Masahiro Tanaka Rumors: Thursday

With the courting of Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka now firmly underway, here is the latest on the top remaining free agent (in the estimation of MLBTR's Tim Dierkes):

  • Tanaka is in Los Angeles not only to meet with clubs, but to undergo a physical, reports Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. Tanaka will have his physical on Thursday and release the results to interested clubs. With a sizeable workload already under Tanaka's belt at age 25, says Dilbeck, agent Casey Close may be looking to get out in front of any health concerns.
  • After Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said yesterday that discussions were in the "feeling-out" stage, president Stan Kasten further discussed the team's interest in Tanaka today in an interview with Mark Willard and Ben Lyons of ESPNLA 710, writes Mark Saxon of"You can be assured we'll investigate everything and, if there's a way that it made sense, I'm sure we would consider it," said Kasten. "But I wouldn't predict it, I wouldn't hang our hat on it, because I think the team we have right now in place is ready to go to spring training, ready to start the season and ready to compete and win."
  • Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers also discussed Tanaka from his club's perspective, indicating to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he anticipates a chance to meet with Tanaka and his camp. "They've been good through the process," Towers said in reference to Tanaka and Close. "I'm sure they've dealt with us the same way they've dealt with other clubs." Towers also addressed the issue of whether Arizona could compete with other teams that may have greater financial flexibility. "We don't know if it's about dollars or location or the chance to be competitive," said Towers. "Nobody has really met with him so I don't think any of us have any idea. … If they come out and say it's going to be the club that spends the most money on him, then we're probably not the front-runner. But everything right now is pure speculation by the media." The D-Backs' top baseball man declined to disclose his sales pitch, but did say that his organization has "spent a great deal of time putting together what our plan of attack is and what our selling points are."
  • The White Sox have issued a statement confirming that club representatives met with Tanaka and his camp today, Scott Merkin of was among those to report (through a series of Twitter links). GM Rick Hahn was joined by executive VP Ken Williams and manager Robin Ventura for a meeting that was, in Hahn's words, "exploratory in nature."
  • Meanwhile, the Red Sox have been in touch with Close, GM Ben Cherington told in a radio interview today. As's Alex Speier tweets, Cherington said that "we'll see how it plays out" as to whether the club ultimately meets with Tanaka and company.
  • The details of the negotation process could have a major role in where Tanaka ultimately ends up, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explores in a series of tweets. For instance, the Diamondbacks have a scout who played with Tanaka in Japan, while Angels executive Hal Morris played ball with Close in college. While such advantages may be minor, Rosenthal says that clubs are looking for any edge.
  • The precise structure of the deal could also be highly variable, says Rosenthal, and may well include creative contract terms. Rosenthal cites Close's utilization of an opt-out clause in the Zack Greinke deal, and proposal to include a similar clause in a Clayton Kershaw extension. An opt-out clause or even a massive AAV over a shorter term would not be surprising, according to Rosenthal.

Earlier Updates

  • Tanaka arrived in the United States to begin meeting with Major League clubs, tweets David Waldstein of the New York Times. Tanaka was originally planning on flying into Chicago, but an NL official tells Waldstein that weather caused him to fly into Los Angeles instead.
  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that Tanaka's camp could meet with as many as a dozen by Friday. According to Heyman, the Dodgers, Cubs, and Yankees (in addition to the above-noted Angels, White Sox, and Diamondbacks) all have meetings set. The Blue Jays have also had multiple conversations with Tanaka's camp already, he adds, but it's unclear if they have a face-to-face meeting set in Los Angeles. Heyman reports that Tanaka began meetings yesterday and could meet with five to six teams per day.
  • We also learned additional details on the payment schedule for the posting fee that will be owed by whatever team ultimately lands Tanaka.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.


134 Responses to Masahiro Tanaka Rumors: Thursday Leave a Reply

  1. Karkat 2 years ago

    Man, even the Polar Vortex has it out for the Cubs.

  2. TheFallenSoldier 2 years ago

    The weather here isn’t THAT bad…

    • docmilo5 2 years ago

      It’s likely bad enough to make Theo et al want to head to Southern Cal.

  3. cderry 2 years ago

    I told some people on another website that Tanaka was a good fit for the White Sox. They saved a lot of money in trades last year and have the cash to spend. Tanaka’s youth will put him in excellent company with Chris Sale and Jose Quintana when the WSox will begin to compete for the playoffs (which I think will be as soon as 2015).

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      He’s pretty much a good fit anywhere that has the extra cash. That’s why he’s so hyped up right now.

      Looking for a top starter this year to compete now? Tanaka’s your guy
      Looking for a guy that can be a building block on a rebuilding team? Tanaka’s your guy?
      Ready to compete year in year out for the next 6-7 years? Tanaka’s your guy.

      Question is who will pay the most and does Tanaka really have a geographic preference? I question any of this talk about a shorter flight time from the west coast. Chicago to Japan compared to LA to Japan is about an hour and a half difference in flight time, not exactly worth leaving millions of dollars on the table.

    • bill leff 2 years ago

      That would be a nice 1, 2, 3. Go White Sox!

  4. LightUptheHalo 2 years ago

    Now were getting somewhere.

  5. Gumby65 2 years ago

    First snow in Chicago, now Magic Johnson is going to make it rain in LA….

  6. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

    Alright Arte time to break out the check book, don’t get cheap now!

  7. bobbleheadguru 2 years ago

    Interesting exercise….

    Rank the value of upcoming longterm contracts (both in cost and value) for Tanaka, Scherzer and Price:

    Cost (including $20MM posting Fee in Tanaka’s case):

    1. Price (starting 2016)
    2. Scherzer (starting 2015)
    3. Tanaka (starting 2014)

    Estimated value (as measured by $/WAR, low to high) over the length of contract (my opinion):

    1. Tanaka
    2. Price
    3. Scherzer

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

      Interesting exercise…. but how did you come up with those rankings?

      • bobbleheadguru 2 years ago

        Just guessing. Kershaw is NOT on this list, because he is at a different level.

        What is your guess, both for contract costs and value ($/WAR)?

        • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

          $/WAR I find almost impossible to estimate with Scherzer and Price having not yet reached FA. If Scherzer has a down 2014 I think he will get a smaller contract than Tanaka, Price is still two years away from FA and that leaves a lot of room for fluctuation in his contract. He could have an arm injury or a velocity drop that significantly effects his contract.
          My best guess would be:

          Contract size: 1) Price 2) Tanaka 3) Scherzer
          $/WAR: 1) Price 2) Tanaka 3) Scherzer

          In essence I think all 3 will have just about equal value so it will come down to who gets the most money.

          P.S. the lower $/WAR the better

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      Well in a perfect world the $/War would be equal, although probably the higher WAR player cost a little more money per Win considering most would prefer one 8 WAR player to two 4 WAR players because it now allows you to find a prospect capable of giving you production or spend additional money to fill that other spot with someone with a positive WAR whether it be another 1 WAR or another 8 WAR.

      • bobbleheadguru 2 years ago

        My point is that Tanaka, even at a higher than expected salary, may be a better value than either Price (his contract starting 2016) or Scherzer (his contract starting 2015). Would you agree?

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          He has a good chance of that but he also comes with the highest risk not being an MLB proven player, having a lot of mileage on his arm. I’ve seen reports thinking he’s an Ace to reports thinking he’s more middle of the rotation with mechanics that suggest a drop in velocity sometime in the not too distant future. With Kershaw and Price you at least have proven TOR/Cy young stuff, although likely with diminishing skill sets as they age.

          • slashieboy . 2 years ago

            Depends on which league he ends up in, middle of the rotation in AL is is near ace material in the NL.

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            Think you are overvaluing AL vs NL pitchers. Overall there isn’t some huge gap between the two.

  8. Vincent Starks 2 years ago

    I don’t see the Dodgers getting Tanaka. It would have been a Dream Team Pitching Staff too

  9. Quikmix 2 years ago

    Between the two LA teams, I would think the Dodgers would be more appealing than the Angels, but I’d still love to see some youth come into the Angels pitching lineup.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

      I’d prefer he stay out of the lineup as much a possible…

    • Nyy dude 2 years ago

      The two L.A. teams?

    • JordanMantor 2 years ago

      The Angels aren’t an LA team, you take that back.

      • Curt Green 2 years ago

        Always the California Angels in my book.

        • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

          There was a much bigger uproar around MLB over the Angels using the California moniker than their fan base over the LA moniker. Did I say that right?

      • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

        They’re the only MLB team born in LA.

        • JordanMantor 2 years ago

          No. While they’re TECHNICALLY part of LA (solely on a jurisdictional sense), they’re based in Anaheim, which is in Orange County.

          Orange County sure ain’t LA, man. *shudder*

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      Well that all depends on what is appealing to Tanaka. Mike Trout or Yasiel Puig? Albert Pujols or Adrian Gonzalez? Arte Moreno or Magic Johnson? We can go on and on. It’ll be a matter of preference.

  10. Yankees4Lif3 2 years ago

    1. CC 2.Tanaka 3.Nova.4.Kuroda 5.Pineda/Phelps not bad. Let’s Go Yankees!

    • docmilo5 2 years ago

      Unfortunately, CC may not be #1 anymore. His ERA+ of 85 makes him a middle of the rotation or back end kind of guy going forward if he doesn’t figure things out really quick.

      • dc21892 2 years ago

        May not be a number one, but it’s either him or Kuroda with the lack of pitching they have.

        • Vmmercan 2 years ago

          Hate to burst your bubble but if CC has a rebound year (doesn’t have to return to ace form but pitches like a front-end guy) and the Yankees land Tanaka, they don’t have a lack of pitching.

          1. Kuroda 2. CC 3. Tanaka 4. Nova would be plenty solid, especially with the upgrades on offense. Yankees won and lost a lot of 2-1 and 3-2 type games last year.

          • James F 2 years ago

            Matt Thornton is the Yankee’s second best bullpen arm. Let that sink in.

          • Vmmercan 2 years ago

            I would if Shawn Kelly didn’t exist.
            Also, let me know when he’s in the rotation so we can get back to talking about starting pitching depth (which I have to believe was the topic since we were discussing, CC, Kuroda and Tanaka, not the potential seventh inning arm against lefties.)

          • James F 2 years ago

            I would not have made my comment if you didn’t say these two things:

            “Yankees won and lost a lot of 2-1 and 3-2 type games last year.”

            “…they don’t have a lack of pitching”
            Both Shawn Kelley and Matt Thornton aren’t very good.

          • Vmmercan 2 years ago

            Thornton I’ll give you, but Kelly had a strong season and relievers are notoriously unreliable to begin with. The Yankees have plenty of reliever options. I have maintained I would be more comfortable with Tanaka and a late-inning reliever, but give them Tanaka and I don’t view them as a lack of starting depth in the rotation, which was the initial focus.

          • Teufelshunde4 2 years ago

            Dont try to bring reality into the equation for Yankee fans.

          • Naruto9tails 2 years ago

            2 “If”s is 40% of any rotation. You may want rethink that anybody’s bubble has bursted.

          • Vmmercan 2 years ago

            The whole premise is based on the Yankees landing Tanaka. That’s not an “if”. My point is the Yankees have pitching depth if they land Tanaka, which is the whole point of the conversation, which means the only “if” of current players is whether CC can pitch like a front-end pitcher or not. Name me one rotation in baseball where there isn’t an “if” in it.

          • danfromfreddybeach 2 years ago

            Dude, the Yankees were 30-16 in 1-run games last year. That was the best in baseball and points to a team that overachieved. They were outscored by 21 runs on the season and by X_WL, they could have ended up with 79 wins instead of 85. Winning the close games is a product of the bullpen.

          • Vmmercan 2 years ago

            They won a lot of low-scoring one run games. Look, I know all about regression in one run games, extra inning games etc. The Orioles in 2012 compared to 2013 were a perfect example. But the Yankees didn’t win those games because of just the bullpen, they won them close mainly because of the bullpen and a weak offense. If they had any sort of offense from late April-July, those 2-1 games the “bullpen” won would have been 6-3 wins instead. The Orioles didn’t revamp their entire offense last year, the Yankees have improved their offense basically at five or six different positions from the early part of last season.

      • MB923 2 years ago

        Things can change in a year. Look at Lester in 2012 and Lester in 2013. Don’t be shocked at all if CC rebounds and has a very good year.

      • Vmmercan 2 years ago

        Not sure that list is numbered top to bottom of rotation.

        Realistically, it’s 1. Kuroda 2. CC 3. Tanaka 4. Nova 5. Open competition.

        • docmilo5 2 years ago

          Bartolo Colon’s age 32 season was in 2005. He didn’t pitch over 100 innings until 2011. 2012 we know why… suspension anyone? I just brought him up because of the body type. Bartolo was just a little overweight. There is no guarantee CC bounces back this year. It may be a steep hill down the other side.

          • Vmmercan 2 years ago

            So then what are your thoughts on David Wells or Tony Gwynn? Is your argument overweight pitchers can’t last? CC is 6’7″ Bartoli i’m not sure breaks six feet. They wear and use their weight very, very, differently.

  11. Shawn Bronald 2 years ago

    If Tanaka visits Arizona, he’ll never want to leave.

    • docmilo5 2 years ago

      Yes, he’ll hang out in Peoria at the Mariners complex until April. :)

      • chris german 2 years ago

        Hahahaha. I’m not a Mariners fan but that’s still pretty funny.

      • authenhausen 2 years ago

        He sure will visit there, but most of his days will be at camelback ranch in either a blue or black hat

    • Karkat 2 years ago

      He’d be a non-US citizen in Arizona, they might just instinctively make him leave before they realize what’s happening.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      Neither did the Dodgers when they had a pool party

    • Mkat2 2 years ago

      If he’s there in the summer time, yes, he will want to leave! Miserable place!
      I know, I have relatives there.

  12. Quikmix 2 years ago

    There should be plenty of rumors that emerge out of these upcoming meetings–plenty of good reading material for the next couple weeks.

    I still like the Mariners and the Cubs as possible sleepers here. Yankees will push hard, but Washington’s lack of income tax is always a nice perk.

    • Vmmercan 2 years ago

      If he’s good, the endorsement difference alone will make it worth it. And before anyone tries to overblow it, in 2012, Felix had 900K in outside endorsements. Derek Jeter had about 12 million.

      • pft2 2 years ago

        The big endorsements for Tanaka will still come from Japan.

        • Vmmercan 2 years ago

          You really believe if Tanaka is successful in NY, his endorsement opportunities will be on par with in Seattle? Because I 100% disagree. Whether or not he still gets his biggest endorsements from Japan is irrelevant to that comparison.

          • Karkat 2 years ago

            Did Hideki Matsui get many endorsements with New York? I feel like Matsuzaka only had one Dunkin spot in Boston. If Tanaka is not very comfortable with English, he won’t be getting a whole lot.

          • Vmmercan 2 years ago

            Yes, he had about $8 million per year from 2006-2009 (no records from before that that I can find). He made 21 million in 2006 and had a 13 million dollar salary. He was the 9th highest grossing foreign athlete in 2006.

  13. Jack Conness 2 years ago

    Does anyone know how interested the White Sox ACTUALLY are? This is getting me real excited. But I feel like they are just making this a PR stunt.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

      hard to gauge actual interest but Tanaka would fit nicely with either Chicago team. Given his age he can help them significantly beyond 2014.

      • Jack Conness 2 years ago

        Well, I hope the South Side!

        • Bromacho 2 years ago

          I’d actually go with the WS as well. I’d be wary of joining a team that hasn’t won jack in nearly a decade…

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      They haven’t commented at all so no one really knows but perhaps Tanaka and the White Sox FO.

  14. SSMAN96 2 years ago

    I think the Jays stand a chance to land Tanaka with the HUGE asian population… and lots of spending money this off season..we’ll see though

    • Morley C 2 years ago

      Not again with the “asian population” nonsense. Koreans and Chinese people don’t care about Japanese pitchers, and the Japanese population in the GTA is negligible.

    • AlexanderMaunu 2 years ago

      If he decides based on Asian population the only real destination is the Giants.

  15. Cyyoung 2 years ago

    Cant wait till this guy faces Major League hitters.

  16. Mark Tabello 2 years ago

    Extended stay in LA for Tanaka means he probably will never visit competing cities which may be a good thing for everyone else considering how bad the weather is the the mid-west and back East. Can’t help but think he will not want to leave LA with the beautiful weather , WS contender , and as much money as he will find elsewhere. I don’t expect Dodgers ownership to get cold feet on dishing out another $150 million or so. Magic is overly motivated to build a juggernaut

    • I Want My Bird 2 years ago

      There was a previous post referencing Magic so I had to post. You know that Magic chipped in 50 mil for a 2 bil team, so he’s primarily a smiling figurehead. It’s actually hilarious when he’s asked a baseball question, the clich├ęs that come out. It’s Kasten and the rest of the Guggenheim group.

      • Trock 2 years ago

        Agreed. He is pretty much just a famous head to the group of owners. Someone the public recocgnizes. Perhaps a way to sway more basketball fans to like baseball? Lol

        • BlueSkyLA
          BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

          Magic has a track record of putting his money on the line to support local interests, but really he doesn’t seem to know a thing about baseball, and he hardly shows up to games. I honestly thought he’d be a more visible member of the ownership team than he’s been.

          • Trock 2 years ago

            I don’t watch a lot of Dodgers games, but I have seen him on a few TV spots talking baseball and you are right, he appears to know that the ball is round, little and white and that is about it.
            I think he should definitely make his presence known more. Should get out and enjoy more games of a team his money is invested in (albiet a small amount in the grand scheme of things)

          • BlueSkyLA
            BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

            I saw him at some playoff games, but I don’t remember seeing him at all during the regular season and my seats are right above the owner’s section. I just happened to be at the first home game after the new owners took over. Magic was there that day, and both Magic and the crowd were loving it. And yet. Tommy still comes to nearly every game and he’s 86 years old.

      • Gumby65 2 years ago

        The money is Mark Walter.
        The Brains are Stan Kasten.
        The Known Entity (face of the franchise) is Magic.

        Magic is also, in a “semi-figurehead role”, a recruiter of free agents.

        Not wrong to refer to Magic as having anything to do with this.

        Unless of course making mountains out of molehills is anybody’s thing.

      • Mark Tabello 2 years ago

        Well aware of that. Magic even said he refers baseball decisions to Stan Kasten and financial decisions to Mark Walter and company. Magic is the recruiter/cheerleader/small investor, no doubt about that. He is the one that is out there touting to the LA public that the Dodgers will overtake the Lakers as LA’s team and that he expects the Dodgers to contend every single year given the market. Same is expected by other owners in large markets. It’s the propogamda that has to happen given the financial stakes

      • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

        Even a SoCal native like myself who follow baseball religiously forgets this fact.

  17. RIYankeeGuy 2 years ago

    The Dodgers have a HUGE extension coming up for Kershaw and another 150+ million for HanRam, so if the Dodgers have a smaller TV deal (7 billion vs 10+ billion) and less annual revenue (320mil vs 570mil) than the Yankees, why are people so convinced LA’s pockets are bottomless?

    LA already made their spending splash, accelerating their payroll to the 220 mil range, which seems to be their comfort zone. A Tanaka signing may be insurance for Kershaw leaving, but conversely it could make giving Clayton 275 mil not as easy of a decision.

    (EDIT NOTE) Comment was a reply to Mark Tabello’s post below.

    • Mark Tabello 2 years ago

      Yankees are just as capable of doing this deal as Dodgers. Just saying money is not a issue. Between Beckett, Billingsley, Haren , and Wilson (player option pending) that $47 million off the books for 2015. Even with extensions for Kershaw ( $30 million) , Hanley ($20 million) , those extensions cancel out the money coming off the books. Adding Tanaka isn’t as big of a financial obstacle as it would appear. They can go light on the AAV on the first year and backload the rest of the contract. $10 million in 1st year, $23 million years 2-6? Regardless, not saying the Yankees are afraid to open up the checkbook. Just saying that LAD can do this if they choose

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

      I don’t know where you get the annual revenue figures, but I’ve never heard anyone seriously argue that the Dodgers have “bottomless” pockets. Just deep. Very deep. In addition to revenue, they’ve got billions behind them in ownership and an apparent willingness to invest in the team and stadium. Also, nobody has any real concept of where the new owners are comfortable in terms of payroll. They haven’t even owned the team for two full seasons yet. All that said, I’d still handicap the Tanaka derby in favor of the Yankees, if only because their need is greater.

      • Mark Tabello 2 years ago

        Just pure speculation on my part given tv money and ticket/merchandise sales. That said its not cheap to operate a MLB team with travel, front office, scouting, advertising, and so many more costs that are not publically stated. Even with all the money coming in its not hard to imagine the team operating at a loss given their desire to invest it into the team/stadium/facility operations. Doesn’t matter cause the team/franchise value grows every year

        • BlueSkyLA
          BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

          Right, they also have other sources of revenue, such as merchandise licensing, stadium concessions, parking, and of course ticket sales. The Dodgers could easily be pulling down another $50m+ annually from tickets alone. I don’t see the new owners the running franchise it in the red on any longterm basis, but it has been subjected to decades of disinvestment from two prior owners, and it seems they understand that it required a transfusion.

      • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

        I think he may be referring to the perception that many fans have of the Dodgers. I’ve heard the same thing myself. But even I know they will likely set a limit at some point so they’re not just throwing dynamite into the mine, hoping to strike gold one day.

        • BlueSkyLA
          BlueSkyLA 2 years ago

          I suspect they have a limit, we just don’t know what it is. We may never really know. Teams rarely advertise such things.

    • Joel Zamora 2 years ago

      The owners personal pockets are deep.

      • Cubstein 2 years ago

        Haven’t seen too many owners put in their personal money to fund a payroll.

        • Joel Zamora 2 years ago

          They wont be using their personal money but they’re so rich that they don’t mind making less than they would w/o tanaka on their payroll.

      • Cubstein 2 years ago

        Haven’t seen too many owners put in their personal money to fund a payroll.

    • LA_BLUE_CREW 2 years ago

      one word “guggenheim”

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      Dodgers right now will have possibly the highest payroll in history of ANY team and as you state even with the big deal, they aren’t out earning the Yankees. Now people suggest they have room to add a 20 million AAV contract to that?

      Dodgers would have to move a contract to get this deal done. And because an owner could fund it with his personal money no owner in baseball does this. And I don’t think they are trying to run a 0 sum game, most of these guys want to earn at least some profit on this project.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Those revenue figures don’t include the new deal. Also, LA has a sizable Japanese community and is well located for Japanese tourists. Tanaka probably pays for himself in increased ticket sales, ads, sponsorships, and in stadium merchandise sales.

      Also, they may have some signs Kershaw wants to test free agency and is not a certainty to sign an extension.

      They will also have Becketts 17 million off the books after 2014, and perhaps Hanley and Kershaw if talks don’t go well.

  18. Chris Solberg 2 years ago

    Meet with five to six teams a day?!?!?! Are the meetings lined up in the airports and he’s flying red-eye flights as well?

    • Jake 2 years ago

      Well, I’m guessing the teams reps are flying to him

      • I Want My Bird 2 years ago

        It obviously expedites things, but think about the differences in amenities between Yankee Stadium and Wrigley for example, that maybe he doesn’t get a chance to see. I took a tour of the clubhouse and facilities at Chase Field, pretty ordinary I thought.

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          Seems to me to suggest money is the key. Or perhaps he takes the best offers and then visits the stadiums to make the final decision.

          • pft2 2 years ago

            Just an initial interview to screen out the curiosity seekers and those most interested. Probably gives them a specific format for the initial proposal, time table and a minimum starting point on years and dollars. I imagine teams will have a short time to make a presentation on the strength of their organization and city. Teams that can’t make a bilingual presentation will probably lose points;

          • Cubstein 2 years ago

            I don’t think he’ll appreciate being offered short term proposals. If we aren’t starting at 6-7 years at least in the 17 million maybe 20 Million AAV range, he might not want to continue any meetings. Time is short, need to start getting serious offers. Just over two weeks left.

  19. ice_hawk10 2 years ago

    Sounds like the angels are the front runners for Garza, so I don’t see them landing Tanaka. The Dodgers have the money, but not the desperation for pitching that Arizona, Toronto or New York have. I think they’ll be heavily in the mix but ultimately won’t sign him. The Chicago teams would be a fit, but they aren’t on the right side of the win curve to make a major outlay of cash with so many contending teams in the running for Tanaka as well. And you’d have to figure that all things being equal Tanaka would rather plan for a team with a chance to win right away. The only other team I’d put in there is the Mariners. They aren’t necessarily desperate for pitching, but they could use an extra arm and I’m sure they could convince ownership to pony up the dough, especially for a Japanese star. Yankees, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Mariners, Diamondbacks; roughly in that order.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

      The Angels would go after Tanaka or Garza not both, Garza is more than likely their backup plan if they can’t sign Tanaka.

      • Mark Tabello 2 years ago

        Either option and its a huge win for the Angels this offseason. They get the pitching they desperately needed and still have their #1 pick in a very deep 2014 draft year. They just need to stay healthy ( mainly Pujols and J-Ham) and they will be a very improved team

        • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

          Agreed on the huge win part. I think their 2014 season hinges more on their pitching improving than getting good production from Pujols and Hamilton. League average pitching probably would’ve gotten them to the playoffs in 2013, even with Pujols out for the season and Hamilton having a terrible first half.

    • dshires4 2 years ago

      Last year, our starters were Aaron Harang and Joe Saunders. Yes, we are desperate for pitching. And rightfully so. Going out and admitting that you’re desperate for pitching is just bad leverage against free agents.

      • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

        I don’t think teams really have to admit when they’re desperate. The whole world knows which teams are desperate for what these days, especially with today’s easy access to information.

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      The Angels are going after Tanaka with Garza as their contingency plan. Or, Arte Moreno could surprise everyone again (after saying the Angels don’t have enough flexibility “again”), and go after both. I’ve learned by now to be in “wait and see mode” when Arte expresses his apparent financial limitations regarding payroll. Don’t be surprised if they suddenly dart past the luxury tax threshold.

      The Dodgers aren’t desperate for pitching, but they could still use some more younger arms. Who knows if Dan Haren will return to being Dan Haren again?

      But I have this strange feeling the team that signs Tanaka may be a team that is getting very little attention in these discussions.

      • ice_hawk10 2 years ago

        I can’t see him going much of anywhere else than the teams listed. Only Washington would seem to potentially have the money, and that’s the overriding factor here.

        • ice_hawk10 2 years ago

          Or I suppose the Red Sox, you can probably lump them in with the Dodgers as a team that has the money but not the need.

  20. bill leff 2 years ago

    All of a sudden, the White Sox pop up. I know anyone willing promise 20 million can play, but this is interesting. Kenny Williams was in LA, instead of at the Frank Thomas HOF press conference, dealing with what called something like previously discussed things. Hmmm.

  21. Mark Tabello 2 years ago

    Cubs , Astros, Twins all have major talent coming in 2-3 years. Really wouldn’t be surprised to see Cubs or Astros make a preemptive strike to get the win curve started a year early.

    • Cubstein 2 years ago

      All three have major talent coming in the next season.
      Cubs- Baez, Bryant and Alcantara as top 100 prospects coming up this year plus Hendricks, Olt, and Ramirez having some solid impact potential coming in this year.
      Admittedly know less about the other two but as far as top 100 coming up this season
      Astros- Springer, Appel, possibly Foltynewicz, and Singleton
      Twins- Sano, maybe Meyer, Pinto, and maybe Rosario.

      All have others that will be making impacts 2015 + 2016 in addition to these. Most of this talent will take a year, maybe two to adjust so perhaps with that considered it’s 2-3 years.

      • Mark Tabello 2 years ago

        Add Rondon to the Astros with this years #1 overall pick along with Springer, Correa, Appel, McCullers, Rio Ruiz and the Astros look like monsters in 3 years.

        Cubs with Bryant, Almora, Soler, Alcantara, Olt, and CJ Edwards the cubs will be loaded with position players. They will just need pitching to compliment the team.

        Twins with Buxton , Sano have nice center pieces as well. I’m just excited to see how Cubs and Astros turn out. Plus all 3 of these teams pick in the top 10 this year and are sure to add another young core piece with all the great talent in this years draft

        • Cubstein 2 years ago

          Cubs definitely heavier with hitting talent but pitching isn’t terrible. Already have Wood and depending on what happens with Samardzija, he’ll either give us a real nice arm or be a solid arm in the rotation. Also have Arrieta who has TOR stuff, Johnson and Edwards both top 100 prospects who are pitchers. I mean some team’s don’t have any top 100 prospects yet alone two that are pitchers.

          Hendricks is amazingly polished with great control, if his stuff plays he could be a very good pitcher as well. Black and Pineyro received in trades last could be solid if they build some strength to stay in the rotation. Plus hopefully some of the live arms drafted in 2011-13 step forward this year to turn into top pitchers in Maples, Blackburn, Underwood, Zastrynzy, Skulina and McNeil.

          One or two of these pan out into their potential and Cubs rotation will be strong. But of course the chance to add a young pitcher in Tanaka to their young hitters would make this a logical signing for the Cubs.

  22. Patrick 2 years ago

    White Sox have some money left to spend: Sale, Tanaka, Quintana, Danks, and Johnson with their bullpen would be pretty competitive

    • pft2 2 years ago

      But they have a lousy team, and Tanaka will get better endorsements in Japan if he plays with a better team.

      • Patrick 2 years ago

        Chicago? Can’t get better than that than LA or New York maybe

  23. Baseball on Earth 2 years ago

    I have a gut feeling Tanaka is hot for Dodgers.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Yeah, Colletti seemed to be playing hard to get. Of course, their experience with Nomo has to have them interested. Nomo put an extra 5000-8000 fans in the seats every night he pitched, and they sold a lot of Nomo merchandise. LA has a large japanese population and is a favorite Japanese tourist destination. Tanaka would love pitching in that park in a league without a DH, since success in MLB with a good team leads to huge endorsements in Japan. Its also closer to Japan than NY or Chicago and the weather is better.

      LA’s biggest advantage over Seattle is it has a better team, although Seattle has no state tax. His wife is some kind of a star so probably prefers the limelight in LA or NY.. NY is farther away though and has a hefty state/municipal tax, and the weather is not as good. Tanaka would also have to share the limelight with Ichiro and Kuroda, at least in his first year..

      • Dodgers.714 2 years ago

        Two perfect comments… LA has everything he could want. And he wouldn’t even have much pressure cuz of Kershaw greinke and ryu. And the sure to be Puig “drama” , outfield trade rumor drama,. Instant best rotation in MLB if dodgers add him… I just don’t wanna see Beckett pitch in dodger blue again

      • Dodgers.714 2 years ago

        Two perfect comments… LA has everything he could want. And he wouldn’t even have much pressure cuz of Kershaw greinke and ryu. And the sure to be Puig “drama” , outfield trade rumor drama,. Instant best rotation in MLB if dodgers add him… I just don’t wanna see Beckett pitch in dodger blue again

  24. cscd1111 2 years ago

    One team is conspicuously absent from the Masahira Tanaka sweepstakes maybe the Phillies who need some SP have decided to not spend the money right now?

    • pft2 2 years ago

      They don’t have the TV money. The new deal does not kick in till 2016 and even then only pays 65 million. Some non-performing contracts on the books holding them back too. I can’t see Tanaka choosing to play in Philly anyways, too far away, not a huge market so US endorsements not great, and the team is not very good now. The team also would not reap the benefits that cities which have large Japanese populations and are Japanese tourist destinations would, so they would likely be outbid .

  25. Jonathan Barlock 2 years ago

    Nothing about the Mariners?
    Jack is so tight lipped!

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Silence is sometimes a better indicator of a teams interest.

      • northsfbay 2 years ago

        I believe that if a team talks specifics on a free agent that it is tampering and against the rules.

      • lee lippert 2 years ago

        Exactly; I was just thinking that about my Cubs. Hardly a word about them and Tanaka. Good sign; We shall see! GO CUBS GO

  26. Tony Matias 2 years ago

    Just think of the mad dash after Tanaka signs for the remaining FA’s.

  27. Stevil 2 years ago

    The speculation over where he’ll land has gone from silly, to ridiculous.
    It should be clear that he’ll stay in Japan.

  28. Eslva917 2 years ago

    I think the real question is, will Taka Tanaka make a Japanese pop album next offseason?

  29. Goriax 2 years ago

    You can bet that AA will have a face to face meeting with Tanaka and his people.

    • stl_cards16 2 years ago

      Now that I heard that, does that mean it’s definitely not true?

  30. Dodgers.714 2 years ago

    Would be stupid of him to not sign with dodgers if he wants to win… That will be a rotation NO team could match… And the lineup isn’t to shabby if kemp returns to half his form from 2011.

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