If you consider their current ownership cheap I can’t imagine what you think of the last ownership, which made the A’s work on a much stricter budget and wouldn’t let Beane spend when he wanted to spend (which the current ownership does let him do)

Edit: Also, an ownership’s personal riches don’t really matter, since they’re not going to operate at any kind of a loss (which putting out say ,a $100 million payroll would cause the A’s ownership to do). That would just be very not smart. Baseball is still a business and they’re going to run it like one. If revenue goes up *cough cough* san jose *cough cough* then the payroll will go up.

Jason Parker
1 year 6 months ago

Yes previous ownership was cheap too but trying to portray the current ownership as big spenders is laughable. Also if you think Beane is spending when he wants to you are out of your mind. If Beane was the GM for the Red Sox or the Dodgers I can guarantee he would not be working with a 70 million dollar payroll.

Snoochies8
1 year 6 months ago

I’m not portraying them as big spenders, just not shoestring budget-type owners who work within, maybe a little bit over, their means.

Obviously he wouldn’t because the Dodgers and the Red Sox have the means to maintain a high payroll. If the A’s were to have even half of the Dodgers payroll they’d potentially be hemorrhaging money (okay maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but they’d still be losing a lot of money)

Jason Parker
1 year 6 months ago

Of course they are currently shoestringing and budgeting. They are preparing to find a new home somewhere whether it be in Oakland, San Jose, or elsewhere. Only then will we truly find out if they are willing to spend money. I for one believe they will not.

Snoochies8
1 year 6 months ago

They absolutely will spend the money within their means. That probably won’t be Dodgers level, but they’d make the bump up into a mid market team

Jason Parker
1 year 6 months ago

If they move to San Jose they will surely sell the team shortly after the move. They are merely using the A’s as an instrument to make an extremely profitable real estate deal. If the San Jose move is denied I also believe they will sell. There isn’t enough profit for them to justify building in Oakland. You are fooling yourself if you actually think they care about baseball, the city of Oakland, or the fans. Remember who these people are and where they came from.

Zak A
1 year 6 months ago

You stay rich by not spending all your cash…

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

But the group will go by what the team can support.

Eric Espejo
1 year 6 months ago

Wealthy of ownership and wealth of franchise are not the same thing.

Jason Parker
1 year 6 months ago

LOL I’m pretty sure the A’s have something like the 5th wealthiest ownership in baseball they are just cheap and reluctant to spend.

Gabe F
1 year 6 months ago

The A’s majority owner (John Fisher) is like the 5th richest owner in baseball and the A’s have had one of the highest operating incomes in baseball for the last several years (partially a product of a low payroll). They don’t have many long-term commitments and definitely have the money to spend and add on to payroll (but probably won’t).

Kendall Cooper
1 year 6 months ago

Since when have the A’s had “as much money as any team”? Sorry, but they do not have near as much as other big market teams like the Yankees.,,

agureghian
1 year 6 months ago

when will we know who wins the posting?

agureghian
1 year 6 months ago

when will we know who wins the posting?

Riaaaaaa
1 year 6 months ago

Probably the day before the deadline

Ghost
1 year 6 months ago

By 5pm January 24th

LooksEasyOnTV
1 year 6 months ago

Presumably, this is the date in which a list of teams–all biding the maximum ($20MM)–will emerge. (More than likely several teams will bid the maximum allowed under the new posting system.)

In this scenario, the top bidding teams would all be able to negotiate with Tanaka for his services. If “win[ning] the posting” is denoted by signing Tanaka, these teams will have an additional thirty days to reach a deal.

Tko11
1 year 6 months ago

I’d love to see the Astros or A’s sign Tanaka. Ohh and Auburn is tearing it up so far tonight, Winston better step it up.

That Choice trade looks like a robbery. Choice lit up every level hes played at so far.

jdkladsjl
1 year 6 months ago

lol you obviously didn’t watch his AB’s when he was called up.

Snoochies8
1 year 6 months ago

His at bats were pretty solid, and anyway, that’s wayyyyyyy too small of a sample size to take away any kind of judgement of a player with Choice’s talent.

That being said, I think that trade only slightly leans in Texas’ favor because Choice will probably have a bigger role with them than Gentry will have with the A’s, especially in 2014. If they both were to be starters then I think it’d be in the A’s favor since the amount of runs that Gentry would save on defense over Choice would outweigh the amount of runs that Choice would produce on offense over Gentry

Chet Steadman
1 year 6 months ago

his 18 ab’s lol!!? what should he have done in such a small sample?? a .280 in such a limited roll isn’t bad at all. He’ll be great…although i miss Gentry already,Choice has more upside.

Ghost
1 year 6 months ago

I hope Tanaka goes to a team he wants to play for and not just the highest bidder because if his agent is worth anything he will just keep going back to the Yankees and say “team A just outbid you by so much” until he gets the price he wants. You would think west coast for proximity to Japan but with Kuroda in NY and Uehara and Tazawa in Boston you never know.

Riaaaaaa
1 year 6 months ago

What’s wrong with an agent doing that? It’s his job to try to make teams up their bids for his client.

Ghost
1 year 6 months ago

There is nothing wrong with that.

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

Nothing wrong with that. A good agent will work to get the clients best interests. Whether it is a city he really wants to go to, or a really big contract.

LazerTown
1 year 6 months ago

I really think the whole west coast thing is overblown. Japan is still a 12+ hour flight each way, so he would need a minimum of 24 hours off if he ever wanted to go home. Really the only scheduled time he will have enough time to go home the whole season will be the ASB.

Riaaaaaa
1 year 6 months ago

You’re right people are really over-exaggerating this. Some fans of west coast teams are also saying that Tanaka wants to pitch on the west coast, when he has never even said that. Reporters always assume that Japanese players prefer to be on the west coast but I’m sure if he has a better offer on the table from an east team, he’ll take it.

Ghost
1 year 6 months ago

Yeah referring to family travel.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 6 months ago

Tigers make much more sense than the As.

The Tigers have 3 ultra-high priced players. Other than that, they have reshaped their team into the As philosophy. Their trade of Fister for 3 league minimum guys is proof. Fister is a moderately priced player. Tigers wanted out of that contract and will also lose the moderate salaries of both Hunter and VMART after 2014.

Very logical that they are trying right now for a Scherzer extension. If they cannot sign him, their fallback plan may be Tanaka. They will end up paying LESS for Tanaka v. Scherzer and get more “prime years” from Tanaka. It fits their new “a few stars with lots of scrubs” strategy perfectly. Getting the 3 Nationals players at only $500K/year each allows them to afford Tanaka.

Scherzer can then be parlayed into multiple young, talented, low priced players that can replace Hunter and VMART in 2015 and beyond.

jdkladsjl
1 year 6 months ago

lol you give Max everything he wants..you will hate yourself if you let him walk.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 6 months ago

Will hate it more, if or more likely when, Tanaka outplays Scherzer next 5 years at a lower AAV.

Even without the dollars, which are likely to be higher for Scherzer than Tanaka even including the $20MM, who will have a better next five years?

Scherzer at ages 31-35 or Tanaka at ages 25-29?

DD is smart enough to do this analysis. The only question is whether he is savvy enough to be able to trade Scherzer for high value and get Tanaka.

Zak A
1 year 6 months ago

I think there’s a pretty big difference between 5/25.25MM, 4/36MM, and oh I don’t know… 6/100MM. So being a contender in the Chapman race means diddly.

Charlie Burns
1 year 6 months ago

You get a thumbs up for diddly.

liberalconservative
1 year 6 months ago

The A’s have been scouting Tanaka for a couple of years. They will make a offer but what is a team like NY going to offer is the question. The A’s are very popular in Japan and the A’s have a playoff ready team unlike NY.

jdkladsjl
1 year 6 months ago

you can smell an A’s hater from a mile away lol