Quick Hits: Volquez, Tanaka, D’Backs

The Major League Baseball Players Association announced that Kevin McGuiness, a lawyer who has spent a decade heading a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., has been hired as COO under new union head Tony Clark.  The 61-year-old will fill a post that had been vacant since Gene Orza retired in March 2011. McGuiness will start work with the union next month.  Tonight’s look around baseball..

  • The Pirates signed starting pitcher Edinson Volquez as a free agent this offseason, but that wasn’t the first time they had pursued him, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. “When San Diego put me on waivers (last year), the Pirates called right away,” says Volquez. “This winter, they called again. I thought, ‘They must really want me, so let’s do it.'” Volquez posted a 5.71 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 with the Padres and Dodgers last year, but the Pirates have had success with down-on-their-luck pitchers like Francisco Liriano in the recent past. “What I hear about the Pirates pitching coaches and the pitching staff is pretty good,” Volquez says. “So, why not take a chance to come here and maybe get better?
  • Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has made no secret of his desire to make a play for Masahiro Tanaka and he has a strategy in place to make it happen, writes MLB.com’s Steve GIlbert.
  • Tanaka flew to the U.S. today and is expected to start meeting with MLB clubs in the coming days, according to a report from Nikkan Sports
  • While some see the Blue Jays’ starting rotation as a weakness, others view it as an opportunity, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.  Pitching prospects Sean Nolin and Marcus Stroman both say they aim to make the rotation out of spring training.  Of course, there will be less seats at the table if Toronto goes out and finds more arms via trade or free agency.

Charlie Wilmoth and Aaron Steen contributed to this post.


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31 Comments on "Quick Hits: Volquez, Tanaka, D’Backs"


Member
Gobias Bluth
1 year 5 months ago

Kevin Towers has a strategy??? Uh oh, buckle your seat belt D-back fans, this can’t be good. Dude needs to be relieved of his duties posthaste.

Member
ice_hawk10
1 year 5 months ago

His plan involves Alex Rodriguez’s suspension getting mysteriously overturned and revealing the Dodgers are using Mexican drug money to finance their team.

Member
$1961279
1 year 5 months ago

naw, it’s the Angles are using that south of the border drug money. You know that team in ANAHEIM in the AL West?

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AZDbacksfan1
1 year 5 months ago

Thats the best Kevin Towers joke ive heard in a long time.

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Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 5 months ago

Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has made no secret of his desire to make a play for Masahiro Tanaka and he has a strategy in place to make it happen,
A strategy eh, I am curious to see what it is besides spend the owners money!
Maybe hold a car wash fundraiser maybe?
Actually Chase Field is really a beautiful place. but I am curious about what Towers is thinnking

Member
pft2
1 year 5 months ago

Well, besides salary there are many perks they could offer. They could offer him a piece of the action on every ticket sold to Japanese tourists who come to Arizona on a D-Backs package, a commission on Japanese sponsors and advertising, and a couple of chartered flights a year to and from Japan for him and his family and friends. Not sure how MLB handles the value of these perks for luxury tax calculations but the D backs are a long way from worrying about that. They still have to come in with guaranteed money comparable to other teams, but the perks could make their offer stand out.

Member
Andrew Cromack
1 year 5 months ago

As a dbacks fan I would love to see KT pull a rabbit out of a hat and make it happen. But this unknown stragety makes me slightly scared. And for the love of god MLB can the dbacks get a different writer than steve gilbert. He is horrible. Just the other day he was telling dback fans to cool there hopes on getting tanaka, and he doesnt call a spade a spade. he frustartes me to death.

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Joe Blow
1 year 5 months ago

Thank god. For a second I thought it said Tony Clark was 61 years old.

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GRINGOMHT
1 year 5 months ago

No he was 61 when he played for the Dbacks

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ConstantinusMagnus
1 year 5 months ago

Let’s assume both the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Yankees offer Tanaka 6 years at $120 million. (If Arizona was actually in a position to do a similar deal for Choo then they can afford one for Tanaka.) So, how much does the considerable tax differential between high-tax New York and low-tax Arizona advantage the Snakes in an identical offer? Has anyone seen a comprehensive “tax factor” for each team similar to park factor for hitter and pitching stats? Florida and Texas have no individual income tax and California’s top rate is over 11%. Over the life of a 6 year contract for $120 million the TX vs. CA tax differential is almost worth $2 million Average Annual Value. The NY vs. AZ spread might not be as big as a CA vs. TX one but with a contract as large as it will take to land Tanaka, why don’t we hear more about the higher relative value of an Arizona dollar in pay against a New York dollar of pay?

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Karkat
1 year 5 months ago

With the kind of money Tanaka would be making, the difference is 4.54% in Arizona vs. 8.82% in New York (2013 numbers). So if that came right off the top of the $20MM AAV, we’re talking ~900k in Arizona per year and ~1/75MM in New York per year. Continuing this overly-simplistic model, it’d make $120MM become $114.55MM in Arizona and $109.42MM in New York.

This is sort of a logical upper bound since taxes don’t work that cleanly, but we’re talking on the order of a few million dollars over the life of the contract with two states that are that disparate.

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BlueSkyLA
1 year 5 months ago

It is way more complicated. For one he’s a Japanese citizen, which means he would probably be taxed in Japan on his U.S. earnings. Then, depending on the state where he becomes a resident he may or may not be liable for income taxes in that state, no matter where he is employed. Finally, it isn’t all about income taxes. Many of the states with low or no income tax have low or no income tax because other taxes (especially on property) are high. Didn’t old Ben Franklin have something to say about that?

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Karkat
1 year 5 months ago

If I could understand how taxes worked, TurboTax wouldn’t have a market xD

Member
Quikmix
1 year 5 months ago

Yeah, it gets messy really fast. Players are taxed based in each state where games are played. So you’ve got your home-state tax for your home games and then taxes in any number of additional states based on how many games were played there and what percentage of your annual income those games represent.

Member
BlueSkyLA
1 year 5 months ago

I haven’t made a study of this, but I’m pretty certain that tax collection policies vary a great deal from state to state. Making personal decisions based on taxes is usually a bad idea anyway.

Member
BlueSkyLA
1 year 5 months ago

I haven’t made a study of this, but I’m pretty certain that tax collection policies vary a great deal from state to state. Making personal decisions based on taxes is usually a bad idea anyway.