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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees agree to seven-year, $155 million deal - ESPN New York

What a great deal for Tanaka. If he stinks he gets $155 million and if he lives up to expectations of many he gets an even bigger contract in four years.

Masahiro Tanaka has decided to sign with the New York Yankees, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Tanaka’s deal with the Yankees is worth $155 million over seven years and includes an opt-out clause after the fourth year, according to the source.

Tanaka’s agreement with the Yankees was earlier reported by Fox Sports.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:32 AM | 116 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: free agents, japanese baseball, masahiro tanaka, yankees

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   101. Blackadder Posted: January 22, 2014 at 09:12 PM (#4644720)
Drop it to 60 and all you add is Aaron. Drop it to 50 and you have Lajoie, Speaker, Cobb, and Clemente. Drop it to 45 and there are a total of 15 inner ( or near) circle guys and Edgar Martinez. I don't think Cano will be joining them either.


IIRC there were some typically epic Walt posts arguing that something like 30 WAR was a reasonably optimistic projection for Cano's contract.
   102. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 22, 2014 at 09:55 PM (#4644745)
IIRC there were some typically epic Walt posts arguing that something like 30 WAR was a reasonably optimistic projection for Cano's contract.


30 WAR is likely worth $180m to the Yankees over the next 7 years alone.
   103. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: January 23, 2014 at 03:04 AM (#4644890)
OK. How about Chris Carpenter, Red Ruffing, Hoyt Wilhelm, Cliff Lee, Spud Chandler, Bucky Walters, Dazzy Vance, Sal Maglie.


Dave Stewart. Hey, I wonder who this generation's Dave Stewart could be?

One thing that has irritated me about the media coverage regarding this signing (and it's silly for me to get irritated about stuff like this, understood) is that Iwakuma seems to be getting totally overlooked while comparisons for Tanaka are being made. Iwakuma has been extremely successful with the Mariners. Yet I've seen Matsuzaka's name being mentioned more often.

Hey, Daisuke had a pretty decent September with the Mets! He should at least get a fifth starter spot, somewhere. He had the lowest .WHIP of his career (small sample size) and is another year removed from his serious arm problems.
   104. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 23, 2014 at 08:41 AM (#4644920)
30 WAR is likely worth $180m to the Yankees over the next 7 years alone.


And? If he'd have taken 7/180, they'd have signed him. They decided that they want to spend $235M for 30 WAR, but you're talking as if they could have gotten those wins for a measly little $5M overpay. I'm not sure where you get that.
   105. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4644922)
30 WAR is likely worth $180m to the Yankees over the next 7 years alone.


But he didn't sign a 7 year contract.
   106. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 09:56 AM (#4644939)
The probability that Tanaka amasses even 25 WAR while playing under this contract is practically zero. But in theory he doesn't have to for this contract to pay off--if Tanaka pitches well this contract is 4 years, $95 million, in which case he needs to earn, what, about 15 WAR to justify it?

The Yankees may--hell, almost certainly will--then sign him to a disastrous megacontract after he exercises his player option, but that's a different mistake.

But this contract has set them up to make that mistake.
   107. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4644942)
The Yankees may--hell, almost certainly will--then sign him to a disastrous megacontract after he exercises his player option, but that's a different mistake.


He'll be Robinson Cano's age if he opts out.
   108. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4644983)
Cano has always been dramatically underappreciated, even (perhaps particularly) by his own team, in a way Tanaka probably won't be.
   109. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 23, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4644999)
The probability that Tanaka amasses even 25 WAR while playing under this contract is practically zero.

Really? I don't think the idea of him averaging 4 WAR p.a. from age 25-31 is that unlikely.

Darvish has almost 10 WAR already.
   110. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:51 AM (#4645471)
And? If he'd have taken 7/180, they'd have signed him. They decided that they want to spend $235M for 30 WAR, but you're talking as if they could have gotten those wins for a measly little $5M overpay. I'm not sure where you get that.


It was widely reported the a Yankees refused to budge from their original offer.

The $180M number is just showing that if he produces "only" 30 WAR that $195M for 7 years isn't much of a overpay, and neither is $220M over 8 years.

Cano had 25 WAR in his last 4 years alone so the line on his WAR over the next 8-10 years is likely closer to 35 WAR. He's not a typical second baseman and that makes it less likely he will age like one.

The Tanaka deal is a much bigger overpay with bigger risks. He will barely be worth $27m/year for the the first 4 years if he pitches like Darvish. If he pitches like Matsuzaki, the Yankees get to pay $156m for a final 5 years of 0 WAR, prorating the $20M posting fee.
   111. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:59 AM (#4645473)
The probability that Tanaka amasses even 25 WAR while playing under this contract is practically zero.

Really? I don't think the idea of him averaging 4 WAR p.a. from age 25-31 is that unlikely.

Darvish has almost 10 WAR already.


There is almost no chance he amasses 25 WAR before opting out. Darvish wont get close in his first 4 years and is likely the better pitcher.

And if Tanaka averages even 3 WAR per year he's opting out. A relatively young and proven pitcher averaging 3 WAR is likely worth close to $20m/year on a long term deal, he will opt for the security of at increasing his guaranteed years substantially.
.
If he's even better the AAV of his new contract will be the same or higher than the opt out, and more than twice as long in years.
   112. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 24, 2014 at 07:20 AM (#4645488)
Isn't there a pretty big problem with calculating WAR for pitchers? And isn't it near impossible to compare the relative WAR or non WAR values of pitchers and position players? Further, for a team like the Yanks, which likely will always be on the cusp or in the postseason, doesn't a frontline starter have more value than a top position player?
   113. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 24, 2014 at 08:36 AM (#4645496)
The probability that Tanaka amasses even 25 WAR while playing under this contract is practically zero.

Really? I don't think the idea of him averaging 4 WAR p.a. from age 25-31 is that unlikely.


And thus the biggest problem with BTF arguments.
   114. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 24, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4645507)
It was widely reported the a Yankees refused to budge from their original offer.


It was also widely reported that Cano's counter-offer was three years and $60M more. To go from "they refused to budge" to "they could have had him for $45m or $60M less than what he ultimately signed for" simply has no basis in reality. And of course, that says nothing about the wisdom of the Tanaka contract.

OTOH, let me just throw this out there: Matt Garza is an injured pitcher who has 6.6 WAR in his last four seasons, but is getting paid like someone expects 9.5 WAR from him over the next four. And people are mostly shocked that he didn't get a good deal more than that. Maybe teams value pitching a lot differently than we think they do?

   115. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4645586)
Maybe teams value pitching a lot differently than we think they do?


Yeah, this is what I guess I was getting at. I guess there is a question about whether teams are misguided in their valuations of pitchers, but the reality is the reality right now, so a pitcher contract should be judged in the context of the current market.
   116. Ron J2 Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4645632)
30 WAR is likely worth $180m to the Yankees over the next 7 years alone.


This gets to the heart of many arguments. It's better than most teams do in practice on long term deals. And yet the only way it will make financial sense is if the signing is the difference between making or missing the playoffs.

Or to put it another way, it's moderately unlikely that the Yankees can get more than 30 WAR for $180m (using current rate of returns on FA contracr and assuming 5% salary inflation I get the expected return on $180m in the 17-18 WAR range, with somewhere around a 15% chance they'd do better than 30)
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