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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rakuten Golden Eagles will post Masahiro Tanaka

According to reports from Sponichi and Nikkan Sports, the Rakuten Golden Eagles have decided to post right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. The translations were provided by Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. The team has not yet made an official announcement, so nothing is final.

Tanaka, 25, went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and a 5.72 K/BB in 212 innings for Rakuten this past season. He is widely considered the best pitcher on the market this offseason, though no one actually knew if he would be made available to MLB clubs. The free agent pitching market has been frozen waiting for Rakuten’s decision.

MLB and NPB ratified the new posting system recently. It limits posting fees to only $20 million, roughly a third or a quarter of what Rakuten expected to receive for Tanaka under the old system. They considered keeping him for next season and making another title run (the Golden Eagles won the Japan Series a few weeks ago). Hernandez says the club considered how keeping Tanaka would enhance their brand as well.

Thanks to Los

Repoz Posted: December 24, 2013 at 08:54 PM | 57 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business

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   1. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4623722)
Those are some kind of stats, wow.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:14 PM (#4623726)
He would look good in pinstripes.
   3. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:30 PM (#4623728)
OUR LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER!!!
   4. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:43 PM (#4623730)
Watch him sign with the Mariners.
   5. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: December 24, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4623739)
He would look good in pinstripes.


You think the Cubs will post?
   6. McCoy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4623741)
Theo better not even try to use the excuse that the cubs aren't in position to make a big free agent pick up. The cubs should be going all in on him
   7. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 24, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4623744)
Waste of their time. They're not going to outbid the Yankees.
   8. McCoy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:07 PM (#4623746)
Hasn't pretty much everyone outbidded the Yankees for Japanese talent?
   9. akrasian Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4623748)
#7 - or the Dodgers. It's been pretty clear that Tanaka was the Dodgers' #1 target this offseason.
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:19 PM (#4623752)
Hasn't pretty much everyone outbidded the Yankees for Japanese talent?


When it's a blind bid and no counter-offers are allowed, yes. So, that's irrelevant data.
   11. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:33 PM (#4623757)
I agree it's not a foregone conclusion that he's going to the Yankees.
   12. frowndog Posted: December 25, 2013 at 12:08 AM (#4623760)
The Mainichi Daily News seems convinced of it too.
(Japanese) http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20131225-00000030-mai-base

The reports were that Tanaka was going to meet with Rakuten management today and it seems like they have come to an agreement.
   13. John Northey Posted: December 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM (#4623765)
I'm suspecting Tanaka will try for a short term deal with a guarantee of free agency after 3 years (doubt anyone would take fewer than 3 years) so he can have a giant payday if he lives up to the hype. That will change the dynamics drastically if so, if not then a 6-7 year deal is possible at crazy dollars. It all depends on his goals.
   14. Russ Posted: December 25, 2013 at 12:56 AM (#4623768)
Back the truck up Neal Huntington.

   15. GregD Posted: December 25, 2013 at 12:57 AM (#4623769)
I agree it's not a foregone conclusion that he's going to the Yankees.
If it's a straight bidding war, wouldn't you take the Dodgers over the Yankees? They're certainly going to have more chances to compete and presumably will spend just as much money. I imagine LA is a marginal gain for Japanese exposure over NYC but possibly it's a wash. It's certainly not a detriment.
   16. frowndog Posted: December 25, 2013 at 01:13 AM (#4623771)
While I don't presume to know anything about Tanaka's thought process (or this process in general), the Yankees do have international name cache that no other team has. Playing for the Yankees is no doubt seen as more prestigious for the average Japanese baseball player.
   17. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 25, 2013 at 01:27 AM (#4623774)
The reports were that Tanaka was going to meet with Rakuten management today and it seems like they have come to an agreement


"agreement" meaning "Tanaka agreed to give Rakuten a very large check".
   18. puck Posted: December 25, 2013 at 01:48 AM (#4623776)
The eventual contract will be interesting. Any ideas how much he'll get? Is he going to see $15M/year, $20M?

   19. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 25, 2013 at 03:33 AM (#4623782)
Dodgers will get him with a contract similar to Greinke's.
   20. akrasian Posted: December 25, 2013 at 05:02 AM (#4623784)
"Playing for the Yankees is no doubt seen as more prestigious for the average Japanese baseball player."

I'm not sure I buy that. The Dodgers have had a very big international presence, bigger than the Yankees. They're the team of Nomo, among others. They also are 3 hours closer to Japan, making their games easier to show in good time slots in Japan. The Yankees might have an advantage over most teams, but that likely doesn't extend to an advantage over the Dodgers.

Add in that the Dodgers have tax advantages over the Yankees, and travel advantages also. I somehow doubt that the Dodgers would have to outbid the Yankees.
   21. CraigK Posted: December 25, 2013 at 05:15 AM (#4623785)
#20 Seattle has no state income tax, is on the west coast, and signed Ichiro!, and fat lot of good it's done them recently sans signing Iwakuma.
   22. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 25, 2013 at 06:24 AM (#4623786)
The eventual contract will be interesting. Any ideas how much he'll get? Is he going to see $15M/year, $20M?

I'd say around 20m per. And I think he gets at least 8 years.
   23. villageidiom Posted: December 25, 2013 at 08:45 AM (#4623791)
While I don't presume to know anything about Tanaka's thought process (or this process in general), the Yankees do have international name cache that no other team has. Playing for the Yankees is no doubt seen as more prestigious for the average Japanese baseball player.
That was the rationale the Yankees tried to use to woo Cano: there's more prestige playing for the Yankees. Good luck with that.

That aside, if a team wants cache in Japan, signing Tanaka is a good way to get it. Ostensibly that gives greater incentive to teams that don't already have it.
   24. TerpNats Posted: December 25, 2013 at 09:17 AM (#4623793)
If a team wants cache in Japan, signing Tanaka is a good way to get it. Ostensibly that gives greater incentive to teams that don't already have it.
How much has signing Darvish helped the Rangers' profile in Japan? And would adding Tanaka raise their Japanese cache to Ichiro-era Mariners level?

Don't count the Angels out of the Tanaka sweepstakes. After two disappointing seasons, Moreno needs to make a major move (especially involving a player who's not entering his decline phase) to placate his jittery fan base, especially with the revitalization in blue over at Chavez Ravine. (I'd love to see the Nationals get involved, but seriously, would the Lerners post $20 million to acquire a fifth starter?)
   25. Tricky Dick Posted: December 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4623796)
Is anyone else bothered by the decline in Tenaka's strike out rate last year? If Tenaka will want one of those monster 6 year contracts, that risk becomes a really nagging concern.
   26. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4623801)
7 years, 150 million
   27. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 25, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4623804)
The trouble with pitchers is you never can know when one is going to enter his decline phase. The other trouble with pitchers is that the gap between Peak and Retired can be ghastly short sometimes.
   28. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 25, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4623822)
Don't count the Angels out of the Tanaka sweepstakes. After two disappointing seasons, Moreno needs to make a major move (especially involving a player who's not entering his decline phase) to placate his jittery fan base, especially with the revitalization in blue over at Chavez Ravine


This is what got the Angels in their mess in the first place. Though Tanaka would be a great fit, overpaying him like Arte did Pujols/Hamilton is just going to handcuff the team even worse.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 25, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4623823)
Add in that the Dodgers have tax advantages over the Yankees,

I don't see how this is true.

The CA top rate is 12.3% (over $500K). NY top rate is 8.2%.
   30. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: December 25, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4623824)
I'm surprised I haven't heard the Giants mentioned as a possible suitor. Large Asian community, a pitcher's park, and 18 million a year off the books with the end of the Zito contract.
   31. The Ghost is getting a Woody Posted: December 25, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4623830)
Do the posting fees count in luxury tax calculations?

The Mariners were not counting them in their payroll budget, but I think that was their Japanese ownership's desire to go after Japanese players. Not sure if they still look at it that way.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 25, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4623838)
Do the posting fees count in luxury tax calculations?


Under the previous deal they did not. Not sure if that's changed.
   33. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 25, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4623846)
The posting fee does not count in luxury tax calculations. That's the whole motivation for the $20 million posting fee cap--the Yankees like it because it means they get whichever Japanese players they want in perpetuity, and everyone else likes it because it means a higher percentage of the total money the Yankees pay for their Japanese players counts toward the tax ($20 million of it is the posting fee that doesn't count, instead of $60-million-plus in the case of a superstar like Tanaka).
   34. Gamingboy Posted: December 25, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4623854)
The end of the beginning.
   35. #6bid is partially elite Posted: December 25, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4623879)
I don't understand what's in this for the Eagles. Is $20 million that big a deal?

My limited understanding is that there's less money in Japanese baseball and that the Eagles are a small-market team. But wouldn't they be better off putting a good product on the field, and marketing a great player?
   36. tfbg9 Posted: December 25, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4623893)
The CA top rate is 12.3% (over $500K). NY top rate is 8.2%.



Does LA have a municipality income tax?
   37. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 25, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4623900)
   38. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 25, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4623906)
Playing for the Yankees is no doubt seen as more prestigious for the average Japanese baseball player.

I'm not sure I buy that. The Dodgers have had a very big international presence, bigger than the Yankees. They're the team of Nomo, among others. They also are 3 hours closer to Japan, making their games easier to show in good time slots in Japan. The Yankees might have an advantage over most teams, but that likely doesn't extend to an advantage over the Dodgers.

The Japanese still talk of Babe Ruth's 1934 tour of Japan:
In Japan the Ruth visit will never be forgotten. In front of the country's biggest ball park, Koshien Stadium in Osaka, a bronze plaque commemorates the momentous fact: Babe Ruth played here. Japan's annual baseball day, held to promote the game among the small fry, is called Babe Ruth Day. Recently a leading Japanese weekly listed the most famous personalities in Japan during the last 40 years. All names were Japanese—except one, an American. You guessed it.

The Yankee aura & mystique still counts.

EDIT: The Yanks aren't likely to be outbid this time, either.
   39. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: December 25, 2013 at 06:34 PM (#4623912)
Tanaka will be represented by Derek Jeter's agent, Casey Close.


He also represents Kershaw and Greinke.
   40. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 25, 2013 at 06:48 PM (#4623915)
I looked his stats up and am I the only person concerned about the fact that a 25 Y/O has 1300+ innings under his belt already? Or that he is averaging 7 2/3 innings per start? How about that he has complete 53 of his 172 starts? Aren't pitch counts in Japan traditionally higher than those in the US?

Anyway, just curious workload concerns...
   41. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: December 25, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4623916)
But wouldn't they be better off putting a good product on the field, and marketing a great player?


Not if they think he really doesn't want to be playing for them, I suppose.
   42. tfbg9 Posted: December 25, 2013 at 06:52 PM (#4623917)
Yankee "Mystique" and "Aura" were found bludgeoned to death in the gutter on River Avenue, just short of midnight on October 20th, 2004.

   43. shoewizard Posted: December 25, 2013 at 07:05 PM (#4623920)
So if I set the over under on what he gets as follows is everyone going to take the over ? :

Dollars: 120 million
Years: 6

   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 25, 2013 at 07:38 PM (#4623929)
Seems to be a lot of speculation that Tanaka signs for ~ $100M-$125M for 6 years. Pretty risky to go much higher, but perhaps somebody's scouting report or need for a quick fix will justify it.
   45. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 25, 2013 at 07:48 PM (#4623933)
Yankee "Mystique" and "Aura" were found bludgeoned to death in the gutter on River Avenue, just short of midnight on October 20th, 2004.


The murder weapon is believed to be the box of syringes found at the scene of the crime. A potential clue was scrawled on an adjacent wall in eyeblack but confounds investigators to this day: "Dominican milkshakes, LOL"

When called for comment, George Mitchell issued a statement: "What's a telephone?"
   46. ptodd Posted: December 25, 2013 at 08:09 PM (#4623937)
I would not be surprised if the Red Sox go in on him. Depends on if the declining K rate scares them off or not.

Yankees probably wished he were not posted, putting their promise that 189 is a goal and not a mandate to the test. My gut tells me they will offer just enough to miss out on him, but enough they can tell their fans they tried, like with Cano
   47. bobm Posted: December 25, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4623939)
[40] Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2013, Through Age 24, sorted by greatest Innings Pitched

Player ages are computed as their age on June 30th

                                                       
Rk                Player     IP From   To   Age   G  GS
1         Walter Johnson 1724.1 1907 1912 19-24 225 194
2      Christy Mathewson 1693.1 1901 1905 20-24 211 196
3          Bert Blyleven 1611.1 1970 1975 19-24 216 213
4             Bob Feller 1448.1 1936 1941 17-22 205 175
5          Larry Dierker 1409.1 1964 1971 17-24 205 191
6           Frank Tanana 1321.0 1973 1978 19-24 175 170
7          Hal Newhouser 1316.1 1939 1945 18-24 224 166
8           Don Drysdale 1315.1 1956 1961 19-24 228 179
9         Catfish Hunter 1312.2 1965 1970 19-24 211 189
10         George Mullin 1310.2 1902 1905 21-24 165 151
11          Chief Bender 1299.0 1903 1908 19-24 187 144
12         Dwight Gooden 1291.0 1984 1989 19-24 177 175
13   Fernando Valenzuela 1285.1 1980 1985 19-24 176 166


   48. shoewizard Posted: December 25, 2013 at 08:14 PM (#4623940)
I just figure I know the d backs are good for a 5/75 bid. So that is the absolute floor. How hard is it for one of the big boys to go 1 more year and 5 million more ?

6 years 140 million total cost........it's nutty, but 25 pitching WAR makes the deal a big win. 20 makes it a push.

Darvish already has 10 in 2 years

Kuroda has 19 in 6 years after coming over at age 33

It's a reasonable bet........I guess

   49. bobm Posted: December 25, 2013 at 08:25 PM (#4623943)
Same group, sorted by career IP starting in Age 25 season

                                               
Rk                Player     IP From   To   Age
1         Walter Johnson 4190.0 1913 1927 25-39
2          Bert Blyleven 3358.2 1976 1992 25-41
3      Christy Mathewson 3061.2 1906 1916 25-35
4           Frank Tanana 2867.1 1979 1993 25-39
5             Bob Feller 2378.2 1945 1956 26-37
6          George Mullin 2376.0 1906 1915 25-34
7         Catfish Hunter 2136.2 1971 1979 25-33
8           Don Drysdale 2116.2 1962 1969 25-32
9           Chief Bender 1718.0 1909 1925 25-41
10         Hal Newhouser 1676.2 1946 1955 25-34
11   Fernando Valenzuela 1644.2 1986 1997 25-36
12         Dwight Gooden 1509.2 1990 2000 25-35
13         Larry Dierker  924.1 1972 1977 25-30


   50. Monty Posted: December 25, 2013 at 08:32 PM (#4623945)
Seems to be a lot of speculation that Tanaka signs for ~ $100M-$125M for 6 years. Pretty risky to go much higher, but perhaps somebody's scouting report or need for a quick fix will justify it.


Go higher, get three great years out of him, and sell high.
   51. tfbg9 Posted: December 25, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4623953)
The murder weapon is believed to be the box of syringes found at the scene of the crime. A potential clue was scrawled on an adjacent wall in eyeblack but confounds investigators to this day: "Dominican milkshakes, LOL"

When called for comment, George Mitchell issued a statement: "What's a telephone?"




Whining that steroids are associated with New York instead of Boston is like b1tching about Yogi being voted the All Ugly Team catcher ahead of Fisk.

   52. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 25, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4623964)
The Red Sox will make a show of going after him to drive the Yankees' price up, I'm sure, but the Yankees will sign him for 6 or 7 years and around $150 million.
   53. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 26, 2013 at 01:34 AM (#4623986)
Add in that the Dodgers have tax advantages over the Yankees

I don't see how this is true.

The CA top rate is 12.3% (over $500K). NY top rate is 8.2%.


New York State top tax bracket is actually 8.8%, but even worse the city of New York adds another 3.9% income tax on high income city residents, so that works out to over 12.5%.

CA also adds a 1% surcharge on incomes over $1M for a top rate of 13.3%.

Gee, I wonder why Connecticut & Nevada are so popular with the wealthy?
   54. shoewizard Posted: December 26, 2013 at 04:05 AM (#4623994)

Gee, I wonder why Connecticut & Nevada are so popular with the wealthy?


Well it sure as hell isn't the weather. Vegas is pretty damn hot during the summers of course, and can be surprisingly windy during the winter. I've gotten chapped so bad playing Golf in the dry windy weather in Vegas during the winter months. And of course Conn. has crappy winters too.

   55. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 26, 2013 at 08:48 AM (#4624012)
Whining that steroids are associated with New York instead of Boston is like b1tching about Yogi being voted the All Ugly Team catcher ahead of Fisk.


If you'd like to talk about close associations you should consider the association between George Mitchell and the Boston Red Sox. Consider this hard-hitting investigative report:

The New York Times today broke the story that in 2003 both Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. This story has completely shaken the world off its axis. Though by world we refer only to people who refer to themselves as "members of Red Sox Nation. Yeah, I'm sooooooo cool."

Among those whose world has been shaken: George Mitchell. The former U.S. Senator and PED investigator could not believe that Ortiz had taken performance enhancers.

"Wow," said Mitchell. "I mean, when I did my report, I talked to a couple guys who'd spent time in New York because I just knew that there was no way New York could've been so good in the late 90s. Think about it, we had Nomar, but they always won. They always won. I just knew that all of the performance enhanced players were on that team."

News of Ortiz's PED use raises questions about how fair and balanced Mitchell's report was, considering his strong ties to the Red Sox. Mitchell denied any bias on his part.

"I was in no way biased in my report on PED use in New York . . . I mean baseball. That report was fair. I even had my good friend Bill O'Reilly take a look and he assured me that it was the best piece of unbiased investigatory writing he'd ever read."

Nonetheless, there are still skeptics. "How come youse guys nehva looked at tha 2003 list?" complained Brooklyn resident and loyal WFAN listener Tony. Mitchell's response? "Ortiz was on it, I wasn't going to cite that."
   56. CFiJ Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4624128)
I don't understand what's in this for the Eagles. Is $20 million that big a deal?

Compared to $0, yes. Tanaka is a free agent in two years. If he went to another Japanese team, Rakuten would be compensated with money or players. If he goes to MLB they get a big fat nothing. Except for bad press for both not letting a player "pursue his dream" and for losing him for nothing.

If they post him, they get $20 million. To put that in perspective, he's by far their most expensive player at $4 million a year. That will only go up next year and the year after that. So they could get two years of his service, for which they'd spend probably around $10 or 11 million, and then they get nothing, OR they could save themselves that $10 million AND get $20 million on top of that.

My limited understanding is that there's less money in Japanese baseball and that the Eagles are a small-market team. But wouldn't they be better off putting a good product on the field, and marketing a great player?

To put Tanaka's salary in perspective, the only other person on the team getting even close to his salary is Andruw Jones, with $2.5 million. Casey McGeehee ($1.5m), Kazuo Matsui ($1.3m), and Shinichiro Koyama ($1.3) are the only other players breaking a million. Some players salaries will go up this off-season, but if they let Tanaka go now, they can keep the rest of the team together, and replace his production with cheaper players.

Plus they've just won the championship, which means they've close to maximized their potential. A repeat would be nice, but it's not going to appreciatively increase attendance or the fanbase at this point. The Giants have too strong a stranglehold on the whole nation. To put that in perspective, imagine if you would that the Yankees were so popular that they maintained a sizable fanbase even in Boston. The Eagles winning will have a noticeable effect on Rakuten's bottom line. When the Giants win, it has a noticeable effect on the Japanese economy.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 26, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4624164)
New York State top tax bracket is actually 8.8%, but even worse the city of New York adds another 3.9% income tax on high income city residents, so that works out to over 12.5%.

But non-city residents don' pay city income tax, even if they work in NYC.

Gee, I wonder why Connecticut & Nevada are so popular with the wealthy?

CT isn't that tax friendly any more. Top rate is 6.7% It's better than NY or NJ, but not like the old days, when it was close to zero.

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