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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Masahiro Tanaka decision to come during Christmas holiday?

At some point soon (hopefully very soon), we will learn whether the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan will make ace right-hander Masahiro Tanaka available to MLB teams via the posting system. The pitching market has been handcuffed for weeks now while awaiting the announcement.

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Rakuten could announce its decision at some point this week, perhaps either Tuesday (Christmas Eve) or Wednesday (Christmas). Here’s the explanation:

  Tanaka is currently away in Tokyo making appearances at events today and tomorrow, according to Japanese media reports, including Nikkan Sports. While Tanaka said he has yet to hear back from Eagles management since he informed the team of his desire to pitch in Major League Baseball next season, it’s expected that the Eagles will inform Tanaka of their decision at their next meeting.

  Since Tanaka could have more events beginning Dec. 26, the belief in Japan is that an announcement on Tanaka could come on Dec. 24 or Dec. 25. The deadline for the Eagles to decide whether to make Tanaka available through the posting system is Feb. 1, though it isn’t expected they would drag things out anywhere close to that date.

A major announcement like this falling on a major holiday would be less than ideal for many reasons, but especially because the buzz and attention would be somewhat muted. Not too many people pay attention to the hot stove during Christmas and, frankly, not many teams and GMs work the phones particularly hard that day.

Thanks to Butch.

Repoz Posted: December 22, 2013 at 03:39 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business

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   1. TerpNats Posted: December 22, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4622552)
Didn't the White Sox acquire Tim Raines on Christmas Day?
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 22, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4622561)
All freedom loving people should support Masahiro Tanaka's inalienable right to sign with the Yankees should he want to do so. Merry Christmas.
   3. McCoy Posted: December 22, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4622621)
Why in the world would some Japanese ballclub care about the "buzz" of announcing this? They are getting 20 million dollars regardless of when they announce this and as for American teams it isn't like this is some 12 hour waiver wire limit fantasy league type stuff. About the only people who wouldn't want this to get announce over the holidays is the American sports media blob and, well, they can go eff themselves.
   4. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4622624)
About the only people who wouldn't want this to get announce over the holidays is the American sports media blob and, well, they can go eff themselves.

The "American sports media blog" remains unaware that Christmas is neither a Buddhist nor Shinto holiday.
   5. McCoy Posted: December 22, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4622628)
blob
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4622638)

Didn't the White Sox acquire Tim Raines on Christmas Day?


Christmas Eve.
   7. John Northey Posted: December 22, 2013 at 07:44 PM (#4622643)
I could see an advantage for the Japanese team - they want as little publicity about it as possible since it will hurt ticket sales. Best to try to minimize it if they let him go, or if he gets mad to get the negative headlines out during a dead-zone period so it is forgotten by most by the time the season begins.
   8. ptodd Posted: December 22, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4622652)
#7, Christmas is not that big in Japan, hardly a dead zone period. They are shaking down Tanaka and trying to get a piece of his MLB earnings. Game of chicken going on. If they cut a deal Tanaka gets posted and his team gets a lot of credit for being nice guys. Tanaka has too much to lose not to deal, just a question of how much its going to cost him.

Fans in Japan actually enjoy seeing their favorite players go to MLB and compete on the big stage. All his games will be on TV there.
   9. madvillain Posted: December 22, 2013 at 08:21 PM (#4622656)
From my understanding Christmas is a romantic holiday in Japan kinda like valentines day. Its hardly a national holiday.
   10. Rough Carrigan Posted: December 22, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4622664)
You mean they don't eagerly await the arrival of Shinto Claus?
   11. John Northey Posted: December 22, 2013 at 09:31 PM (#4622671)
Good point - easy to get caught up with what is popular here and forget it isn't so everywhere. Tough for Tanaka to do the figuring here. One year extra in Japan delays free agency here by a year thus it is well worth making a deal as that year could mean millions for him. Wonder how much his club will try to get from him? Of course as much as they can but what is their bottom line? $20 mil extra over the $20 mil posting fee would be my guess with them trying to get $40 mil extra. Tanaka will try for $10 mil and might go to $20 but I cannot see it being worth it to him to go further.
   12. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: December 22, 2013 at 11:51 PM (#4622722)
My favorite fact about Japanese Christmas culture is the traditional KFC dinner: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/World/move-santa-claus-kfcs-colonel-sanders-signals-christmas/story?id=12437818
   13. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:42 AM (#4622728)
The last time I was in Japan, it was very Christmassy. Giant trees, lights everywhere, the whole (secular) deal. To be fair, I was at Tokyo Disneyland.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 23, 2013 at 12:52 AM (#4622730)
Wake me when a decision is made. The back and forth speculation "will they or won't they" is ridiculous.
   15. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 23, 2013 at 02:15 AM (#4622754)
Why in the world would some Japanese ballclub care about the "buzz" of announcing this? They are getting 20 million dollars regardless of when they announce this


Maybe it's because they feel like they are losing $20M in value. Not sure that's true. On Fangraph's scale, Kershaw/Scherzer were worth $32M last year in the MLB, on BBRef's scale Kershaw was worth over $40M. My guess is that WAR In japan is worth less than half of what its' worth in the MLB, but that's just a guess.

And if they are pissed about the new posting rules capping their compensation just when their best player ever is ready to be posted, they might want to stick it to the MLB teams. Esp. if they think he's worth $10M-$15M in the NPB in directly measurable performance value, and he's a big part of their effort to repeat, it's not a huge sacrifice to keep him.
   16. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 23, 2013 at 05:15 AM (#4622765)
Japan is somewhere around 2% Christian, although Christmas is observed as a time for gift giving among many Japanese, especially young ones (although the number of high school girls in anime who dress up in Santa Claus outfits with mini-skirts may well be a teeny bit exaggerated). I doubt any Japanese team would take whether it's Christmas into account when deciding to make an announcement or not.
   17. Drexl Spivey Posted: December 23, 2013 at 05:40 AM (#4622767)
I remember when the Brewers signed Jeff Suppan on Christmas Eve in '06.

That was a terrible day.

   18. McCoy Posted: December 23, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4622853)
Maybe it's because they feel like they are losing $20M in value. Not sure that's true. On Fangraph's scale, Kershaw/Scherzer were worth $32M last year in the MLB, on BBRef's scale Kershaw was worth over $40M. My guess is that WAR In japan is worth less than half of what its' worth in the MLB, but that's just a guess.

And if they are pissed about the new posting rules capping their compensation just when their best player ever is ready to be posted, they might want to stick it to the MLB teams. Esp. if they think he's worth $10M-$15M in the NPB in directly measurable performance value, and he's a big part of their effort to repeat, it's not a huge sacrifice to keep him.


And apparently they don't care about all that since the rumor is they might just announce over the holiday.
   19. GregD Posted: December 24, 2013 at 01:28 AM (#4623306)
They can keep him this year and then post him next year and still collect the $20 million, right? If so, why in the world would they give him up a year early?
   20. McCoy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 01:45 AM (#4623309)
What if he blows his arm out this year?
   21. Buck Coats Posted: December 24, 2013 at 02:26 AM (#4623317)
Also if there's only 1 year left he may refuse to be posted and play it out until true free agency?

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