Latest On Masahiro Tanaka

3:07pm: John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that Tanaka's initial preferred cities are Los Angeles, New York and Boston (Twitter link).

Meanwhile, Nightengale softens his stance in a pair of new tweets, noting that the Dodgers confirmed their interest but don't want to spend "wildly" or do anything crazy with their bid in order to land Tanaka.

1:04pm: While team president Stan Kasten said in a radio interview yesterday not to predict the Dodgers to land Masahiro Tanaka, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (via Twitter) that the Dodgers have made it known that they will go "all out" to sign the Japanese ace and "certainly won't be outbid."

Of course, because of the new posting agreement between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball, signing Tanaka is no longer simply a matter of outbidding your opponents. Any team that wishes to pay the $20MM posting fee can negotiate with Tanaka as if he were a free agent, and the team would only lose that $20MM if an agreement between the two sides were to be reached. In other words, virtually any team in the Majors can afford to negotiate with Tanaka, and he could have preferences beyond signing for top dollar.

We've heard a great number of teams connected to Tanaka over the past two days, as the right-hander is in Los Angeles at this time meeting with teams face-to-face. In the past 24 hours alone, the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Angels, Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox, Blue Jays and Indians have all been linked to Tanaka.

Adding Tanaka to the mix would give the Dodgers a potentially unrivaled rotation in terms of dominance, as he would join Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu and Dan Haren. The addition of Tanaka would seem to push Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley out of the picture for the Dodgers, though both dealt with injuries in 2013. Billingsley isn't expected back until summer after undergoing Tommy John surgery.


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388 Comments on "Latest On Masahiro Tanaka"


First Bleed
1 year 7 months ago

Price driving?

Adam Brunelle
1 year 7 months ago

Sigh.

Why would they bother? They don’t need a pitcher.

I also bet they get out-bid by someone like the Diamondbacks or Seattle, but Tanaka chooses the Yankees because, I mean, come on, wouldn’t you?

Trock
1 year 7 months ago

Tanaka would really solidify their rotation. Plus they can use there other starting pitchers as trade bait, I hear their farm could use some more prospects.

mack22
1 year 7 months ago

No. He already said he wanted to play on the west coast

jjs91
1 year 7 months ago

Really where did he say that?

authenhausen
1 year 7 months ago

Probably bleacher report…..

BillB325
1 year 7 months ago

I do believe that information did come out saying his preference was to play on the west coast. doesn’t mean everything though.

mack22
1 year 7 months ago

That was the rumor, now the new rumor is it’s LA, NY or Boston.

chrisenvy
1 year 7 months ago

So, it will end up being Chicago

MmmRocks
1 year 7 months ago

You mean other than the fact that the Yankees are a mess right now?

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

I wouldn’t call them a mess, though they are certainly not the best team in their division. Maybe the 3rd best team in their division which is arguably the toughest division in baseball.

DodgerBear
1 year 7 months ago

Cano didnt, neither did Choo :)

thegrayrace
1 year 7 months ago

It is possible (though I sure hope not) that the Dodgers have concerns Kershaw may not sign an extension. If so, Tanaka makes sense.

Also, Greinke has an opt out in his contract after 2015 and Haren, Beckett and Billingsley could all be free agents after the season (in addition to Kershaw).

BillB325
1 year 7 months ago

If I were him I’d go to the Dodgers.

1 year 7 months ago

Oh yes, I wanted to see a bidding war and see who calls the shots as the deepest pockets in MLB. The most interesting thing would be for both the Yankees and Dodgers just go crazy with the $ and some “mystery team” land him for half the cost. *grabs popcorn*

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

Your argument is self-canceling. The team that offers him the deal he wants will sign him. Everyone else’s offer will probably be unknown and won’t count in any case.

1 year 7 months ago

What argument? I’m simply talking about how entertaining this entire process will be and how surprising this off-season has been. So…not sure what you’re talking about.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

Oh, right. Sorry. I was assuming you were trying to make a point or something.

Seth Guttman
1 year 7 months ago

Good. I hope they sign Tanaka and don’t have enough money to sign Kershaw.

Daniel Rajan
1 year 7 months ago

Come to the Angels, Kershaw. Your championship ring awaits.

mack22
1 year 7 months ago

He wants to go home to Texas that’s what this is all about

Daniel Rajan
1 year 7 months ago

If the angels threw 300 or 400 million at him, he never leaves Cali.

Anonymous
1 year 7 months ago

Thank God you aren’t a team exec.

You’d lose Trout. (To The Yankees).

Markiezy
1 year 7 months ago

Angels don’t have that type of money lol SORRY! Art Moreno isn’t that big of a baller.

Tre-Day
Tre-Day
1 year 7 months ago

Dodgers already threw 300 mil at him, and he turned it down. If he wants to leave Cali, he’ll leave Cali.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

I think that was just a rumor. Unless he wants to leave LA for certain, then he would not turn down $300 mil

Encarnacion's Parrot
1 year 7 months ago

I thought the hokey pokey is what it’s all about.

oogadebob
1 year 7 months ago

Lol, I wish I could upvote this twice.

Tre-Day
Tre-Day
1 year 7 months ago

As a Dodger fan, Texas is clearly the biggest threat. Dodgers already offered him $300 mil. The “lifetime” language scared him off. But he’s already admitted he wants to test free agency. I think he might just want to go home.

Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, but you never know.

theophilus166
1 year 7 months ago

I can’t imagine the Dodgers, with their bottomless pile of money, would let Kershaw walk.

mack22
1 year 7 months ago

Dallas is home to Kershaw, (and his wife) not only that there is no state tax. Put those two things together and what do you have? An uphill battle. The Dodgers should have a sit down with Kershaw, I mean a real heart to heart, if that’s his plan we could trade Kershaw, if he going to leave anyway, pick up Price and sign Tanaka have still have the best rotation in Baseball. Win/Win. If Kershaw wants to stay in LA than do whatever is necessary to keep him.

Nick Sossamon
1 year 7 months ago

They want their team payroll to exceed the GDP of at least half the planet’s countries by 2015.

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 7 months ago

The Dodgers new TV deal kicks in this year and is worth about $8.5 billion for 25 yrs, which averages out to about $340 mill a year.

Of course, some of it will go to revenue sharing, but bottom line is the Dodgers will have a lot of money coming in.

Remember, that’s just LOCAL TV money. Doesn’t include the national money or online revenue that all the MLB teams share.

Seth Guttman
1 year 7 months ago

But do they need to spend every single last penny in 2 years? Can they just look at the Yankees and realize that signing 10 extremely expensive long term contracts works for maybe a year or 2 before you become hurt by no payroll flexibility and a bunch of declining older players?

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 7 months ago

Tanaka is only 25 years old. Even if they give Tanaka a 5 or 6 year deal, that would be reasonable.

Signing young, talented players to long-term deals is just smart business.

Seth Guttman
1 year 7 months ago

In Tanaka’s case? Fine. But that doesn’t explain Agon, Crawford, Ethier, Kemp, Greinke, every free agent closer they’ve signed…and that’s before they do anything with Kershaw and Hanley.

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 7 months ago

All of the players’ contracts you mentioned all expire when they are 36 or younger. Most of them signed until their age 35 season (I believe AGon signed thru age 36).

While they’ll certainly be older, its not like they’re signed until 39 or 40.

Plus, that’s the nature of acquiring high-priced talent. The years get a little long on the contract.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

For NL teams, anyway. The contracts that have run until age 40 and beyond are all for AL teams.

Visionsofsilver
1 year 7 months ago

They didn’t sign Agon, or Crawford to those bad contracts. The Ethier contract was terrible I’ll give you that. Kemp was a good signing at the time and that was before new ownership came in. Greinke was an overpay, but he’s still a solid #2 and would be a #1 on a lot of teams.

Catztradamus
1 year 7 months ago

I think what people fail to realize is that the dodgers could have signed Ellsbury, traded Crawford AND Ethier, eaten half of both of their salaries, and still not increased their payroll.

they don’t care about a budget, don’t care about a lux tax, and won’t care about eating dollars in the future if they have to. and in reality, while they have a few really “big money deals” aside from crawford which ones are BAD deals? untradeable deals?

none.

Markiezy
1 year 7 months ago

Greike is still young, Crawford, Agon, are just till the prospect star gaining more experience. The dodger are planning on building their farm system back up again so they had to acquire some sort of talent to hold it down till the prospects are ready. So far it has been working out good.

LA_BLUE_CREW
1 year 7 months ago

That TV money is just pocket change for them. I guess you dont know who these owners really are? “Guggenheim” are a multi billion $ company they grow $ on trees

Dodgerzz
1 year 7 months ago

One or two solitary championships would pretty much make it worth it since they haven’t won any in 25 years. They’ve been contenders pretty much 50% of the time since 2004, which is not that bad, but that hasn’t gotten them anywhere. By contrast, the Yankees won in 2009 – not that long ago. Maybe it’s time for the Dodgers to try their approach.

1 year 7 months ago

It remains to be seen if Time Warner can get pay-tv providers to accept the carriage fee’s. Early report is its a $5/month increasing to $8/month over 5 years. The $8MM over 25 years is definitely been agreed to, but if Time Warner can’t get those carriage fee’s on Directv/Dish/Cox they’ll circle back to the Dodgers.

The ended up agreement on that revenue sharing has been very, very hush-hush. Haven’t got any news on what was agreed.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

TWC is obligated to pay and for the most part the costs are passed directly through to subscribers, who have no choice but either pay them or not get any local sports on cable. Sure, they’ll have to go nose-to-nose with the other providers on fees, but they will come to some agreement eventually, and it isn’t going to be the responsibility of the Dodgers if they don’t. On revenue sharing, you are right, that is an unsettled issue, as far as we know.

1 year 7 months ago

This agreement has to take place in the next 3 months. Should be interesting to see how it shakes out.

Mike
1 year 7 months ago

Agreed. Why the media have not looked into this house of cards is beyond me. The deals are built on the premise that for the next 25 years people (including non-dodger fans) are going willingly stay with cable that forces them to pay 5-8 dollars a month for a channel. This was a model that may have worked in 1980, but in 2013? House of sand.

1 year 7 months ago

They have to negotiate with at least the following: TWC will have to start negotiations soon with at least five Los Angeles
pay-TV providers — AT&T’s U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox
Communications, DirecTV and Verizon FiOS. I’m pretty sure DISH is a 6th pay-provider.

I’m not completely sure of this fact, but apparently ESPN has lost over 1MM subscribers in the past 18 months.

The Dodgers deal as the biggest in baseball will be very intriguing to watch versus the trend of “unplugging”, where the limit is reached on sports programming piggybacking on monthly bills versus consumers demands (hard to find #s on that but there are a lot of people who don’t watch any sports at all). With most cable/sat bills reaching $100/month, there maybe a breaking point. On the other hand, maybe America’s thirst for sports railroads that through.

I live in LA, I won’t pay for the Dodgers personally, I’ll do Directv MLB package or mlb.tv.

Trock
1 year 7 months ago

I doubt that the group of owners the Dodgers have would let Kershaw slip away. The money is there, they will sign him unless he wants to experience being a free agent.

Visionsofsilver
1 year 7 months ago

You really think the Dodgers would let the best pitcher in baseball walk because they signed Tanaka? rofl…

Seth Guttman
1 year 7 months ago

You must think money grows on trees. I’m assuming you have a leftover 300M for Kershaw, 150 for Hanley, and enough to field the rest of the team. Hey Scherzer…want 200 Million? We’re just giving them out to everyone who wants it.

Visionsofsilver
1 year 7 months ago

You realize that Guggenheim controls over 100 billion in assets? The dodgers “massive” payroll is of no concern to them. It’s just a minute chunk of what they deal with on a day to day basis.

Tre-Day
Tre-Day
1 year 7 months ago

The Dodgers new tv deal, which kicks in this season, will bring in roughly $280 mil a year.

1 year 7 months ago

They leave the numbers deliberately a bit vague, but if its a 8BB deal over 25 years, its 320MM a year. The old McCourt deal was for the revenue sharing to be capped at 88MM. I haven’t seen anything definite what the new agreement on revenue sharing is, but all the owners didn’t take kindly to that arrangement.

Tre-Day
Tre-Day
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah I haven’t heard any news about that in a while.

Yettyskill
1 year 7 months ago

I think it’s amusing how many think the Dodgers won’t resign Kershaw over money. The mind boggles on how many moves they can and would make to find the money they in all honesty, don’t need to go find, cause it’s already there.

Marcel Jenkins
1 year 7 months ago

Well, that pretty much shatters any hope I had of my team getting him at a price that provides surplus value…. We either won’t get him at all or grossly overpay to a point that signing doesn’t provide any value whatsoever.

I hope Tanaka hates LA because that’s the only way he’s not going there without being overpaid. Then again, how many people hate Los Angeles?

Jim Taylor
1 year 7 months ago

How can he hate LA, in terms of population aside from Seattle and NYC, the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a large Japanese population and would make life an easier transition for him than say moving to Phoenix, where the Japanese popultation is near zero. I remember this being one of the reasons Hiroki Kuroda chose to come to LA, and why he ended up with the Yankees instead of Boston.

CrustyJuggler
1 year 7 months ago

So the Dodgers are willing to go $20+MM per on Tanaka then they are going to have to turn around and spend $30ishMM per to extend Kershaw? Wow..

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

Where did you read that? Oh, right. Nowhere.

MD
1 year 7 months ago

Kershaw – approx $25 this year ($30 in
2015)
Greinke – $25
Tanaka – $20
Beckett – $16
Billingsly – $14
Haren -$10
Ryu – $8
$120mm starting rotation no big deal.

shysox
1 year 7 months ago

Ryu at only $8 MM, wow

Daniel Rajan
1 year 7 months ago

Personally, I feel the Angels will not allow other teams to outbid them. I hope they learned from Greinke free agency and sign Tanaka.

Nick Sossamon
1 year 7 months ago

Greinke was a totally different situation. I’m fine not spending $20M per for a guy that has never thrown a pitch outside of Japan.

Daniel Rajan
1 year 7 months ago

Darvish was basically in same situation as Tanaka right? Even as an Angels fan, got to admit for not throwing a pitch outside Japan prior, Darvish ain’t that bad.

Nick Sossamon
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah, and Darvish has a $60M total contract over six years. Tanaka is probably going to get near $140M given how many big-name clubs are all over his jock. I will gladly pass on that.

Again, similar but different situation.

Daniel Rajan
1 year 7 months ago

I would have gladly passed on Hamilton’s 125 and signed Greinke. Tanaka will be worth the money, believe me. He will be be better than Darvish, and all the teams that don’t sign will sadly realize their biggest offeseason mistake.

Nick Sossamon
1 year 7 months ago

It wasn’t a “Hamilton or Greinke” decision… the Dodgers vastly overpaid any other offer that Greinke got and he also wanted to stay in the NL to hit. The Angels then went for Hamilton. And how will Tanaka be better than Darvish? What scouting reports/evidence do you have to even remotely back that up? Everything I have read has Darvish as the better pitcher.

MmmRocks
1 year 7 months ago

Why would anyone think that he’d be better than Darvish? The numbers don’t compare, the scouting reports don’t compare, the physical projection doesn’t compare…

junzsosic
1 year 7 months ago

disgusting

MmmRocks
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t think I can take hearing more Dodgers fans say how they’re the World Series favorites.

nick silverman
1 year 7 months ago

Your beef is with Vegas.

mack22
1 year 7 months ago

Good. With Kershaw as an uncertainy the is an excellent move.

RIYankeeGuy
1 year 7 months ago

“certainly won’t be outbid.” – That’s dangerous language. Even for a wealthy club you’d hope they have some limits.

Anyways, no news here. We all figured the LAD and NYY would go 120+ mil with SEA, CHC and ARZ possibly willing to match or exceed.

Junior rd
1 year 7 months ago

Im hearing yankees could touch 150m if the west coast and smaller market clubs that have a distance advantage that are willing to put up 100-120m but thats if the yankees are gona head north of 189m im also hearing reports that arod is already due 3m by the yankees jan 15

JayV
1 year 7 months ago

Its a shame how the dodgers spend so much money on good legit players and they still can’t win it all.. They are the prime example of “money can’t buy you a championship” now don’t get me wrong the Yankees did spend a lot of money in 2009 but it wasn’t even close to amount the dodgers spent.

RIYankeeGuy
1 year 7 months ago

So spending tons of money doesn’t work, except when it does, but it doesn’t? Every team has a 1 in 30 or 3% chance to win the WS. In baseball, dominant teams own a mere .600 winning percentage.

Spending money gives you a greater chance of getting in the playoffs and possibly the World Series. But to expect each years FA big spender to win the title the following year is short sighted and unfair.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

I’m not sure unfair is the right word. Unrealistic would be better.

MmmRocks
1 year 7 months ago

A lot has changed since 2009. Less and less quality free agents are available and the ones who are are getting even more inflated prices. Teams like the Yankees and Dodgers spend big money on relatively few players and their depth suffers as a result. Teams like the Cardinals and Red Sox avoid the most expensive free agents, build teams with incredible depth and go on to play in the World Series.

RIYankeeGuy
1 year 7 months ago

I never said spending big was ideal, but only those who spend shouldn’t be counted on as Fall Classic automatics.

The Red Sox have avoided the big money FAs for all of 1 season and part of 2 off-seasons now. They also have the second highest revenue according to Bloomberg and really could afford to put more into their club then they do. Cherington is sharper than Epstein, but a number of things could keep the Sox out of the playoffs next year; a 2014 like 2012 for Lester, Victorino not repeating a career 5.6 WAR season, Uehara doesn’t stay healthy after a career high workload. Winning the WS is hard, things have to go right.

The Cardinals fit your example better as their payroll is modest and the overall philosophy is more scouting and development oriented.

MmmRocks
1 year 7 months ago

The Red Sox have the 4th highest payroll in baseball and the Cardinals have the 11th highest, there’s roughly a $40 million difference. The Red Sox focus just as much on development and scouting and now have one of the top farm systems in baseball. A number of things could keep any team out of the playoffs, that’s really not the point. The Red Sox and Cardinals have tremendous depth and have the farm systems to remain competitive over the long haul.

RIYankeeGuy
1 year 7 months ago

Yes, but these things are cyclic. The Cardinals and Red Sox were just last year WS participants and good examples of the past decade for player development. The 90’s were the Braves and Yankees. Organizational approaches can certainly influence the likelihood of remaining competitive so kudos to them for that, but every team has hundreds of personnel scouting at every level of baseball as well as overseas.

MmmRocks
1 year 7 months ago

Then why single out any team? You said the Cardinals deserved more credit for focusing on their farm system, but the Red Sox farm system is just as good. You may not want to admit as a Yankees fan, but the Red Sox deserve credit as well.

GameMusic3
1 year 7 months ago

“Teams like the Cardinals… build teams with incredible depth and go on to play in the World
Series.”

And hit the best hitter in the rib, right? That was what got a Cardinals series.

While the Cardinals definitely perform a spectacular job and arguably had the best acquisitions again, the narrative of ‘money or right way’ is nonsense. Development, trading, and signing are essential strategies to the teams and while the Dodgers’ strategy includes remedial spending thanks to McCourt there is not dramatic distinction here. The Dodgers drafted David Price and Paul Goldschmidt during McCourt’s raiding of the farm budget, by the way.

But I think a claim of bench depth is especially disingenuous because the Cardinals employed a relatively bad bench last season.

WazBazbo
1 year 7 months ago

It’s not really realistic to say every team has a 1 in 30 chance to win the WS. Seriously, there’s no way the Astros, for example, have the same chance most of the perennial contenders have. The “equal chance” idea only works if you’re flipping a coin or rolling dice or some such thing.

Kershawshank Redemption
1 year 7 months ago

They’ve only had one season of spending a ton of money. I think it’s a little early to say they can’t win it all. Tanaka gives them a potentially deadly rotation and if they are a little healthier than last year (admittedly a big if), they certainly have the talent to win it all.

haplito
1 year 7 months ago

God I hate the Dodgers.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
1 year 7 months ago

Hold that hate until they sign him.

JJ
1 year 7 months ago

I bet you are a NYY hater too

Visionsofsilver
1 year 7 months ago

It’s just redemption for all the years of torture McCourt and his shenanigans put us Dodger fans through.

Jimm Allen
1 year 7 months ago

Does anyone really think he’s going to go to a team that offers a lot less money than NYY or LAD? No way… read up on the guy. He’s not afraid of the big city lights and publicity.

MmmRocks
1 year 7 months ago

There’s a difference between big lights and big money. He might want to go to a team with more legitimate championship hopes than the Yankees.

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 7 months ago

Wow, I can’t even wrap my brain around a rotation of:

Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Tanaka, and Haren.

Pretty ridiculous!

Jose Villasano
1 year 7 months ago

People only hate Dodgers because they have the money dont be jealous and i still wonder if this means we might not see Kershaw or Ramirez next year

MmmRocks
1 year 7 months ago

I have no ill will towards the Dodgers at all. Why would I? They’ve accomplished nothing.

BruceP
1 year 7 months ago

I guess MmmRocks & most of the haters on this board do not understand how Fox & McCourt destroyed the Dodger organization. It’s going to take some time & money to put it back together again. You would have to think that they are going to win some championships in the near future with Stan Kasten in charge. He is one of the brightest men in Baseball.

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

Tanaka’s whole situation is really a spectacular, never-before-seen event. There’s never been remotely this much hype and this much theoretical money about a guy who’s never thrown a single pitch in the majors.

EDIT: There’s never been this much hype _on the open market_

livestrong77nyyankz
1 year 7 months ago

So Kershaw is likely to test the market next year, interesting…

schaddy24
1 year 7 months ago

And if he hits the market, expect Theo and Jed to be salivating.

livestrong77nyyankz
1 year 7 months ago

Every GM and owner should be salivating if that is what ends up happening. Hell, I’m already starting to salivate.