tanakaAI

The title of this post may not seem to make a whole lot of sense to you at first– I mean, why would we care what the manager of the Buffalo Bisons has to say about Japan’s top pitcher?– but what if I told you that Buffalo Bisons manager Marty Brown has a more interesting baseball past than you perhaps grasped?

What if you remembered that when the Jays hired him to manage the Las Vegas 51s for the 2011 season, it would mark his return to the United States from having managed five seasons in Japan? What if you then realized that not only was he managing in NPB in the recent past, but that his last gig there was managing the Rakuten Golden Eagles, where he had both Masahiro Tanaka and Hisashi Iwakuma on his staff?

Because all that is true. And Brown brought his insight on those two former charges– as well Hiroki Kuroda, who he managed for two seasons in Hiroshima– to the local radio airwaves this morning, speaking with Jeff Blair on the Fan 590 (audio here) about what North American fans can expect to see if/when Tanaka lands in the big leagues– and, perhaps more importantly, what his next club will likely be paying something north of $100-million for.

Brown was coy about how much information Alex Anthopoulos has canvassed him for, but he made clear that, if he was asked, his report would likely have been quite glowing.

“I think the one think that kind of sets him apart is physically– he might be a little more physical than all of those guys,” he explained, comparing him to not just Kuroda and Iwakuma, but Yu Darvish, as well. “Obviously he hasn’t had issues with health and anything like that. And that might be something, I think, that gets him over the hump. And I think he can carry innings.”

He continued:

He’s a good athlete– he does all the little things as well. It’s not like he’s just one type– he’s a pitcher and that’s what he has to go with. He has other things in his arsenal that he can go to in order to get swings and misses. And like I say, he just does all the little things– holds runners, understand the game, and he understands himself. He was a premier high school pitcher, too– a lot like Matsuzaka. He did a lot of things for a small school, and really put the school on his back and went into that high school tournament– which, as you know, in Japan, is something to see. So he’s a very highly competitive young man. It’s an obvious transition for him to pitch on every fifth day. That was one of the concerns when I had Kuroda and Iwakuma, and I tried to transition those guys into doing that– it’s kind of the way the Japanese game falls into place, because you get a day off during the week, and it’s easy to give that guy an extra day when actually he may not need it. But I think that’s another thing about his physical ability– I believe he’ll be able to rebound, with his age and the fact that he is a strong guy, I think he’ll be able to carry the innings, and he should be a very effective pitcher.

The fact that Brown saw other pitchers who’ve had success here up close, and feels this good about Tanaka gives credence to all the excitement that has surrounded him of late, even though he maybe doesn’t quite hit the very high watermark left by Darvish’s incredible talent.

Still, it’s all good.

“He was a joy to have,” he explains. “He was one those type guys you wanted to give the ball to. He matched up against Yu Darvish, and I felt very good about going into a game and knew Tanaka was really going to compete. So, he should do very well over here.”

Brown then added that “He’s always been a very upfront guy, and very well liked and respected in Japan. He’s going to do his part to put butts in the seats, and I think he’s the type of guy you want to give the ball to on any day in order to win.”

Some cliched stuff, sure, and some grains of salt are definitely necessary here given the relationship he has with the player– hopefully Alex is getting a little less varnish on his reports– but what he says seems to make sense based on what we’ve heard.

Brown also says he likes that Tanaka has stated that he wants to be in the Majors, and thinks that’s an important part of a transition to the North American game going well:

They have to want to be here. It’s just like an American player going to Japan, or an American manager going to Japan– it’s the same thing, you have to really want to be there, you have to want to be successful in a new country. You have to adapt to the new game of baseball here in the United States, and it’s the same way as an American going to Japan– you have to adapt to the way that the Japanese play the game of baseball there. So I think Tanaka’s obviously a premier pitcher in Japan, and I think that initially coming here he wants to test himself, as Kuroda did, as Yu, and Iwakuma. I think they’ve had conversations with one another about the opportunity to find out how good they are. I think just being in Japan and being dominant, I think at times– you could see it in Yu, and even Iwakuma, you know, almost a sense of boredom. And Kuroda was that way.

Kuroda was a little different because he was with a really small market club when he played for me in Hiroshima, and there wasn’t a lot of substance around him to score runs. Or the bullpen wasn’t as good as Kuroda– when he was only at 20% left of what had on that day, you’d still want to send him back out there because he was better than what you had in the bullpen. And they wore him out that way over there, until I got there, and then we started to realize, shorter rest and less back-end innings, where he’s facing that lineup for the fourth time, it was really beneficial. He ended up winning an ERA title, and I think that once Yu– you see Yu and Iwakuma– I think once Tanaka goes into that mindset of going into that game– all those guys, they have that mindset of, they get the ball and they want to finish the game, and sometimes that’s a rarity now in the States– a guy gives you six innings and is like, ‘I’m good, I’ve done my part today’– and none of those guys really felt that way when I had them in Japan. So that’s an asset, I think. That mindset is going to give him an edge.

So that’s pretty alright… right? Though, on the other hand, I’m kind of thinking¬†bad, Marty! Run him down, man! Get some of these other teams off the scent!

Which isn’t to say that I think the Jays have a terribly realistic shot of actually landing Tanaka, especially with the new posting system setup to make the process more like what you’d see with any other free agent. But they sure should try their damnedest. And we all know why it’s not, technically, an impossible dream, either. (Especially if we all can remember to ignore everything we hear about the club being hurt by their supposed policy about limiting contracts to five years or less. Because that’s horseshit.)

Comments (113)

  1. The next question lies in does he have a friendly relationship with Tanaka ? Also goes for Kawasaki too. I know he’s a free agent but can definitely sell Toronto on someone

  2. Man, I wish we had landed Darvish. That still smarts. ugh. Life!

    • Yeah and it only would have cost money! No prospects involved. Ah well. If there ever was a pitcher to come out of Japan that screamed North American baseball it was Darvish.

  3. Also, Iwakuma is fucking awesome.

  4. I’ve been thinking about him a lot of late and the more I think about what guys like Ubaldo and Garza are probably going to get, I really think the Jays should go seriously all-in on Tanaka. Offer him $20 million + a year for 5 years. At 25 he’s a few years younger than all these other guys.

    Trade Happ ($5.2 million) for whatever you can get to recoup some of that for this year and next. After next year, Buehrle’s money is gone as well.

    I am even prepared for the Jays to throw whatever shit they can get their hands on for second base and see what sticks to the wall if it means squeezing Tanaka in.

    I think it would be a nice bonus of to outbid the Yankees as well.

    • When you factor in the posting fee, thats 5 years for 120 million.

      For the price you could probably land Garza (4/50) and Ubaldo (5/70)

      i know everyone is still upset over not getting Darvish, but not every pitcher is going to come over from Japan and be an instant star. There will be some Dice k’s mixed in.

    • Totally agree with you sandlot. The price is high but the age is perfect. 5 or 6 years has him still right in his prime at the back end of that contract.

  5. Sounds like a guy you’d like to sign.
    Unfortunately, it seems the Yanks and others have their eyes on him too….and I can’t help but feel that they might be a little more willing to spend their bazillions on him than Rogers. (and you’re right, Stoeten – I have nothing factual to base that feeling upon)
    So, (just because I always feel somewhat maudlin at this time of year) – I will paraphrase the great Don Henley….”He ain’t here. He ain’t comin’. Not in a million years”.

  6. If there is a policy about the 5 years you would think this is a special circumstance. Oridnarily FAs are at youngest in their late twenties when FAs not mid twenties so less risk for long term deal? Of course the risk aspect is a special circumstance here too given he is coming from Japan and not proven in MLB. At the end of the day as a fan I dont care I want me some Tanaka with cheese

    • The beauty of him being so young is the Jays could stick to their 5 year max offer him more per year and tell him you’ll be free to go wherever if things don’t work out for you here as a proven major league pitcher. Even offer an opt out after 3 years.

  7. Seeing how he’s so young I’m sure the jays could go more then 5 years and not be paying for decline years. Whether they can wrap their minds around that is another question. It’s all a pipe dream anyways cause the jays will get out bid everytime out.

  8. Might be in the minority here but im not too impressed with Tanaka’s ability to miss bats in japan. Darvish was a monster in japan in that regard. Also, darvish threw harder and with more movement. He sounds great and brown did his part to hype him up but you are likely looking at a #3 starter at best in the majors. Not worth it. Ive said all along, garza is the guy they should be targeting. No draft pick comp, no performance concerns. Health is a concern but on a 4 yr deal its not the end of the world.

    • There’s also the fact that Tanaka is 5 years younger than Garza. If you assume their talent is comparable and by all accounts they’re both #3′s, maybe #2′s in a good year, then Tanaka is far more valuable due to age and durability. You’re not getting his decline phase, whereas for Garza that’s all you’re getting. Not saying I wouldn’t take Garza but I’d rather get Tanaka if the price is similar

    • Now thjis is even more stupid than gose 5th outfielder. Do you even watch baseball??? Garza is done he will be in decline for length of that contract

      • Instead of criticizing my opinion tell me whether you have seen tanaka pitch? I sure as fuck dont think so. Instead of just believing all the hype lets look at this objectively. Dravish missed a shit ton of bats in japan against weaker hitters. Tanaka has not missed as many bats against inferior hitters. Therefore, his stuff is not as good which limits his ceiling as a starter. As for garza, he is 30 years old but I have seen him pitch (against the jays mostly) and he is pretty good. He is 30 years old and its not inconceivable that he can be productive for another 4-5 years. Tanaka is unproven so who the fuck knows. Its a gamble. Oh yeah, and gose sucks so lets stop the insanity.

        • So stopping the insanity means your not posting anymore??? No I have not seen Tanaka pitch but I have watched Garza in decline. I’d take risk that younger unknown would outperform older broken down declining starter

        • Hey AFDG, he looks preeety fucking good here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHoLduh2ChM

        • afdg, did you read the article?

          Sounds an awful like they were working on preserving the arm. Part of that easily could have included pitching to contact. When you are winning almost every game by several runs, why not hit more bats?

    • “You are likely looking at a number 3 starter at best”

      Thanks for the great insight.

    • I agree on the Garza front. When this guy has been healthy he is a front line starter. Jiminez and Santana have had much more spotted records and may not be as good as the wildcard younger guys the jays already have.

  9. For my part, this feels a little different than Darvish. There was a weird sense of irrational expectation with the Darvish posting that it was something the team had to do to compete, the only way they could seem to add a premium talent, namely by paying an exorbitant sum to gain exclusive negotiating rights. It felt desperate, that the team needed it. This feels more like buying a lottery ticket when the rent is paid and the cupboards are full, because winning the lottery is easier than saving up to buy a new house. The analogy kinda got away from me there, but you get the point.

    • For me it’s Darvish like because I remember how stoked I was with all the media reports about the Jays involvement and then for my silly expectations to come crashing down. I kind of realize that the Jays really won’t be in on him other than doing their homework and checking on the price but it’s still hard not to dream about the Jays adding an arm like his.

    • Though, I recall AA’s explanation of why the Jays didn’t win the bid for Darvish was something to the effect of “…if you’re one or two peices away from contention, maybe then we make that bid.” At the time Darvish was posted, the Jays weren’t one or two peices away from being a contender, as admitted by AA. That’s no longer the case necessarily.

  10. I swear to god I was thinking Marty York when I first saw this, and I was really, really looking forward to that photochop of him.

  11. I’m thouroughly convinced with his arsenal of pitching he is at least a a #3 starter with the upside of #2. He is also alot younger then any of the free agents and he’s logged 200+ innings multiple times. I don’t think he’ll be as good as Darvish but thats not a bad thing as Darvish is easily an ace. Having a younger version of Kuroda is still quite good.

    I was also not aware of this AAA manager connection, makes me a little more hopeful we’ll put a very competive run for Tanaka.

    • “at least a a #3 starter with the upside of #2″ — with good health — is kinda fucking exactly what we need. DO IT ALEX.

    • Looking at Tanaka’s career K/BB rate compared to Darvish’s it looks really good. Tanaka had a career rate of 4.5 to Darvish’s 3.75. Yes he doesn’t strikeout as many guys but he doesn’t come close to walking as many as Darvish. Darvish was worth 5 fWAR last year and 5.8 bWAR. If Tanaka is only 80% as good as Darvish that’s still good for 4 fWAR and 4.6 bWAR.

      4 fWAR would have ranked him 21st among all starters last year.

      • I’m more and more sold on this guy. Hell, if his choice of animal has to be Kawasaki at 2B, I’ll even say yes.

        • For my love of the Jays I would be his pet monkey.

          • Oh come on, it’s still television. Many evntes were based on impossibilities in real life. You know, the usual, bad guys can’t shoot good guys, fantasy creature pounding a man to death, when CPR fails just punch the patient in the chest real hard, get shot then get an infection then get completely healthy all in a few days, etc.Lost makes it were we can’t tell if it’s just TV magic or if it’s going to be part of the plot.It’s always about the plot and this plot is awesome.

  12. Just tell him – “5 million dollars more than the Yankees, whatever their offer.
    And a car.”

  13. I’ve still got a faint sense of hope that, someday, I’ll check out what the Jays are up to and see that they’ve signed Tanaka. Consider the fact that they’ve openly said they’d get a budget to sign some more good players, that they’ve managed to get rid of a couple players that gives them even more breathing room, and that pitching has been a priority…Tanaka seems like the potential holy grail. I’ll keep my fingers crossed but wont hold my breath.

  14. anyone know of any articles on TJ/pitcher injury rates in japan?

    be interesting comparison, i think.

  15. Personally, I’d feel a heck of a lot more comfortable with Garza.

    he has no health problems now, but the abuse on his arm will eventually catch up to him, and at 20 mil a year, its just to great of a risk to take.

    • You want the same Matt Garza who hasn’t started 30 games since 2011, because he’ll be healthier?

      • When healthy garza is proven, and also you aren’t given garza 100 million +

        He started 24 games last year 18 the year before, so not sure where you’re getting your stats from.

        • sorry i read that as not having started 30 since 2011, not 30 in a year since 2011.

          thats a cherry picked stat considering he started 24 games last year though

          • You call it a cherry-picked stat, I call it “not healthy enough to last the past two seasons.”

    • It’s a tough gamble between a player that’s young, healthy but unproven in MLB and a player that’s proven but has a history of injuries. Given the injury machine that is the Blue Jays pitching staff I’d definitely go with the younger, healthier player with huge potential. Won’t complain one bit if the Jays sign Garza though.

      • I guess another way to look at him as College pitcher with a couple of years of high minor league time on top of that. None of those guys are MLB tested and while there’s more risk because of the money, it doesn’t change the actual pitching fundamentals. If scouts believe he’s got all the weapons then that’s all you can really ask for of any pitcher.

    • Garza’s behind Ubaldo who’s way behind Tanaka for me.

      • It’s going to be interesting to see that’s for sure. I guess it all depends on which Ubaldo shows up and if he can pull it off for an entire season. Still, when you look at the cost of #2 or even a #3 starter like Samardjiza is going for, paying a premium for a young 25 year old doesn’t seem that bad.

      • Stoeten,
        where would you slot E.Santana in that ordering?

      • including their expected contracts?

        i just can’t see how 120+ million for Tanaka would be a good investment, nor one the blue jays would make

        • Unless he pulls a Josh Johnson, Tanaka would definitely help fill a lot of seats.

          • Thats complete fluff. In this market winning is the only thing that sells seats.

            We had Roy Halladay in his prime and had some of the words attendance rates in the leagure during his tenure here.

            This isn’t the NBA, no 1 player make that big of a difference.

        • Yes, considering the contracts. No issue with $120. Bet it will be higher, and no issue there, either.

          • By saying that, you essentially believe that Tanaka will put up twice the WAR that Garza will in the next 5 years.

            In a down year Garza was worth 2.2 WAR last year, he’s 30 now, and even with a bounce back for next year, it would be hard pressed to argue that he will put up more than 12 WAR (2.4/year) in the next 5 years (Assuming 5 year contract)

            Only 11 Starting Pitchers last year put up 4.8 WAR last season, (darvish put up a 5.0 WAR). I don’t see how its a cut and dry case that paying Tanaka double what you would give Garza is necessarily the best value.

            There is a ton of risk in that contract, and he would have to essentially be a top 10 starting pitcher in the league for it to pay off.

            • Again let’s treat Tanaka at 80% of Darvish. Darvish was worth 5 fWAR last year making Tanaka worth 4 fWAR if all goes well.

              The $/WAR is roughly $6-7 million+ depending on where you are on the win curve. So you could argue that Tanaka would be worth anywhere from $24-28+ million a year.

              Factor in inflation 5 years out and that’s not all that expensive.

              • I like that you’re using stats in your opinion, and if you could secure a Darvish light for the next 5 years for 20 ,million a season chances are you do it.

                The thing is Darvish is kind of fucking amazing, not only that, no projections predicted that darvish would be this good, this quickly.

                Moving leagues is not a perfect science. Taking his stats from japan and comparing them to darvish’s doesn’t mean he’ll have the same success here as Yu has.

                It happens in every league, AAA, cuba, Japan, taiwan, successful players come over and excel or don’t, and there stats from back home aren’t going to tell you the full story.

                • Indeed, but Japan is the closest league in terms of talent, so there is a valid comparison to be made. At least for pitchers.

    • When I first found this blog, it seemed all of the cmeomnts were about what happened and discussion on clues to what it going on. The arguements were about theory. Now every Thursday, we have to endure comment after comment on how much someone hates the show and the people who like the show are spending time defending it instead of helping to analyze it.Let’s be more strict on the no complaining rule if you’re not going to watch Lost anymore move on.

  16. if he goes for 20mil a year, we need to take a pass i think

    we just dont know what we are going to get here.

    he could be the next Yu, he could be the next doc, i dont know, no one knows, he could be the next josh towers for all we know.

    5/80 is more then reasonable, the problem is…..whats reasonable and whats not is now a gray area, that i can’t find with some of the FA signings the past few years.

    • Demand > Reasonable

      Any pitcher with the potential to be an ace has ridiculous value to a team (no shit). A team, like the Jays, that desperately needs high-quality pitching will place even more value on that potential. Reasonable is idealistic but irrelevant.

    • Jays have just $27M committed for 2016 (mostly to Reyes) and can evidently run payrolls upwards of $150M. Only $32M more if you pick up options on Bautista, Dickey and EE.

      Lots of other money to be spent elsewhere too, but honestly, they’re going to be hard pressed to spend in the middle of the pack WITHOUT a contract like that on the books. Really no reason they shouldn’t be considering it hard.

      • lol, those options for 2016 are the same as what Hamilton will make on the back end of his contract in 2016-17 lmfao.

        Santos still has options for 15/16
        do they pay the 8mil a year for him?

      • Exactly. Sign Tanaka and backload the contract. That’s pretty much what the Yankees are gonna try to do to stay under the luxury tax. The Jays could do the same to stay under the hypothetical $150mill rogers cap. Not as much worry about the contract becoming an albatross in the later years given his age (unless of course he implodes spectacularly at the sight of MLB hitters).

        • yanks have just under 12mil to play with, and that was before Roberts…..if they dont have to pay Arod, that one thing, but i dont know if the tax being a must be under as they as is a real thing.

        • The offer to Choo suggests the Yanks don’t give a fuck about staying under the luxury tax barrier.

      • I disagree that the Jays can evidently keep payrolls at 150M. If they dont start winning the revenue gains they got last year are gone and payroll of 150M will not be in the budget. If they win revenue likely goes up and payroll could be above 150M

      • With this rationalle why were you not more critical of the jays not going after McCann and Cano who would have filled the two biggest holes on the team with premium elite level all star talent in their primes?

        • Their age and the dead years on the end of the contracts. Tanaka at 25 is one of the rare guys to become available at that age.

          Even then I wouldn’t have too been upset with the Cano contract. It looks like it will be cost effective for a number of years.

          • McCann is 29 and signed a 5 year deal. I expect McCann at 34 will be better than any blue jays catcher is franchise history. He signed for $17M a year which I consider a steal for an all star catcher when we are talking about Omar Infante, a career fringe starter who is 3 years older, signing a “modest” 4 year deal for just under half the AAV. Could have backloaded and only paid 5M this upcoming year or something.

            Cano at 10 years is a different animal as well as Ellsbury at 7, although would love to have both of them since Cano would be 1A/1B 2nd baseman and Ellsbury up there as well for all time best franchise players.

            • Mccann is good, but I would hardly call 17 million a steal. Its a decent value contract for sure though.

    • Lets not get carried away. If he is the next Josh Towers then the sun may not rise tomorrow

    • You’re going to have to overpay on all remaining FA pitchers, because you’re going to have to overpay to get Tanaka – he’s setting the market. So if you lose out on Tanaka, you’re going to be pressed into an even worse contract with someone else. Eight years from now, would you rather be paying a 33 year old Tanaka 24 mil or a 38 year old Garza 17 mil.? Only on the back end of Tanaka’s contract will you be getting anywhere close to your money’s worth – even if it is 8 years down the road – when everyone else on the market will mostly be a burden.

      • That assumes you need to go for 8 years to get Garza. If Garza can be had for 4-5 years then it is a different ballgame

        • Ok, 7 yrs., 6 yrs. – even 5 – my point being that anything over three years is going to bite you in the ass. The chances that an above average pitcher continues to be above average into his mid thirties is near zero – as opposed to a great pitcher continuing to be great or even just really good. Outside of Tanaka, the fact is that these are not elite pitchers, and you’ll be getting either mediocrity or injury for most of the latter half of their contracts.

          • He is 29 or 30 so a 4-5 year deal isn’t necessarily going to bite you in the ass. All the options involve risk. Tanaka at 8 years rather than 5 for Garza say introduces more risk because of term and the unknown quantity but less because of health / youth. Trading for someone has risk. Not getting anyone is an option but has risk that the in house options wont perform. I dont think the risk on Garza over 4-5 years is too bad – sure he is an injury risk but the Jays do have depth and when Garza is on the mound he has always performed well unlike Ubaldo and Santana

  17. Doesn’t insurance pay the salaries of injured players?
    If so I’d be less worried about how much Tanakas arm has been taxed.
    If your scouts think he’s the real deal then you pay the big ticket and just move on if sparks fly out of his elbow because insurance will be paying his salary.

    • Doesn’t really work that way, or else more teams would have that outlook.

      Insurance for pitchers is expensive, really expensive, and only covers long term injuries and even then only a portion of the salary is covered.

      • Where are you getting that information?
        I’d be interested to read about how it works.

      • [quote comment="42268"]First of all I like to say that this blog is relaly awesome, maybe the best LOST website of all.[/quote]Thank you, that’s great to hear!While the episode wasn’t very heavy on the mythology, I relaly enjoyed it. It felt like a season 1 episode isn’t that what people have been requesting for some time now?Loved the scene where Sawyer was teaching Jin English and Hurley had a few funny lines too.[quote comment="42274"]Did anyone else wonder how Rodger died? I mean, ok its a little odd for someone to die on a beer run’.[/quote]I suppose he could have broken something or got stuck when the car crashed.

    • As dc said it can be expensive but there are a wide range of policies covering all kinds of situations and amounts. I am sure the number crunchers would have thresholds where it made sense to get certain amounts of coverage. With the way these financial guys can engineer things today I am sure there’s ways for teams to at least partially protect themselves for large investments like that. One it can’t protect you from is the opportunity cost.

    • Injury insurance is interesting. It would bring more stability to payroll and team, ie can get BJ Ryan’s salary off books and sign someone else, but would also make you spend more money overall for you guys since the insurance company is set up to win in the end. Thinking hte Jays would have an insurance rating equivalent to a 17 year old juvenile delinquint who has crashed 150 cars while driving intoxicated.

  18. My issue with this Jays team going forward is the injury history of the majority of their lineup. With that said I think the best way to combat that is by putting together a reliable rotation and that’s why I think they NEED Tanaka and I expect them to make a strong run at him.

  19. Obviously Rogers has the money should they wish to spend it. They may well go all-in on Tanaka because he only costs money. He’ll be a draw. They caught some pr fall-out on Darvish.

    Tanaka sounds like the real deal. I’d be happy if they got him. But after the Darvish stuff, I will wait until Bruce Arthur tells me it’s a done deal.

    • I wouldnt be convinced until the official twitter lets us know. Even then I would probably be pinching myself and then laughing at the Yankees

  20. Just to also say that the pr thing would be 0.000099% of a decision to go for Tanaka. I’m aware of that!

    • I’m usually a GW skitpec, and this instance is no different. Should we also spend $45 trillion to reverse global warming on Venus and Mars, too?HOWEVER, $1 trillion a year over the next 45 years to economically free our nation from dominance by radical Islam (via OPEC)? That sounds like a bargain to me.in HIS love,nick

  21. Wondering if now that the dbacks have signed Chavez…. Is it simpyl a depth move or is it possible to think they may deal Prado? Could play 2nd base……

    • They’re all about finding a front-line starter. Hard to see how they’d match up with the Jays.

      • Yes I don’t see them matching up really as far as trade for major league talent. Guess I just am really not looking forward to thinking Goins is the guy come 2014. And really any upgrade would suffice.

  22. I see the Mariners and Yankees as front runners, probably with Arizona, Toronto, Washington also in the running. As a surprise team, maybe the Cubs

  23. On the Baseball Today podcast today, Olney said that Tanaka prefers to play on the west coast, for what it’s worth.

  24. @stoeten

    That was a great nugget of info about the buffalo manager coaching tanaka.

    I would be very excited to see him pitch as a jay.

    However , I can’t see Aa risking that much money on a pitcher from Japan.

    AA will probably go with a safer option like ubaldo or Santana.

  25. AA is about value of a contract. Once Tanaka signs with someone, the Ubaldo’s, Garza’s, etc are going to be offered contracts from desperate teams that in no way scream “value”. If we upgrade, it will likely be via the trade route

  26. AA could be holding off (and doesnt it seem that way? He snagged Navarro at the very last moment and he wont make a deal on any of the 2Bs in play) to take a run at this guy first. With Brown selling him and Beeston it could be that they’ve already talked with Rogers and set a ceiling and if the Yankees (or whomever) outbid them so be it, they’ll make a decent play for the leftover FAs. If Tanaka is for real, and Brown should know as well as anyone, AA will want to make as strong a bid as possible.

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