Assuming that the rumours are true– and Joel Sherman of the New York Post has been well on top of these negotiations, and tweets that while MLB officials have yet to been told the latest proposal has been accepted, there are Japanese media reports that it will be– the posting system that allows NPB players to move to the big leagues is about to change significantly. And not in a way that’s likely going to help the Jays.

Does this mean that the Tanaka dream– pipe-shaped as it may have been– is over for Jays fans? Not necessarily. In fact, it’s far more intact on the word of this news that it would have been had one of the other rumoured proposals been true– the one that had been going around that suggested the max-bid team with the lowest winning percentage the year before would get exclusive negotiating rights with the player. I mean, the Jays may have finished tied for the ninth-worst record in baseball this year, but it’s not like the teams behind them are penniless minnows. Surely the Cubs, the Mariners, or even the White Sox, Marlins, Astros or Phillies would have stepped up with $20-million to secure exclusive rights.

Tanaka now, assuming he’s posted and that this really is the system that will be in place, will simply be negotiated with like any other free agent– which is surely the fair way to do it anyway. That doesn’t put the Jays in as astronomically great a position as they would have been if they’d won the posting on Yu Darvish *COUGH*, but they still certainly could be suitors for him. In fact, if the Yankees are still concerned about their luxury tax issue, maybe it helps the Jays that only $20-million of the overall cost of the deal would be exempt– assuming that doesn’t change in the new deal as well (though I’d assume it’s a CBA thing).

Then again, when the Yankees want a player, the Yankees don’t often miss out on that player. And, of course, it wouldn’t be just the Yankees looking to land what may be the best pitcher in this year’s grim free agent class– one who won’t cost anyone a draft pick, either.

The news could be worse, and it could be better, in other words. But at least we’re finally nearing some measure of closure on what Tanaka’s status will be– and that will certainly begin to heat up the market for guys like Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, and others who are waiting for their own payday as the market’s pitching consolation prize.

So… there’s that.

Comments (82)

  1. The $20 million seems kinda low. Will be interesting to see if Houston takes him.

    • So you didn’t read what he just wrote?

      • Argos just takes sections from each paragraph and makes his own story. It’s more exciting that way.

    • Did anyone else get the FAMILY GUY renferece? The Asian reporter in family guy is called Tricia Takanawa whereas in Lost (and the title of the episode itself) the asian reporter’s called Tricia Tanaka . Sweet! And before you tell me this, they’re too similar to be a coincidence. Even the way they talk and the structure of their reportages are similar. Check it out!D

  2. It’s certainly better than when everybody tweeted misinformation as the news broke. Thank sweet zombie Jesus that the Astros won’t have preferential choice in Japanese players for decades to come!

    • Astros will be a winning team within 3 years. That’s the beauty of the draft system, it’s tough to stay in the gutter too long. But with Springer, Singleton, Fowler (who they got for an amazingly low price), Correa, Appel, Rodon (most likely), Castro, and some of the other core youth they have, they’ll be just fine. Might just win a World Series before our Blue Jays.

  3. Saw the Pirates were asking about Lind (mlbtr). Wonder what that would do.

  4. Hooray, the market will clear up for FA pitchers the Jays won’t sign anyway since AA is “not optimistic” they’ll be able to sign a free-agent starter (according to Brendan Kennedy).

    • Shut up josh

      • When I read that I got angry. The Jays are in this mess to begin with because they shied away from FA (and Darvish) and were forced to trade for the awful contracts the Marlins handed out.

        • The Winter Meetings are next week, spring training begins the end of February and the season opens on March 31. Maybe we should hold our anger until we’ve got something to be angry about.

          I was pissed they missed out on Fister, but that may not have been AA’s fault.
          I’m not nuts about Navarro, but there was not much out there.
          We’ll see what happens between now and opening day.

          But, if by Opening Day, the Blue Jays upgrades amount to:
          1) Navarro over JPA as catcher
          2) A platoon of Goins/Izturis at 2B
          3) Sierra as a platoon partner for Lind,
          and 4) Jerome Williams as our FA starting pitcher,
          I don’t know if I’ll ever buy another ticket.

          • I must admit that down deep I share your sentiments. I have already bet $$$ that AA will improve the team including one big splash so that I can have a hope of cashing a ticket or two. If this is all we do, I must admit that not only would I not buy a ticket but I dunno. Gotta think positive over the next 10 days

            • @fukstik

              I bought my ticket package for 2014 last month.

              So far , it’s been an underwhelming off season.

              I wonder what AA has cooked up his sleeve.

              Surely, AA can secure the funds from Rogers for one of the available free agent pitchers or at least an upgrade through trade.

              The Yankees are getting stronger with Ellsbury & Mccann. They won 85 games last year with bad injuries & Wells & Lyle Overbay.

              If they don’t have to pay Alex Rodriguez in 2014, they will be laughing

        • how shortsighted of you though.

          you mention ‘good’ fa misses like darvish, but what about bullets missed like hamilton, pujols, fuck even fielder to a degree.

          you can’t look back at the few big name FAs that have worked out and say oh darn that could have been us. because for every Darvish theres 3 jayson werths

          • @DC,

            Would signing Fielder for 2012 have been a disaster?

            The Tigers were able to trade him.

          • Actually, I only specifically mentioned Darvish because technically he was not a FA. The point was that the Jays stayed out of FA and it forced them to lose assets AND get bad contracts.

            • what bad contracts?

              everyone on the jays team is tradeable, maybe outside of lind and romero, who were home grown.

  5. yeah i think the Jays might pay the posting fee. but the contract bidding would quickly price them out. i have to think the floor for Tanaka is Jose Abreu’s 6 year / $68 million deal with the White Sox ($11.3 million AAV). i can’t see Tanaka taking less than that. it’s possible the Jays might break their 5 year rule because Tanaka is 25 but I don’t know if the team is willing to take on that kindof financial risk. they’ve shown, time and again, their aversion to long-term, potentially franchise compromising deals, and i think it’s a good thing – i just dont see them changing it for Tanaka.

  6. The way I read that is that there would not be multiple teams bidding for the player’s services. There would be one team, the team that he chose from the list of max bidders.
    That team would have exclusive negotiating rights.

    Either the team and the player would agree on a contract as Darvish and the Rangers did, or they would not and the player would not play in MLB the following season.

    • This not right way of reading. All team with maximum bids talk with player, he negotiate best contract from among.

  7. I really wish AA would go offense and run with the starters we have . We have a park built for offense not pitching. Sign Granderson and lets mash with him Jose and EE.

  8. Sign granderson AA

  9. It should just be he can negotiate and sign with the team he wants, and then that team sends some amount over to his NPB club.

    Say 5 teams step up to participate in this, you have an 80% chance of blowing $20 mil on nothing. It also seems vulnerable to tampering via media. Suppose the Yankees use one of their media shills to plant a “Sources say, Tanaka prefers New York” story out there.

    Opponents would be skeptical, but it’d be there in their minds when the risk of literally giving away $20 mil for nothing is at stake, and would probably scare some people away.

    • You get the 20 million back if he doesn’t choose your team.

      • In fact, you probably don’t pay it at all, you just agree to pay it if you come to terms.

      • oooooo I guess I take back everything then

        • he couldn’t get the van going, but Hurley did, on faith.And to heck with all these nayyrseas. I just rewatched the episode on abc.com and I found it entertaining and funny, and it reminded me of the first season, when I cared for the characters, there were no Others, and I didn’t have a lot of high expectations.

    • lol you actually thought a team would lose 20 million if he didnt sign with them?

  10. This is good news. The only reason Yanks were the massive favourites was cause the posting fee wouldn’t have counted against their luxury tax. They probably would have bid 60+ million on Tanaka. I’d say about 6-7 teams will enter the max bid.

    • Bingo. I think this isn’t bad news for the Jays and is definitely good news for the Japanese players (as a fair posting system should be).

      This ensures that there isn’t some way for big(ger) money orgs to get around the luxury tax by spending it on posting fees.

      In particular with foreign players, I think Toronto is at less of an advantage as a destination (money and competitiveness) aside compared to American free agents. I’d think that any posting system that gives Toronto a better chance of at least getting into the conversation is a good one.

  11. Why can’t we play like we are a big league team?

    • Pretty sure our budget is doing just that.

    • Why can’t we enter the process and offer 90 mil for 6 yrs. If they take it fine, if not you’ve raised the bar the eventual winner will have to pay.

  12. Well, it doesnt favour the jays since they dont like getting into bidding wars or paying premium prices for FA’s (not since AA has been GM). However, the posting fee is modest at best. Had this been the case when Darvish (who, btw is significantly better than tanaka) was posted, maybe they would have signed him, atleast a better chance.

    • not sure how this changes anything.

      in the end the total commitment will be pretty equal, just a bigger percentage is going to the player. you have to assume if the rangers didn’t have to pay so much to darvish’s team they would have offered him more.

      • No they wouldn’t have.

        Darvish took what he took and had no leverage to negotiate with anyone else. Why would Texas offer more just because?

        Maybe he would have hardballed Texas a bit with a lower posting fee and threatened to go back to Japan. I doubt it though.

        • they have more leverage to go back to japan now.

          If they had zero leverage why would the rangers have give him the 60 mil ?

  13. Is anyone else getting moderately worrisome when it comes to AA’s stance on FA’s?

    Granted this guy is a big league GM who has pulled some noteworthy and admirable fleece jobs during his tenure but why give up assets from our somewhat dwindling supply when we can just as easily spend the money on the important pieces we need?

    • My personal theory is that he could be masking the fact that a lot of players dont want to play here because of turf, 20 year history, canada, division etc. Hope Im wrong.

      • thats a ridiculous thought.

        Marlins have one of the worst front offices in all of sports and still manage to sign FAs.

        AA is unfortunately a realist that looks for value in his moves. Free agency seldom provides value, especially not at the top end.

        for the most part i think it does a good job of protecting teams from really bad contracts, jays are one of very few teams that don’t have any long term anchor deals. At the same time though, it sometimes gets in the way of the realization that sometimes you just need to bring in the player that is going to put you over the top.

        • Sometimes though you need to bite the bullet and spend some $. AA has to realize his prospect supply is dwindling and hes not in a position to start trading more prospects. For me, Shark and garza are basically the same pitcher. #3 starters with #2 upside. Only difference is one costs prospects and the other just costs $.

          • Agreed.

          • Prospect supply dwindling? I don’t know if I’d agree with that judging by what I’ve heard from Jason Parks and others about all the young arms in the Jays system. Maybe this year for guys at the upper levels, but according to Parks there’s huge depth in the system Add to that you’ve got basically 5 guys that could legitimately vie for your #4 or #5 starters spots in Hutchison, Drabkek, Happ, Redmond and Rogers. I don’t think their value should be understated.

        • @dc

          I do think that the Jays are affected by the turf,border issues etc.

          Rogers Centre will have grass by 2018, so that will help.

          AA got lucky that none of the Marlins did not have no trade clauses. I doubt Burhle would have come here voluntarily.

          Another issue is that the AL East is a tough division. Baltimore is stronger, Tampa has yet to bottom & the Yankees are getting stronger.

          It could be tough for the Jays to get better than 3rd place in 2014.

        • You have to recognize that a contract signed to a team in Florida nets a player much more money after taxes etc.

      • Thanky Thanky for all this good inntfmaoior!

    • a lot of guys don’t want to come here… and I strongly suspect the turf is a big part of it. rogers has made a conscious decision that keeping the argos as tenants trumps gaining an advantage with free agents right now.

  14. I’d rather sign garza for cheaper.

  15. Stoeten I’m drunk and rambling, but I just wanted you to know, my favourite article you wrote (which turned out to be fucking nails) was your post back in 2010 about fans not trashing Encarnacion after that game where he made 3 errors. Your quote is something like “just because something is right in front of your fucking face, doesn’t mean it tells the whole story.”

    Fuckin right man.

    • Cool comment. Respect!
      MLBTR saying Jays making a move for David Price.
      Smart move? Dumb move? Not a move?
      What do we say DJFs?

    • They are trying to get Price and the only reason I say this is because Stoeten will call me an idiot and then it will come true.

      • The cost of getting Shields was Myers.
        For TBay to trade Price inside the division the price will be?
        Especially when it’ll be an auction amongst how many teams?
        It ain’t gonna be cheap and might be more than just prospects.

        • Myers was an overpay, you can’t use that to compare.

          Still, you have to think the cost of acquiring Price, especially given that it’s to an in-division rival, has to be both Sanchez and Stroman.

  16. Brendan Kennedy @BKennedyStar

    Asked how many starters the #bluejays were specifically targeting for trades, AA said “three” … then added “ish.”

    Surprised nobody else made much of this. Personally I was a bit shocked by that, not in a bad way mind you, but 3? That’s certainly an ambitious reworking of your rotation in one offseason. I think a lot of people figured Dickey, Morrow, Buehrle, maybe one of Stroman, Hutchison, Happ (ugh), Nolin, Rogers or Redmond and 1 Free Agent would be the rotation going forward.

    It’s going to be interesting to see just how he goes about doing that. 3 starters, whether they come via trade or as free agent signings, is going to cost a lot in terms of dollars and prospects when you add it all up. Not to mention the competition for one starter let alone 3 of them is going to be fierce judging by what we’ve seen over the last couple of days. Unless of course the other GM’s have decided to join collectively join the Dave Dombrowski school for trading top notch starters for jack shit.

    With the 3 ish comment, I’ve got to wonder if he is looking to trade someone like Buehrle for financial flexibility first and then using whatever he gets back for him as pieces in other trades for cheaper starters. For instance, say Buehrle goes to a team sending back prospects or another major leaguer. AA then could turn around and use those pieces to pair with additional prospects and or some of the pricier surplus relievers. By doing that he effectively trades one expensive starter for two pitchers like Anderson and the Shark. The net effect on payroll would be neutral at best to just a slight addition (if they had to chip in some cash for Buehrle). That would still leave him $10 -$15 million that Davidi is talking about for that 3rd starter. The 3rd starter could theoretically even be the priciest guy out there because they could just backload his deal and pay him a max of $15 million this year and more down the road when there’s not nearly so much cash on the books.

    If he were to do that, he would then have every Jays starter locked up for at least the next two seasons. That would certainly give time for the wealth of lower level talent to get to at least AA by the end of 2015 and baring any serious injuries give the Jays rotation some real stability for once.

    • I wondered about that also.
      Could AA have meant that he had 3 pitchers he was targetting via trade, with a hope of getting one or two?
      Reports on Morrow is that he’s already throwing pain free at 100%.
      You might be correct about Buehrle.
      And I think Dickey will be much better in 2014.

      I suspect AA will be active at the winter meetings.Trying to acquire what he wants through trades either at the meetings or shortly after. Once that s been exhausted look to the FA market.
      Somebody noted, that over the last couple of years,some FA’s and teams have been waiting longer and longer to sign.They’re no longer concerned with getting things done before the new year. January or Feb. is just fine and may drive prices up.There seemed to be more urgency in getting your teams roster set well in advance.

      • Again, I’m not really down on Buehrle but he really offers up an avenue to so much more flexibility for other dealings, probably better than anyone else on the Jays.

        I am just worried that AA gets left waiting on the sidelines or outbid by other teams. His record with free agents isn’t exactly stellar, and to be fair, that’s probably due to the fact that he hasn’t pursued nearly as many because of the rebuild.You can’t help but get anxious hearing that other big names have turned the Jays down in the recent past for one reason or another. You also have to wonder from a pitchers perspective, what pitching in the homer dome will do to them. All things being equal, you’d have to figure a FA would choose a pitchers park over a place like the Rogers Centre.

        • I think that AA has thought the team was in the position he wanted to pursue the big name FA’s.
          It is now.
          With the announcement of the policy of no contract over 5 years,it jurts him from signing the big names but at the same time prevents VWells type situation and maintains flexibility.To say that big contracts can be moved is a red herring. They can be moved but why put yourself in that pickle in the first place.
          When it’s time to spend more without hurting the flexibilty in the future, I truly believe the money will be there.As much as they need,up to the cap.They just want to spend it wisely.
          The Jays have already shown the ability to spend and write off contracts,send money back in trades,etc.
          BJ Ryan ,Halladay trade. Wells trade. 500k on Olivo, just to acquire a draft pick.

    • Im pretty sure AA meant he is looking at 3 starting pitchers that he would like to acquire. Not add 3 starters. That would be pretty damn unlikely.

    • Yeah, he clearly meant he has his sites set on some targets and would probably like to get one or two of them.

      Not trade for 3 or more.

    • Pretty sure if you add that with what AA has stated earlier (“I’m hoping to acquire two starters; but at least one if I can’t get two”–not a quote, but a paraphrase), what it means it that AA wanted to acquire two starters, and had three starters in mind to fill those two holes, and that whichever two of those three ended up being easier to acquire/acquirable at all would be the ones AA got.

  17. Rutsey, at the Sun: http://www.torontosun.com/2013/12/04/blue-jays-gm-alex-anthopoulos-says-team-may-not-get-another-top-starter

    “Get ready to get bummed out.

    There’s a possibility — a good one, in fact — that no significant pitching additions will be coming the Blue Jays’ way.

    In an hour-long conversation with the local chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Wednesday afternoon, Alex Anthopoulos set the bar pretty low when he talked about his search for help to the starting rotation.

    To begin with, if help arrives at all, it will likely be in the form of one starter, not two.

    If the Blue Jays general manager can negotiate a trade — the free-agent route is weak and overpriced — it will not be a Clayton Kershaw, a Zack Greinke or a David Price. It won’t be a top of the rotation guy.

    If help arrives, it will be in the form of an upper middle arm, a solid and dependable arm that can give the Jays 190-plus innings and win 10-14 games. Doug Fister, traded to the Washington Nationals by the Detroit Tigers earlier in the week, would have been the perfect guy, but more on that later.

    If none of the above comes to pass, if Anthopoulos strikes out in his efforts to pluck another arm from another organization — he said he has targeted “three-ish” possibilities — he won’t consider the off-season to be a failure.

    Instead, Anthopoulos is content to preach that health and hope could be the magic formula that could lead the Blue Jays out of the wilderness in 2014.”

    Obviously, that’s some GM-speak, much in the way that AA (I hope) is saying that he can go into next year with Goins and Izturis at 2B. Still, not what you want hear, I suppose.

    Kennedy’s article on the Star site also talked about how Alex is looking for “stability” in the rotation, rather than upside, so I’d think that means interest in Brett Anderson is being overstated. Jeff Samardzija still fits very well, and I wonder if Trevor Cahill from Arizona is among those three targets as well.

  18. And, for God’s sake ….. never take anything that comes out of GM’s mouth as the gospel truth…especially at this time of year.
    They’re all playing poker with another – and the last time I checked, not too many professional card sharks open up the bidding by saying “Hey, guys…I’ve got a pair of jacks!”.

  19. Does AA break away from the 5 years to go out and get Tanaka?

    Do we want to commit that much time to a guy that might be an MLB star pitcher?
    personally i would think its worth the risk based on whats out there for FA pitching help.

    Do I believe with this new system it hurts us?
    No i dont think so, but you know if the Yanks are in on the posting, and get a chance to talk to him that its going to be a lot harder given their history with Japanise players and their ability to spend no matter what we hear about their cap and getting away from the tax blardy blardy. If the Yanks want something, they will go get it.

    Am I holding out hope that by the end of the winter meetings we wont need to go get Tanaka? Yes i sure am. I dont believe for a second that AA isn’t working someone for something.

    Do we need a big splash to be a Playoff Team?
    No, what we need is a little more depth and a bunch of good luck with health.

    Here is hoping 2014 make us all smile, so we can watch meaningful baseball in Sept.

    • I agree coach…we’ve paid our dues in Spades…….I’m really feeling good about our possible acquisitions and 2014.
      Time to kick some ass!

  20. Who knows for sure if the Golden Eagles will post Tanaka. They can hold him this year and post him next year and get the same 20 mil.

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