Latest On Masahiro Tanaka

The market's most intriguing name, Masahiro Tanaka, will undoubtedly continue to generate ample speculation, rumors, and discussion until he chooses a destination. Here are today's notes on the former Rakuten ace, including multiple accounts that tilt towards a reunion in Seattle with Hisashi Iwakuma, who once fronted the rotation of the Golden Eagles alongside Tanaka:

  • Competing executives view the Mariners as a real threat to land Tanaka, tweets's Jayson Stark. The industry perception, says Stark, is that Seattle can make one more big splash to accompany its signing of Robinson Cano
  • Based on his own conversations with industry sources, Baseball America's Ben Badler agrees that Seattle is the odds-on favorite amongst the ten most likely landing spots. Badler believes that the team has the strongest blend of need and available cash with respect to Tanaka. The other top contenders for Tanaka are the YankeesDodgers, and Cubs, says Badler, while the Tigers figure as a "sleeper" team and "lurkers" include the RangersBlue JaysDiamondbacksRed Sox, and Angels 
  • Looking at things from the perspective of need, rather than handicapping the results of the market, Seattle again comes out in the lead, according to Dave Szymborski of (Insider piece). Adding Tanaka could be the best way for the Mariners to build towards the approximately ten WAR that the club still needs to add to be a full-blown threat in a reloaded AL West, Szymborski says. Other teams that could most use the 25-year-old Japanese hurler include the Phillies and Orioles
  • Attempting to find comparable players for Tanaka, Fangraphs' Dave Cameron argues that his upside may not come with a sufficient floor to justify a nine-figure investment. Given Tanaka's anticipated blend of low walk, average strikeout, and high groundball rates, says Cameron, reasonable expectations should perhaps be that he'll be above average but not great. While a series of attractive starters have thrived with Tanaka's skillset, Cameron explains, there are plenty of other potential comparables who would never receive those kinds of dollars.

158 Responses to Latest On Masahiro Tanaka Leave a Reply

  1. Edictor27 2 years ago

    Pipe Dream but:


    • Trock 2 years ago

      At this point, I think its a pipe dream for anyone to say who he will go to. I feel as though a lot of teams will post the 20 mill to get a chance to negotiate. Do you know about how much the Phillies have to spend?

  2. Zeppelin5083 2 years ago

    I like how the team with the best odds of landing Tanaka seems to change every 15 minutes.

    • Riaaaaaa 2 years ago

      I think these “experts” should stop trying to pick favorites until they
      hear what the offers are. This is getting pretty ridiculous.

    • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

      As sick of the Tanaka topic as I am, I could only imagine how much worse it would be if I hit “refresh” and there wasn’t something new to talk about

    • jsprague 2 years ago

      Did I miss something? Because I thought the Mariners were at or near the front of the pack for Tanaka from the beginning. Really, you can’t count them out for any Japanese player. Ever since Sasaki and Ichiro, they’ve had a huge Japanese following, and with Kuma on the team I’d sure think he’d be awfully tempted to land in Seattle.

  3. Brien Alley 2 years ago

    Mariners need to sign someone to protect Cano in the lineup a lot more than they need Tanaka.

    • macdice 2 years ago

      If there was a bat on the market to sign that would protect Cano. No thanks on Cruz. IF the sign him, then maybe they are more willing to trade a young pitcher for a bat

      • Benjamin Caspersen 2 years ago

        possibly coby rasmus for pike or paxton or sanchez. Also possibly Kemp but i doubt it even thought reports said the mariners were the most aggressive team after kemp

        • macdice 2 years ago

          I don’t know how much you would want to give up for Rasmus with him being a free agent after 2014

          • Benjamin Caspersen 2 years ago

            just throwing names out but could package something for Oscar Taveras he’s on the trade block i believe and he’s a star

          • Ferrariman 2 years ago

            you have a better chance of trying to get Matt Adams than Taveras. He is the long term RF choice.

          • Benjamin Caspersen 2 years ago

            who would you give STL for adams tho?

      • Taylor Hope 2 years ago

        I agree. I would rather solidify our rotation with Tanaka first. This would likely make Erasmo Ramirez expendable since some teams still view him as a potential 2 or 3 starter. Can package him with Franklin possibly for a deal or just wait it out.

        • docmilo5 2 years ago

          The nice thing about Tanaka is he doesn’t cost prospects or picks. You can never have enough pitching. Erasmo goes into the hunt for the 4 and 5 spots with Walker, Paxton and Maurer. The 2 losers go to Tacoma for depth. Tanaka may benefit from 2 weeks off for a sore hip flexor around the ASB. Japanese pitchers pitch on 6 days rest not 5 I believe. I like the idea of Erasmo and Maurer coming up for 2 to 4 weeks mid-season to give (Tanaka), Paxton and Walker time off so they last the whole season.

      • westcoastwhitesox 2 years ago

        Thank you for this comment. As a fairly serious Mariners fan it is driving me nuts how excited everybody is about the M’s paying Cano to carry the offense for the next 10 years without any additional investment in offense. If there aren’t any good bats available, that’s one thing…but to think the M’s need more pitching to solve their horrible offense is quite another.

        • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

          Like I said to Brien, look at the Giants. An offense can figure itself out. As long as a team can make the playoffs, pitching dominates in October. Cano is more than the Giants had in 2010

          • The Giants also got a ton of help from the bargain bin (Uribe and Huff), a player everyone thought was done (Renteria) and from a rookie (Posey). The Mariners could theoretically make the playoffs. A lot went right for the Giants and that would have to happen with them as well.

          • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

            Oh, no doubt. It will take a little bit of luck but Cano, along with a healthy Hart, is a lot more than you could say that the Giants had going into the 2010 season. I’ve always felt that it is easier to create an offense out of scrap then a rotation out of scrap. In theory, you can get lucky with an offense because 8 players can be awful and 1 guy can get lucky. In a rotation, that 1 guy can’t be awful. If he is, you are going to lose

      • Jonathan Barlock 2 years ago

        Much rather have Tanaka than Cruz. If we could land Tanaka and trade for Kemp or Cespedes
        We would be contenders

      • johnsilver 2 years ago

        I don’t see them moving Paxton, nor Walker anytime soon. That team has a potential formidable rotation in the making and it would take a LOT to get either of those guys, possible that Walker even breaks camp after ST with the team and strong chance paxton does, that’s a pretty good top 3 already of King felix, Iwakuma and paxton. Add the possibility of Walker early on and by June/July at the latest. They can get back end starts from Maurer and Ramirez as good as back end starters costing less than Joe (cough) Blanton getting 7m this year, even Bazooka Joe, or Bonderman they brought in last year and looked terrible after his 1st cpl of starts.

        M’s could probably get back end rotation help and Boston to pay most of Dempster’s salary if they wanted another over the hill guy, but they already have 1-2 is what am getting at.. M’s can use Franklin and maybe Smoak as possible bait for a bat without giving up it’s young pitching core, I didn’t like seeing Carter Capps leave as it is.

        • docmilo5 2 years ago

          Keep the prospects! Tanaka doesn’t cost picks or prospects. Let Spring Training come and see who rises to the top. Let the team go for a couple of months and make deadline trades if you need them. Otherwise, keep the prospects if you can.
          I’m all over moving Franklin to the OF to compete with Ackley. Franklin has more pop in his bat.

    • John Kreese 2 years ago

      Queue the “lineup protection is a myth” posts. The bottom line is to score more than your opponents. Having a strong pitching rotation is a great way to do that.

      • James Exercise 2 years ago

        Yeah, you might be right, but hopefully King Felix doesnt compete for a Cy Young with a losing record again. Pitching only goes so far, anemic lineups ARE a problen, and the Ms DO need at least one more bat behind Cano to compete, even with Tanaka, in the scenario that u land him.

    • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

      That rotation with Tanaka puts them up with the 2010 and 2012 Giants, if not better. In 2010 the Giants didn’t even have Cano. In 2012 they had Posey, but really not much else. I think they will be ok

      • MB923 2 years ago

        The 2010 and 2012 Giants scored 697 runs and 718 runs respectively. The Mariners last year scored 624 runs last year. I do think another big bat could probably push them near the 700 run mark

        However, what people don’t look at, which is still an issue, is the Mariners bullpen. A good bullpen is very important too and I think they’ll need to make more adjustments there too. Their pitching allowed 754 runs last year, 273 of those runs by relievers.

        • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

          Yea, to be honest, I haven’t looked at their bullpen. The Mariners added Cano, LoMo, and Hart so I think they should be able to reach 700 already. The rest of the roster is young so I also think you need to assume improvement from guys like Miller and Zunino (and if you are optimistic, Smoak). While offense is still an issue, I think they already have done a lot that would make 2014 far better than 2015

          • MB923 2 years ago

            Your a Mariners fan I take it. Can you tell me how their rotation last year finished 10th in the league in ERA with 2 Cy Young candidates and now people are saying if they get Tanaka it’s one of the best in the league? (sorry, not familiar with their team overall). By the way, great city and great stadium you got. I visited it last year

            And I’m sure you’ve heard this before, you will really enjoy Cano. Except when he hits a ground ball

          • Benjamin Caspersen 2 years ago

            They finished 26th in ERA link to

          • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

            That’s overall pitching, not the starting rotation

          • MB923 2 years ago

            As Joe said, that’s overall pitching. And I was talking about the AL ranking, not MLB ranking

          • Benjamin Caspersen 2 years ago

            i was agreeing but for one they have 2 top prospects coming up also tanaka if they get him

          • johnsilver 2 years ago

            Think you can tell from some of the starters, like on B/Reference that had just a few that they called up some of their best kids late in the season for a taste. I hit on this in an earlier post already. James Paxton is for pretty certain going to be in the rotation when the season starts.

            Taijuan Walker, probably won’t, but possibly could be in the there as well. he hasn’t had much experience in the upper levels yet. he probably will be in the bigs by July at the latest and that is 4. No different really than what the marlins have, except more experience in Hernandez and Iwakuma in Japan.

            The3 comment you made on the pen? It’s all intact as I recall, except for Capps being traded and Ollie Perez is still a FA. Everyone else is coming back am pretty sure. Seattle is just a team i watch on mlb,com a lot, not my favorite, but one enjoy watching and following. One of their devotees probably knows better on the pen situation.

          • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

            I actually am a Mets fan unfortunately, but I have worked for a handful of teams over the last few years so my allegiances have become a bit hazy (starting with the D-Backs in a few weeks).

            While I’m not a Mariners fan, I admit I have some bias because Seattle represents the entire northwest and is a great market. I think it would be best for baseball if the Mariners were competitive again.

            I say they will have the best rotation in baseball because they already have the 2 “Cy Young” caliber pitchers in Hernandez and Iwakuma pitching at #1 and #2, Tanaka, who, in theory should be the same caliber at #3, Walker, who is one of the best pitching prospects in baseball will be in the #4 spot, and another young pitcher (Ramirez/Maurer/Paxton) who project to be a #2-3 in the #5 spot.

            In short, if all the stars align (and in no way am I suggesting they will) the Mariners can have 4 pitchers competing for the Cy Young, with a 5th that should beat every other #5 pitcher in baseball.

    • Stevil 2 years ago

      Like Corey Hart?

      Seriously, the M’s could use a solid center fielder and a capable backstop, but make no mistake, they need pitching as well. They have Maurer, Beavan and Noesi to fall back on as things currently stand. That wont fly.

      • docmilo5 2 years ago

        With Felix, Iwakuma, Tanaka, Paxton, Walker as a rotation, they have Erasmo and Maurer in Tacoma on reserve. Noesi and Beavan may not make the team. They are both out of options and if they aren’t in the bullpen, the get waived. I think Zduriencik should try and trade Beavan to Houston. He’s from Texas. Maybe he would sell 40 tickets a start.
        I think Saunders/Guti will be a fine CF platoon. Saunders is enough offense from CF. I like the idea of moving Nick Frankin to LF.

        • Stevil 2 years ago

          You realize that I’m supportive of the M’s landing Tanaka, right?! I fully expect the M’s to land a starter, whether it’s Tanaka, or someone else, with Ramirez likely headed to the pen for long relief.

          I’d really be surprised if Beavan or Noesi made the club, but my point was that I’m not even comfortable with them as the fall-back plan in Tacoma. Starting pitching for the M’s is a lot thinner than a lot of people seem to think.

          I wouldn’t have a problem with a Guti/Saunders platoon, I’d just rather see that in RF, with a more durable center fielder brought in. Ackley would stay in LF.

          I have no idea if a conversion for Franklin would work at this point, but I kind of hope they keep him around. Maybe some reps at the corners wouldn’t be a bad idea either?

          • docmilo5 2 years ago

            I guess I read it as Noesi, Maurer and Beavan as backup in the rotation as the M’s not bringing in another SP. Thanks for clarifying. Noesi and Beavan are out of options. If they aren’t in the bullpen, they likely end up elsewhere.

            If I’m Zduriencik, I’m selling Franklin on #19 and telling stories about Robin Yount. Most people think I’m nuts saying Frankin doesn’t have the arm for the OF. Watching him last year he has twice the arm of Ackley and of course he showed 5 times the power at the plate Ackley has shown.
            A lot of good SS’s end up in CF. Another one from the M’s system I recall is Adam Jones. I’m crossing my fingers that Franklin comes to Spring Training with an OF glove or two and tells management he’s tired of playing in AAA ballparks.

          • Stevil 2 years ago

            Completely forgot about the service time with Noesi and Beavan. More reason to find better options to stash in Tacoma!

            I’m not against giving Franklin a shot in the outfield, but I think it would be tough given where he’s at. One way to find out, eh?!

          • docmilo5 2 years ago

            If Adam Jones can do it, why not Franklin? :)

          • Stevil 2 years ago

            It might work. I don’t know how comparable Jones and Franklin really are, as Jones was a few years younger and probably had/has better speed, but it’s not like the M’s are stacked with outfield talent bursting out of Tacoma. There’s certainly room and time to at least give him a look.

            How funny would that be, if the two clear options for 2B last season (and the foreseeable future at the time) end up being key pieces for the outfield?!

            Now watch, he’ll end up traded for another 1B/DH type.

          • docmilo5 2 years ago

            :O Noooooo! Not another 1B/DH type. :)
            I was watching the guys over on the other day and they were talking about how low Franklin’s trade value is because he doesn’t have a position. Heck, why trade our best bats in the org when we can just let them play another position?
            Things are getting weird in Seattle.

          • Stevil 2 years ago

            Ah, it appears Beavan does actually have an option remaining. Hardly comforting, but he could start in Tacoma.

          • docmilo5 2 years ago

            Thanks. So one more starter for the M’s and then Tacoma can run out:
            Noesi did have a pretty decent Winter League season. Perhaps he makes the team as a long man in the pen.

          • John Evans 2 years ago

            Nooooooo! Nooooooo! LOL

          • John Evans 2 years ago

            Franklin is not necessarily a shoo-in to be traded… or at least there shouldn’t be a hurry. He could well become a plus hitter. I think it would be worth the Mariners’ while to find a spot on the roster for him somewhere. 2B is not an option for him now with Cano on board, and I think Brad Miller is going to be very good at SS. So if they think Franklin has a nice ceiling as a hitter, then by all means, give him some work in the OF during ST. See what happens. If it doesn’t look like it’s going to work… then trade him toward the end of ST.

          • docmilo5 2 years ago

            I tweeted Churchill last year and he said Franklin had the arm not the range for SS. The guy he has writing over at PI said he doesn’t have the arm for SS. Well, he does or doesn’t. That author also went as far to say he doesn’t have the bat for a corner. Hahaha, Franklin has shown a ton more power that Ackley.
            I think he does. All I know is if I’m Nick, I’m showing up to Spring Training with an outfield glove and telling management I want to play.
            And just to get back on topic, the extra cost of Tanaka vs a FA or trade is it’s worth keeping prospects (vs Price or other trade) and the draft picks and slot money.

          • Stevil 2 years ago

            I think making a decision with Franklin based on his spring performance would be a terrible idea. Players need time to learn a new position and 5 weeks isn’t enough.

            If they’re going to experiment with a position change, they should be willing to give him regular time in Tacoma to do so. They’ll be able to evaluate his progress (or lack of) faster, work with him more closely, and without any pressure.

            I’m just as open to having him stick in the infield as insurance. Giving him reps at 1B might be an idea as well.

    • docmilo5 2 years ago

      Cano will do just fine with Hart, Seager, Zunino and Smoak hitting behind him. Would it be nice to have another big ticket bat? Well, yes and no. In a few years our young kids are going to hit arbitration. You can’t have all of your money tied up in aging veterans at that time.
      Seager has a career OPS over .850 hitting 4th and 5th. Hart is a RHd option vs lefties to protect Cano. Hopefully McClendon knows how to work matchups.

  4. Benjamin Caspersen 2 years ago

    If they sign tanaka ill be glad I’ve been a mariners fan since i was born

  5. Runtime 2 years ago


    Nope. Not even Tanaka can save our rotation.

    (I kid… I kid…)
    Apparently some people can’t take a joke…

    • hurley55 2 years ago

      Ubaldo Jimenez is more likely for the jays, and considering the cost it will take to get Tanaka I’d rather take him.

      • Runtime 2 years ago

        I was just joking around… Garza and Jimenez both look like better options.

    • BigEast856 2 years ago

      Whatever happen to Kyle Drabek?

      • Tekoa Hook 2 years ago

        Tommy John in 2012

        • BigEast856 2 years ago

          is he still highly touted?

          • Tekoa Hook 2 years ago

            I wouldn’t say so, he could develop but if he does I don’t think it’ll be this season

  6. mking 2 years ago

    This is about as dramatic as ARod’s suspension. Incredibly annoying at this point.

  7. John Kreese 2 years ago

    I think a lot have thought SEA had a real shot at Tanaka since he was posted (city closest to Japan, plenty of money available, ex-teammates with Iwakuma, etc). Some guys just aren’t cut out for or interested in playing in New York or LA. It will certainly be interesting to see where Tanaka winds up.

    • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

      I really like this. Seattle is considered a bad destination for most players because not many people come from the Northwest, it’s cold, it’s not like Boston or New York where there are many big cities in a small area, and most of all, it’s a long trip when going on the road to any city (I think the closest AL team is Oakland).

      It’s kind of nice to see that, while it is hard to attract North American players, the Seattle area can counteract that by attracting Japanese players

    • johnsilver 2 years ago

      I’d be pretty happy to just see the mariners and Iwakuma come to an agreement on a contract extension beyond 2015. Yes.. Iwakuma will be 34 then and *not* a FA, but he *will* be arbitration eligible and just by continuing on his thus far dominant pace.. The 7.5m salary his is due for 2015 could possibly double. I’d like to see Seattle ownership attempt some damage control now on.. Say 4y and 40-45m total? Maybe 50m?

      • John Evans 2 years ago

        Get Iwakuma there to visit with Tanaka in Seattle, pitch a big deal to Tanaka and extend Iwakuma at the same time. Get ’em both, lock ’em up!

    • Shaggy McCarthy 2 years ago

      Also because Nintendo owns the Ms (last time I checked)

  8. Taylor Hope 2 years ago

    Oh, please be true. By far was the signing I was most hoping the M’s complete.

  9. Quikmix 2 years ago

    I’d be genuinely surprised if Seattle was able to pull this off. Obviously a boon for that team, but I’d still have genuine concerns about their offense. Defensively they’d be set.

    • Taylor Hope 2 years ago

      Signing Tanaka would improve the rotation as well as potentially making a couple arms expendable (such as Erasmo Ramirez, maybe Tyler Pike or Victor Sanchez) who they could pair with a guy like Nick Franklin to improve the offense.

    • seajtl 2 years ago

      Doubt they’d be done if they got Tanaka. Franklin is almost certainly going to be traded and adding Tanaka may make a young pitcher available in a trade as well.

      • Revery 2 years ago

        With Franklin and a bevy of high-upside SP prospects, I am pretty shocked we have not seen Shark to the Mariners rumors. Imagine a Felix, Kuma, Tanaka, Samardzija, Walker rotation. And I hate writing out projected rotations, but my god…

        • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

          If Franklin gets traded to the Red Sox in a three way trade to acquire Lackey or Franklin, Smoak, Pike, Maurer, etc. to the Phillies (third team like Pirates going after Smoak) for Brown, Lee, and Papelbon will propel the Mariners to second place in the division as a wild card contender.

    • harmony55 2 years ago

      For what it’s worth, last season the Seattle Mariners had a team OPS+ of 98 and a team ERA+ of 86 despite one of best 1-2 combinations at the top of the starting rotation with 2010 Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez and 2013 Cy Young finalist Hisashi Iwakuma.

      The Mariners are deep in pitching prospects, but pitching contributed to the 2013 downfall more than the hitting did.

  10. Jim01702 2 years ago

    I still think Yankees are the favorites, they have the biggest need for him and willing to over spend. Plus we have kuroda and ichiro(article before said he looked up to ichiro). And had matsui in the past.

    • BigEast856 2 years ago

      I read the first four words and thought…”this guy is obviously a Yankee fan”. Then you went on to refer to the Yankees as “we”. Just cause they’re the Yankees and have money doesnt make them the favorite. You Yankee fans always seem to believe you deserve the best players. Surprised i havent heard any Yankee fan propose a Gardner for Felix trade, yet.

      • cjr45 2 years ago

        Gardner for Felix trades are so last year. I believe it is now Gardner for Price trade proposals.

        • MB923 2 years ago

          Because every Yankee fan says that right? I guess you, as a Marlins fan, don’t hear much from your own fan base that all you hear are Yankee fans talk. And you like to bring up the the 7 or 8 fans out of the tens and millions of fans who propose a silly trade idea.

      • Jim01702 2 years ago

        First off NO WHERE did I say that we deserve the best players compared to other teams.

        Second the Yankees have been favorites by most people to sign tanakafor weeks.

        • docmilo5 2 years ago

          The Yankees have been favorites by the east coast media.. which means most people. There has been talks for weeks that Tanaka prefers the West Coast. It just hasn’t been reported by Rosenthiel since that type of story doesn’t sell ads in New York.

      • ed27 2 years ago

        What about Gardner for Mike Trout? Trade MT before he hits that dreaded “third year” jinx.

      • JacobyWanKenobi 2 years ago

        I like how you bashed one generalization by making another. No two people are the same. Sure there are some naive fans, but the person you replied just stated their opinion, which was predicated on fact.

  11. sirtav 2 years ago

    I hope my Angels get him, but if they don’t then I’d rather have an NL team get him.

    I wouldn’t mind the Mariners because it’s better than the Rangers or Yankees/Red Sox getting him. I’m just not too afraid of the Mariners even with Cano and Tanaka.

    • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

      Really? You would rather him be on the Red Sox or Yankees then a team you will be playing 20 times a year? Especially with the mismatch pitching matchups in Mariners vs Angels games, given the Mariners’ elite rotation and the Angels’ below average rotation

  12. Joe Orsatti 2 years ago

    Lee Hamels Tanaka Gonzalez Hernandez
    Pettibone as 6th man

    • philliesfan123 2 years ago

      We can only hope.

      • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

        Speaking of bullpen, Mariners can use a closer like Papelbon (or set up for Farquhar) if the Phillies & Mariners can pull off the trade.

    • Jeff Miller 2 years ago

      Even if the Phillies somehow land Tanaka they should still be looking to move Lee, Papelbon, Rollins and potentially Brown and Revere.

  13. Quikmix 2 years ago

    if anyone in the AL West got Tanaka, you’d have to pick that as one of the more challenging divisions for 2014 (at least on paper)

    • Riaaaaaa 2 years ago

      Oakland and Texas are the only contenders in that division right now. Even if they Mariners got Tanaka I personally don’t view them as a contending team.

      • Quikmix 2 years ago

        yeah, hence the “on paper” part. The Angels (provided they get a starter) looks good “on paper” offensively

        • Curt Green 2 years ago

          The Angels won the “On Paper World Series” the last two years!

          • MB923 2 years ago

            I think the Blue Jays won it last year

          • Curt Green 2 years ago

            I stand corrected.

          • Quikmix 2 years ago

            lol. awesome. I wish. then I could at least have a way to feel better about being a Halos fan.

          • Curt Green 2 years ago

            Being a Twins fan, I wish I was a Halo’s fan! If the team stinks, you still have Mr. Trout to watch. Much more potential and hope for you that they can get it together than for me.

      • docmilo5 2 years ago

        Something wrong with a rotation of Felix, Iwakuma, Tanaka, Walker and Paxton? The M’s need two more solid MLB bullpen arms, but if health breaks their way with Hart, Morrison and Guti (LOL) and they get some progressin from Seager, Smoak, Ackley, Miller, Franklin and Saunders and this team will be right there with anyone in the AL West.. which just so will happen to be as good of a division as any.

        • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

          That’s why going after Papelbon will solve some problem in the bullpen, esp. by sending Smoak, Romero, Carson Smith, Erasmo Ramirez, and John Hicks (to replace Ruiz in couple or few years) to the Phillies. Then, send Smoak to Pittsburgh for a pitcher or out/infielder the Phills need. This will help the Mariners compete for the division or the wild card just as the Pirates did this past season.

  14. northsfbay 2 years ago

    The Mariners could use an upgrade anywhere. The starting pitching and bullpen was awful last year.

    • docmilo5 2 years ago

      Smokin Joe Saudners, Harang and a kid from AA would be replaced by Tanaka, Walker and Paxton. The M’s sure could use one more good bullpen/closer type arm and Oliver Perez would fit just fine.

    • jsprague 2 years ago

      You mean an upgrade anywhere except 3B and 2B.

  15. Rcsully 2 years ago

    Anywhere but the Bronx

    • James Exercise 2 years ago

      I love the Yankee hate, but as a baseball fan first, Yankees fan second, I dont think my team lands Tanaka,, I think we really want to give our youngsters a shot this year, risky as that may be. Then again, Tanaka is riskier, if you really think about it

      • Rcsully 2 years ago

        Problem I see with Yankees is they needed multiple pitchers to bolster rotation and they needed a closer and an additional set-up guy. I don’t think they have the pitching they will need to make a serious deep run into playoffs. As for their youngsters as far as I know their minors are pretty light

  16. Joe Valenti 2 years ago

    Mariners Rotation with Tanaka:


    Basically they will have 2 aces, a projected ace, a future ace, and solid prospect all in one rotation. Maybe I’m overhyping this and maybe I’ll get downvotes for that, but I don’t care. I just enjoy marveling at that possibility

    • East Coast Bias 2 years ago

      They have potential to be a great rotation even without Tanaka.

      • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

        No doubt, but I still think they need Tanaka. Nelson Cruz is not going to be a difference maker in that lineup. They are still going to struggle to create runs. At least get a pitcher that can win without much run support. In that rotation you have to think pitchers 1-4 will be able to win a lot of games where the Mariners only score 1-3 runs

        • johnnycomelately9 2 years ago

          You don’t know much about Nelson Cruz. Guy HIT 27 homers and 76 rbi while serving a 50 game suspension. Not a single M can do that, not even Cano.

          • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

            And neither can Cruz in Seattle. They already have Logan Morrison in the outfield. You are telling me you want 2 DHs playing in one of the biggest outfields in baseball when the bread and butter of your team is pitching?

        • John Evans 2 years ago

          Exactly. If there is a chance the offense is still going to be somewhat challenged, even with Cano and Hart on board and with the chance that some of the kids might show nice improvements, then build the best rotation you can and also get some bullpen help. Add Tanaka and you have a rotation like Joe Valenti suggests above, and then add a couple of experienced guys to the bullpen. Games won 1-0, 2-1, 3-1 and 3-2 are still wins, and a great pitching staff can allow for the M’s to win a bunch of games while not scoring at a prolific rate.

  17. Eric Foley 2 years ago

    I don’t see the Sox going after him considering the recent philosophy change. But then again, signing Tanaka is a double win. You get a “great” pitcher and you also take another feather from the wounded wings of the Yankee pitching staff. I wonder if they ever think that way? Ben?

  18. Trock 2 years ago

    As a Cubs fan, really hoping they try to overbid the top team to land him. I think he is worth the shot and out of anyone who seems serious about getting him, they have the most money to spend.

  19. Tigers72 2 years ago

    Tigers rotation with Tanaka

    There is 2 rotations for if they trade Scherzer or Porcello.

    • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

      It’s weird to think, but Tanaka could be a cost saving move for the Tigers. If they sign him and trade Scherzer, I would assume the team they trade Scherzer to would resign him to more than Tanaka will sign for

      • John Murray 2 years ago

        With all the teams in on him, and considering it’s costing a $20 million posting fee just to sign him, it’s hard to see Tanaka costing a lot less than Scherzer….and Tanaka’s never thrown a pitch in MLB. The Tigers, I’m sure, are thinking a lot more about the guy they know.

        • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

          Yu Darvish costed a total of $112M. Dice-K was a little below that. I can’t see Tanaka really blowing either of those out of the water. Scherzer definitely will unless he has a huge regression, in which case the Tigers would benefit from trading him high anyways.

  20. haplito 2 years ago

    I can’t wait to see this guy get blown up by MLB hitters.

  21. James Exercise 2 years ago

    So, I think the Yankees’ interest is being waay overblown, especially with their past experiences with Igawa and Wang. I don’t see it happening, I think Cash will go with Garza and Ubaldo. Sab, Kuroada, Nova, Garza, Ubaldo sounds alot better, but I might be dreaming, maybe we dont pick any of these guys up.

    • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

      The Yankees really don’t have the room for Tanaka and I think that Garza + Ubaldo would be a little more expensive then Tanaka, making that unlikely unless A-Rod goes their way, and they trade Ichiro/Wells/Gardner. I think they are more likely to go with Phelps/Pineada in the 5 spot

      • Jim01702 2 years ago

        The Yankees don’t have room for him. Are you serious, please tell me how they don’t “have room.” That has to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever read on here

        • Vmmercan 2 years ago

          I’m thinking he meant payroll wise, but then you would have to believe the Yankees care about $189 and if it means landing Tanaka I don’t think they do.

        • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

          I don’t understand the question. As is, the Yankees are pretty much around the luxury tax threshold. If they want to stay under the threshold, which the consensus is that they do, they would need A-Rod to be suspended a significant amount of games before signing Tanaka. Like I said, as of right now, and until A-Rod is suspended, they do not have room for Tanaka

        • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

          I actually saw your comment that was deleted. I worked for the Yankees over the last year so your “learn up on Yankees baseball” line was a little bold.

    • John Murray 2 years ago

      That’s assuming the Yankees can even get Garza/Ubaldo. The Angels are still the frontrunner for Garza, and the D-Backs figure to be all in for at least one quality starting pitcher. Right now, I see the Twins getting Arroyo (which, oddly enough, would be the smartest acquistion for the Yankees), the Angels getting Garza, the D-Backs getting Jimenez, Santana going to the Mariners and the Yankees getting Tanaka. Not one of them is worth half of what they’re going to get, owing to the desperation everyone seems to have for starting pitching. None of these guys are any better than a so-so #2, save for us not knowing if Tanaka will be Yu Darvish or Dice-K. No matter what they do, the Yankees are in trouble unless they address their significant lack of pitching depth and infield depth.

      • Vmmercan 2 years ago

        The Yankees have a ton of pitching depth. They have a lack of elite pitching depth and that’s something Tanaka (possibly) can offer.

        • John Murray 2 years ago

          “A ton”? Untrue, totally. If they did, their bullpen wouldn’t have run out of gas in September last year. And now, they don’t have Pettitte or Mo, or even Hughes, Logan and Chamberlain, who might be far from brilliant, but they all have had at least some success pitching in Yankee Stadium; and the only pitcher they’ve signed so far is a 37 year old middle reliever who few others had interest in. To say they’ve got a “ton of pitching depth” is pretty funny, actually.

          • Vmmercan 2 years ago

            I was speaking about the rotation, you know, where Tanaka would actually make an impact?. And really? Hughes and Chamberlain? That’s not a loss. At all. Just because Joba was brilliant in 2008 doesn’t at all have an impact now.

            And they have: Phelps, Warren, Pineda, Nova, Sabathia, Kuroda and Nuno under contract. All of them have MLB experience and all of them have demonstrated they can be a fifth starter or better. That’s depth, just not front-end depth, which was my original point.

          • John Murray 2 years ago

            Starting rotation depth would be defined as pitchers that have proven they can start over an entire MLB season. The Yankees have four of those. One of them is 39 and showed signs of wear and tear by August last year. Another had an ERA near 5. One of them is a major question mark because he hasn’t pitched in the majors for 2 years and hasn’t yet pitched enough innings in the minors to show he’s ready for a season. You’re right, it’s not front-end depth. It’s not mid-range, or even mediocre depth.

            While I’ll agree that Joba was no great loss, Hughes was a much bigger one than you may think. He gave you innings, and gave them steadily, which is more than you can say for the majority of the staff. No pitching staff can survive with a bunch of spot starter types, because plain and simple, your bullpen breaks down by mid-summer. Having Pettitte and Hughes helped the Yankees last until early September last year, but unless two decent starting pitchers are signed, the staff won’t last past July this year.

            Could the Yankees pull a Red Sox? Maybe. But they don’t have the young players in the minors that the Sox did.

            And when you evaluate the pitching and hitting losses right now against the signings, the Yankees would be about flush right now with last year. 85 wins would be a good result with the team presently assembled.

          • Vmmercan 2 years ago

            Hughes gave us innings for exactly one season, last year. Otherwise, in case you forgot, he was extremely injury-prone. In the innings he did give, outside of a month or two here and there, they were mostly terrible. So just because he demonstrated he can pitch a full season, does not make him a big loss. Ask any Yankees fan if they think Hughes is a big loss, and we watched him every start.

            Nova, CC, Kuroda, Phelps, Pineda have all demonstrated at one point or another, they can give you a major league season of starting.

            And if you credit Pettitte as a help last year, you certainly cannot chastise Kuroda for his age this year. He ran out of gas in September, he has no injury history in NY and he’s eaten a ton of innings at a very successful rate.

            Warren and Nuno have not full seasons at the MLB level, but Nuno has gone up to 138 in the minors before, implying, even after an injury last year, he can get you around 170 this year and he doesn’t even have a rotation spot.

            Warren has thrown 150+ and did very well in 77+ out of the bullpen mainly last season. Between those two guys, even if you want to argue one can’t handle a MLB rotation spot, it’s pointless to think they can’t combine for the fifth spot.

            Even if you want to argue Pineda is unproven after back to back seasons of injury, he has demonstrated he can throw a full season before that and can be in the mix to join Warren and Nuno.
            Nova, CC and Kuroda all fit your credentials already..
            Phelps has thrown 150+ before in the minors and the last two years has come around 100 with minor injuries as well as bullpen roles. At a minimum, he’s a 130 inning arm with demonstrated MLB success, but realistically, he can probably get into the mid 100’s.

            So while only three guys last season threw complete MLB seasons, that wasn’t the argument. The argument was depth, as in, do the Yankees have a significant amount of arms who can contribute at the MLB level in the rotation in 2014. The answer is yes, they have seven starters without someone like Banuelos emerging from the minors.

            Are they front-end arms? Absolutely not, but nobody argued that. Only CC and Kuroda have the potential right now to be relied on as front-end arms and Nova, if all goes right, can be a three starter in the AL East.

            So do the Yankees need Tanaka? To compete for a title, absolutely. Do they have depth? Yes. So nothing I said was off base.

          • John Murray 2 years ago

            Suggesting, by your argument, that the minor league innings are a positive factor would mean that virtually every MLB team has starting pitching depth.

            As for Hughes, it’s rather important to note that just about any right-handed flyball pitcher is a dead man in Yankee Stadium. The credit that you’re giving to David Phelps is completely incorrect. You suggest that he’s given a major league season of starting, and yet he’s never started more than 12 games in a season in MLB, and hasn’t started more than 25 games in a season since he was in Class A ball.

            When you say, “compete for a title”, you’re right, you need more. Two starters, and two more guys in the pen, because you’re not close until you have that. The two teams that finished ahead of you in the AL East have a ton more depth than the Yankees, both in the majors AND the farm system. And that’s not mentioning any of the Tigers, A’s, Rangers and even Mariners, all of whom have superior staffs to the Yankees.

            Your definition of depth remains loose. It certainly is NOT a ton. The staff broke down in September from bullpen overuse and ineffective starters. Since then, we;ve subtracted the closer and #3 starter, with no replacements.

            You might not consider yourself off base, but you’re certainly overly optimistic.

          • Vmmercan 2 years ago

            It wouldn’t suggest that because not every team has eight different starters who have quality MLB innings in addition to having an arm capable of pitching near to full MLB seasons. That’s the difference, these guys are proven before.

            Phelps only started 12 games last year because he was moved to the bullpen where he provided more value at the time. He has thrown near 160 innings before and has demonstrated success at the MLB level, combine them and you have a viable option for the fifth spot in the rotation.

            They do not need two starters if one is Tanaka. Kuroda, Tanaka, Sabathia, Nova and any of those options is a good enough rotation when considering the improvements to the offense. They need another late inning arm as well. Then they compete. Are they favorites? Likely not, but Seattle has a lot more to go to even make the playoffs let alone compete. The Tigers lost a key starter, the A’s haven’t made it out of the first round and yeah, the Rangers and Red Sox are probably favorites. The Rays may have more minor league depth but they don’t have the wallet to make major in-season moves like the Yankees do (and I’m operating under the assumption if they sign Tanaka, they blow the payroll out of the water).

      • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

        Wonder if the Dodgers have interest in Ervin Santana too.

  22. Joe Valenti 2 years ago

    Why is everyone so in love with Tanaka with Paul Maholm and Bronson Arroyo still available?

    • Nathan Boley 2 years ago

      Because Tanaka’s ceiling is infinitely higher than those guys.

      • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

        Unless Lackey’s ceiling is better than Maholm & Arroyo, Mariners should acquire either of them if Tanaka signs w/ other team listed in the article.

        • Doc-man 2 years ago

          Well, I can’t see the Sox possibly wanting to trade Lackey, They’ll be looking to make a run at a repeat, and they’re a stronger team with him,

      • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

        You sure? Have you seen Arroyo’s wind up? I’m sure he could kick through Tanaka’s ceiling

  23. LoneTXRanger 2 years ago

    So has anybody posted the 20m yet? I have not heard any news on who has paid the posting fee. Really wish I knew who was really in on him.

    • Riaaaaaa 2 years ago

      They only pay it if they sign the player

      • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

        That actually makes it sound more like any team that posts a player gets $20M regardless… I guess all the teams are assuming that Tanaka will receive a $20M bid… but what about a more pedestrian player? Wouldn’t they need to go through the bidding process first? Or are they automatically going to assume the bids are $20M??

  24. livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

    I am curious as to what exactly makes Detroit a dark horse candidate for Tanaka.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

      They need to save some money to pay for those measly extensions Cabrera and Scherzer are going to demand….

      • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

        That was my thinking into why it just did not make any sense

  25. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

    I really think that all the Tanaka hype is very premature. Out of all the Japanese SP to ever play in the MLB only 1, Yu Darvish, has a career ERA under 4.00. Only two have ever made all-star teams (Darvish and Nomo) and none have ever won a Cy Young. There have been several successful relievers and position players from Japan but only Darvish has been anything close to an ace for their career, and he has only played 2 MLB seasons. I wish Tanaka the best but the odd are not in his favor nor in favor of the team that gives him a 100 Mil+ contract!

    • Benjamin Caspersen 2 years ago

      Nomo has it under 4 also Iwakuma has it under 4 and Iwakuma made the all star team Nomo was a number one with his career he had a decent era

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

        With regard to Nomo I got my stats from link to and his career ERA was 4.24. Iwakuma I did leave out, that was my mistake. He falls into the same category as Darvish however, he has been a great pitcher so far but has only had 2 MLB seasons.

      • Jeff Miller 2 years ago

        If you’re talking about Hideo Nomo, his career ERA was 4.24. He had a great first 2 seasons, but after that he pitched to a 4.60 ERA over the next 10.

  26. I Want My Bird 2 years ago

    Live MegaDoppler HD 7000 Tanaka Watch 2014!!!

  27. David Kowalski 2 years ago

    Seattle has the greatest need for Tanaka? I don’t think so. They have two solid starters in Felix and Iwakuma. KC badly needs a number two and contended for the playoffs. Cleveland managed to get into the playoffs but they obviously could use another quality starter. Even the Mets have a need for a number two behind Matt Harvey.

    No, I don’t see any of those landing Tanaka but each would seem to have more need than Seattle.

    For that matter the A’s and Texas could also use him. The A’s won’t spend the money but Texas might. The Red Sox have too much age and too little pitching. Kojii Uehara was great for the Sox last year. Lackey will be 35 next year and Dempster 37. Yes, the Sox have a need for a 25 year old number two pitcher.

    I could argue that a better signing for Seattle would be Fernando Rodney. He’ll cost a lot less and be of more immediate need in filling a weakness. Most of the Seattle bullpen had ERAs of 3.7 and up and Wilhelmsen was not the answer as the closer.

    • Doc-man 2 years ago

      What? Are you serious? The Sox have more young arms than most any team in the majors. Renauldo, Owens, Webster, and Barnes could all be ready to start for the Sox in 2015. We honestly don’t need any more starters.

    • Robb Logan 2 years ago

      When you play in a park more designed for pitching than hitting having another strong arm pitcher is logical. While the M’s do need some bullpen depth a Tanaka signing does fit in with what the team has done this offseason. With new bats in Cano, Hart and LoMo the line up will be different. Now to get a 25 year old arm is a big intrigue I am sure. Being an Angels fan myself I do not wish this (for I would rather the Angels sign him) but I do see the fit and need for the M’s for landing Tanaka with the new look the club currently has.

  28. Harris K. 2 years ago

    Wait shouldn’t the Mariners be rebuilding? They kinda suck.

    • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

      Going after Cliff Lee w/ Dominic Brown in a trade including signing Hanrahan as a closer or set up man will help help the Mariners contend for third or second place in the division by contending for the final Wild Card playoffs as 2014 version of last season Orioles/Pirates.

  29. bobmac 2 years ago

    Badler names Seatle as the landing spot for Seattle.He then names nine other teams as possibilities.Way to hedge your bet,Ben.

  30. Lefebvre Believer 2 years ago

    If Zduriencik manages to sign Tanaka, then trade Franklin (and whatever else is needed) for an outfielder, and get some bullpen help on top of all that… I will have a strong urge to smooch his big bald head.

    • Guest 2 years ago

      Tanaka would also be a good fit for the Minnesota Twins as working w/ the pitching coach & Gardenhire would make sense just as John Fox including QB coach & Peyton Manning working out well for the Broncos (can’t hurt for Terry Ryan to sign him).

    • Marinersforever71 2 years ago

      Franklin would be valuable to succeed aging Chase Utley at second base as part of the Cliff Lee & Dominic Brown trade on rumors going around.

  31. Marinersforever71 2 years ago

    Tanaka would also be a good fit for the Minnesota Twins as working w/ the pitching coach & Gardenhire would make sense just as John Fox including QB coach & Peyton Manning working out well for the Broncos (can’t hurt for Terry Ryan to sign him).

  32. Taylor Hope 2 years ago

    That’s cool.

  33. Joe Valenti 2 years ago

    I’ve been saying this for a while. Seattle is a pretty big market that represents virtually the entire northwest. I think it would be good for baseball for them to be competitive. They also need to be competitive to sustain their appeal to free agents in the future (Seattle has always been a notorious “hard sell” to FA due to its isolation). The same goes for Houston, but I think they have their own strategy that they will be reaping the benefits of soon enough

Leave a Reply