Let’s not go too crazy with this one, because the back-end of the sentence that’s quoted in the title is “but there was no word they had a meeting planned as of yet,” and there are many other teams who reportedly do have meetings set — the Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, Yankees, White Sox, and Diamondbacks. But according to the latest from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, “the Jays are among several others teams to have had multiple discussions with team Tanaka.”

The Yu Darvish thing this is obviously not — the Jays seem firmly on the perceived periphery of the situation, as would be entirely expected of a club who does their due diligence on everyone available — but it’s certainly interesting, given the club’s need, lack of other activity so far, and ownership’s obvious willingness to invest in sports beyond simply reinvesting earned revenue (hello $100-million on soccer players!) despite what we’ve often been told.

There are, of course, also the less-than-entirely-credible rumblings we’ve heard about the Jays being very much in pursuit of the Japanese ace, about whom one executive even goes as far as telling Heyman is “the better pitcher” when compared to his countryman, Darvish.

Well this is just getting nutty, isn’t it?

No, not Darvish nutty. Not yet. And I’m sure Anthopoulos and Beeston are hoping that it never does get to that level. And perhaps for a more favourable outcome than two years ago as well!

So… there’s that.

Comments (205)

  1. It would appear logical to meet with the Blie Jays last as he will need to clear customs in Canada. No sense crossing the border twice

  2. Anthopolous: Oh, c’mon. Come to Toronto.
    Tanaka: No.
    Anthopolous: I’ll be your friend.
    Tanaka: No.
    Anthopolous: Oh, you’re mean.

  3. Give him a blank cheque.

  4. excellent, positive traction for once lol

  5. FUCK HIM.

    Dustin McGowan darkhorse Cy Young Winner.

  6. I think I’ve got Tanaka angst. Nurse Karen is that actually a thing?

  7. Sure its pie in the sky – but in the end a bunch of money would still win out. Its a different world now. The Yankees got burned by the Mariners. Everything is backward! Carpe Diem!

  8. Just open the vault. An elite 25 year old free agent? Blank cheque.

  9. If you are going to give $100 million to a soccer player, I would think any # would not be considered too irrational for Tanaka. I mean really … they are giving a guy 100 mill to play soccer in Toronto .. yikes!

  10. Why do I get the feeling that some dude in the Jays’ system is leaking this stuff because he wants AA’s job? :p

  11. Tanaka, Dickey, Buehrle, Morrow, Happ would be a nice starting 5, especially with Stroman being a likely 2014 debut and a strong bullpen.

    Signing Tanaka to 5 years at $15 mil (plus $20 mil posting fee) is roughly what the Jays are paying Buehrle in 2015, which will be his last with the team. If the Jays were able to backload his contract so that the higher salaries start in 2016, the team might be able to have him at $10 mil a season in 2014 and 2015 (Darvish was paid $5.5 mil and $9.5 mil in his first two years with the Rangers). . Only one player on the Jays is signed through 2016 – Jose Reyes.

    • I would think he’ll get more than $15 million AAV and the $20 posting fee is 2 payments this year $13 million and next year $7 million.

    • I would imagine that there is no chance that 5/15 gets you Tanaka.

      • Yeah, I think 6/$120 is more realistic, but who knows how high the bidding will take it.

        • Darvish got 6 years, $56 mil. If Tanaka got $75 mil and was a free agent at 30 it might be feasible.

          • It’s a nice idea, but the reality is that he’s likely going to sign for well over $100 million and be a free agent at 31.

          • Because of the posting system, Yu Darvish only had one team bidding for him and they had just spent $52M on him.

            Tanaka will likely have 30 teams offering him a contract and they will have “only” spent $20M on the posting fee.

            I don’t think the two situations are comparable, Tanaka will get a lot more than Darvish.

            • I was going to suggest taking the gross amount Darvish got (is it $52+$56, and a 6 year contract) – and taking a similar approach to Tanaka i.e. $106 million minus $20 million fee / 6 years. But that comes out to $14 mil + over 6, and I realized the obvious difference is leverage.

              On the other hand, the gross amount spent on Darvish works out to $18 mil a year. Assuming talent + salary inflation makes the value of the two a wash, maybe $18 mil a year is fair for Tanaka, with the $20 mil being paid on top?

              • I have to think it could be more because this time there’s a bidding war. And the 20 million to post will keep more in the mix. Once the Rangers sunk their 56 million, they were at the table with Darvish alone. We would have to outbid several other teams on money and/or term this time, and in my opinion, probably outbid with a bit of extra padding because we’re not a marquee destination for him.

  12. I guess MLSE decided that fielding a sad sack of shit soccer team wasn’t exactly goosing revenues. Wonder if the Jays experience from last year has anything to do with that. Either way, despite my overwhelming disinterest in soccer it’s always good to see the local teams get better.

    Godspeed whatever the nickname of TFC is… actually maybe they don’t have a nickname. Do soccer teams have nicknames?

  13. Must be pretty cool to be Tanaka right now.

    • Agreed.

      He’ll soon be able to afford a 600 square foot Tokyo apartment in the off-season.

  14. The $100m on soccer players is encouraging.
    From that, one might reasonably conclude
    that there is money available for AA to do something.

  15. I get that we’re hesitant to rile of the morons who’ll be whining well past 2040 when they don’t get him, but why wouldn’t they be serious about Tanaka considering the alternatives? 85 million for Santana or like, 140M for a 25 year old with ace upside and a nice little PR hit when the club sure as hell could use it? If a team that plays in a racist shithole like Arizona fancies themselves players in these discussions, why shouldn’t the Jays? If the Dodgers or someone blows the doors off with an absurd offer then so be it, but otherwise they should absolutely be right there.

  16. Lets not forget history here. AA says that he regretted not tempering Jays fans expectations with regards to our chances of getting Darvish last year when there were all these reports that basically states we were going to be going in heavy after him.

    Well, this year we are seeing similar reports regarding Tanaka.

    No doubt AA is aware of them.

    And yet he isnt making any such statements.

    Makes me think they are truly going all in.

    • I’m convinced they’re definitely in for a few reasons: Not the least of which is the black hole in the rotation. Getting him here though is an entirely different matter.

  17. Finally a report about progress in the Tanaka sweepstakes! I wonder if he’ll have to wait right til the deadline to be able to make his decision.

    I’m not sure, but it might actually be meaningful that Heyman’s sentence says “there was no word they had a meeting planned yet.” If one puts the emphasis on “no word” rather than “no meeting”, it means they could have a meeting planned; the lack of “word” on such a meeting would be entirely in keeping with Anthopoulos’s MO.

    Or that second part of the sentence could have no meaning to be parsed, but either way it is heartening that the first part of the sentence definitively states that the Jays have had multiple discussions.

    • Here’s how Heyman’s sentence was distilled by MLBTR: The Blue Jays have also had multiple conversations with Tanaka’s camp already, he adds, but it’s unclear if they have a face-to-face meeting set in Los Angeles.

    • And I’m sure if there was a meeting planned, the Jays wouldn’t want that word getting out there.

      • Exactly.

        Think he’ll have to wait til the deadline? It’s possible teams may drop out if one or more other teams start making offers that are beyond their threshold. I wonder if it could come down to mulling, right up to the deadline, over higher offer, non-NY or LA team vs lower offer from NY/LA.

        • I have no idea, obviously, but I’d suspect they know who he’s going with a little before the deadline, but pretty close to it. No sense in going to the wire, I don’t think. If they get to the point of final offers, those are final offers.

          I’d be shocked if there was any movement before the A-Rod thing came down, though. I’d figure it might just be a day or two before the deadline.

      • And I’d be pretty positive that the Jays will have a face to face meeting. I mean unless Tanaka told them flat out that he would never come to Toronto, and i can’t see why he would put the brakes on any club that wants to potentially spend upwards of $100mill on him.

        • If only to raise the other bids, he totally would string them along as much as possible, if that were the case.

  18. A good point Voros. I have a feeling that at least we won’t be hanging in the wind this time.
    I imagine AA will make an honest run at him and if he get’s no traction he’ll probably let it be known this time.

    The more I read about what Rogers has been doing in all sports the more I believe that there is NO team cap that has been imposed on Beaston/AA.

    I think if AA were to feel it was in the best interest of this team to give Tanaka 150 million over “X” years then Rogers would let him do it.

    • And that feels pretty fuckin good.

      AA has always maintained that Rogers promised him “the money would be there” if he thought he could improve the club. I’m not sure where this arbitrary “150 million cap” came from but I don’t think it’s the case. Rogers and Beeston have shown faith in AA, they’ve promised a winning product in all their sports teams. It would seem irrational to have let him take on the salary that he has this far and then pull the plug.

    • Yup.

    • I like the optimism… and I feel it at times… but the negative side of me sees the rest of the offseason as a pretty big indication that there is some sort of a cap.

      The Jays obvious priority is pitching, but other than that they entered the offseason with some more items on their shopping list. They needed a catcher, and they still need a second baseman and probably good bench options for the fourth outfielder and/or a platoon partner for Lind.

      All they’ve crossed out from that list is the catcher, who will make pretty much exactly what was earmarked to JP. Meanwhile, plenty of interesting options, including all of the free agent second baseman, have come off the board.

      Not to say the situation is dire or anything, but it definitely seems to me like the plan is “1) Get pitching, 2) upgrade elsewhere with the leftover money” which would indicate there is some sort of cap.

      • It could go either way.
        But I lean towards AA will get what he wants, as long as it gets spent responsibly.
        Too much money has been spent, to develop the new content on SN, to put a strict restriction on the budget.

        I do think that they’ve been careful about long term deals that may or may not affect the team’s moves in future years.

        • Define “spent responsibly” in MLB today.

        • Hey RADAR, following up on your tech advice for dummies yesterday, do you know reliable sites streaming Raptor games? I have to get my mind off the Jays, the inaction is killing me. day. after. day. after. day.

          • @FTLOM

            I’ll preface this by saying,I’m no expert ( thanks for the kind words).Most of what I’ve learned is by fellow commenters at DJF
            I’m sure somebody with more knowledge will respond.
            That said,most of the streaming sites also stream other sports.
            I watched the last UFC streamed live.
            I know a guy who keeps offering movies that are yet to be shown in the theaters.
            Supposedly,the new Wahlberg movie is great.
            Too bad my old Magnavox consol doesn’t have a USB port.

      • Fair points Brett but I don’t see the inaction by AA on the FA’s that have been signed as him having been handcuffed. Of the guys that have signed the only one’s that I could see having been usefull fits were the catchers McCann and Ruiz.

        Ruiz got a shit tonne. (though I still would have loved Chooch in Blue)
        McCann got a truckload, though I think it was a fair deal. There is a fair bit of risk in both those guys. So, if you are AA, and you really want to improve the team, and you are confident in your offense then you HAVE to earmark your funds for pitchers.
        The Jays can be successful with above average pitching and replacement levels at C and 2B. The Jays absolutely can’t be successful with above average seasons at second and Catcher and then have replacement level pitching.

        Pitching is and should be the top priority, The only priority in my opinion.

        • Maybe no hard cap but he cant just go have a payroll of 250M for example. Spend responsibly means not spending way more than revenue and operating the business at a big loss not get te right player at the right value. The 150-155M rumour was from Beeston/AA no? THat is likely the “soft” cap becuase otherwise there would be way to much risk of losing substantial money. Rogers will back the team financially but they arent going to throw money into a losing venture and baseball operations is in the loop enough to not think they can go ask for the moon and have the team lose a ton of money.

          • They obviously believed in this team enough to allow last years increased expenditure, it’s just against all rational thought that they would not allow further improvement.
            I’ll need a link to any further suggestion that 150 million came from Beeston. It doesn’t seem logical and I don’t personally remember him saying it.

            • Right they bumped to ~120M last year and already at ~135M for this year. 150-155 would be a big bump from 120 last year already. Never know but maybe a 155+ shouldn’t be expected. Didnt see any direct quotes from AA or Beeston about payroll just people citing rumours / them saying that – Stoeten included.

          • They can afford way more than $150M. They talk about tying it to revenue, but they’re not going to bankrupt themselves going way higher.

            • But it may not be a sound business investment to go beyond some number whether it is 150 or 170 or 200 or whatever they determine. I’m sure they are considering all the angles at play and at the end of the day there is some limit beyond which they deem it is not a good investment. And that limit is in flux as revenues are in flux and correlate to winning (presumably) and opportunity to sign players and evaluation of that correlating to winning leaves for some wiggle room or soft cap.

            • I dont follow Stoeten you seemed to contradict yourself. You say they can go way higher but wont bankrupt themselves. They are not likely to decide to bankrupt themselves so cant go way higher. OR maybe you are saying the front office has the leeway to take a big risk and potentially bankrupt themselves.

  19. imagine being this guy.. choosing the city and team that will pay you millions upon millions.. must be nice to have a good fastball.

  20. Toronto Blue Jays owner Rogers Communications has signed a “multi-, multimillion-dollar deal” to broadcast baseball in Canada for eight more years. The agreement includes 300 games and rights to offer the 24-hour MLB Network to its cable customers.


    • sorry, just realized this was yesterday’s discussion ….
      i won’t hit my head on the door on my way out.

  21. as of this moment, whats our payroll ? 110? 120 ? don’t recall where the 150 figure came from either…..??

    • 2014 payroll is at about $122 million right now. Add arbitration raises for guys like Rasmus and it’s probably in the $135 million range.

      I think it was Beeston who mentioned the $150 number, but I could be wrong about that.


      • if its 135, and 150, then what the hell are we talking to Tanaka for ??? even with 150 as a soft ceiling, it is a challenging scenario financially

        • Because even if it’s a hard cap at $150, which I don’t believe it is, there are plenty of moving pieces.

          Adding Tanaka could let you move a bottom of the rotation guy like Happ, dropping the payroll back down to $150ish.

          There are countless scenarios where the Jays can add Tanaka and hold payroll at $150 million. They might not be ideal, but they’re possible.

          • good point, although Happ himself doesn’t make enough to really mitigate a major expenditure. My comment was a bit facetious and rhetorical….like everybody else, I know virtually nothing about what front office will do, or has the latitude to do.

            • If the Jays were capped at $150 million (and I don’t believe they are) and are currently at $135 million, then signing Tanaka for $20 million would put then $5 million over. Happ makes just over $5 million in 2014.

              • 13.5M of the posting fee paid out this year according to comment above with the other 6.5 in 2015 would have to factor into payroll too.

                That said can always front load contract and/or move some depth pieces (Happ 5M Rogers ~2.5M) or even try to trade Buehrle 18M while signing Tanaka and Santana/Jiminez and stay within the 150M as someone commented yesterday (well they proposed signing all 3 actually).

    • Maybe I’m connecting dots that aren’t there but from the little comments Beaston and AA have made saying things like “the money will be there when needed” and “money wasn’t a factor in that decision”, I think that Rogers plan to spend with the big boys. It’s entirely plausible that in order to follow through on the promises of success Rogers has made that they would spend up to the luxury tax in the right circumstances.

      I mean, why are we all assuming they would go to 150 and that’s it. They are spending hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading all of their franchises, why would they give a hard cap when they know they will still be highly profitable and only more so if the Jays win.

      • And the Jays probably have the best foundation for success at the moment. A big signing or two could easily put them over the top.

      • It has to hinge on revenue to some degree? Front office was saying payroll jump will follow revenue gains up until last year before the trade. The trade bumped payroll before the revenue gains and its going up again now but how much justified by revenue gains last year? Maybe no hard cap but front office could really be putting their jobs on the line if they spend too much more and it doesnt result in winning –> revenue. Rogers isn’t going to keep bumping payroll forever if the team is losing and they are losing money. But I hope they do go “out on a limb” payroll does get bumped, Jays win and high payroll is sustained into the future.

  22. Just listened to the Switzer interview, made me laugh he talks like Owen Wilson.

  23. Holy shit, how big would the buzz be if we actually got this guy?

    • I would estimate about 1/10 the buzz of last years offseason trades and aquisitions

      • If the Jays sign Santana and call it an offseason, yeah 1/10 the buzz.

        But I think people would go bananas over Tanaka. Aside from the face that he’s young and supposedly good, stars coming over from japan always capture the imagination over here.

  24. You have to wonder if not having over $10M in dead money between the Wells trade and Romero would make a signing easier, especially in the short term. The Jays only have $27M committed to 5 players in 2016, most of which is Reyes.

    • Cot’s doesn’t show Wells’ money on the books still.

      • Found it here. Cots is obviously more reputable, so I’ll agree. $7.75M is still a fair bit of money that could make things a little worrisome, but shouldn’t make them even close to being hamstrung.

      • Depends how Rogers/Blue Jays accountants amortized the amount they paid the Angels to take him off their hands. Wouldn’t be surprised if, for accounting purposes, they were still cutting a check of some kind to the Angels. But I would be blown away if it was $10MM considering we only sent $5MM to the Angels in the trade and teams aren’t allowed to pay their players’ salaries over the course of 10 years or whatever because that would be incredibly illegal.

        • He said a combined $10 million + of romero and wells. $7.5 or something from romero and wells dead money was $3,642,857. Not $10 million for just wells.

    • If you consider the options and current/future arbitration for the core players on the current team it is more like 125M committed for 2016.

      If lots of the options aren’t picked up or arb eligbile players get less then the team isn’t likely in contention / rebuilding and cant support a high payroll. Or they had to replace that production with FA likely making more or young guys via trade maybe making less. Farm isn’t stocked with near MLB ready stars to replace them – they can maybe replace the current non core players not mentioned below adequately

      Options: 52M
      Bautista 14M, EE 10M, Dickey 12M, Lind 8M, Santos 8M,

      Young players – Estiamte 33M
      Rasmus –> Assume 15M if he signs extension
      Cecil –> Final year arb ~6M
      Dalembar –> 2nd year arb ~ 4M
      Lawrie –> 2nd year arb ~5M
      Loup –> 1st year arb ~ 3M

      Then consider there are 13 other roster spots making at least 0.5M and some in arb so estimate ave of >1M = 15M

      26 + 52 + 33 + 15 ~ 125M

      Sign Tanaka and that is up to 145M,

  25. He’s going to get overpaid. Which is going to mean there is going to be no room for him to be anything besides elite.

  26. If they are going to sign Tanaka , or anyone else, I hope they have hedged against a precipitous fall in the Candadian Dollar. Last month went it fell to .9488 I mentioned how the , at that time, drop of 8pts in one year was adding .over 1m per year for both Reyes and Buerhle. The drop today to .9188 has added another 600k for each for ONE year.
    This iis NOT good folks as their revenue is in $CDN and expenses are $US. They have taken about an 11% haircut since last Jan when all looked well in this country.
    My point being aprolonged drop in our dollar IS going to impact the BJs business negatively. Even hedging with foward contracts can only protect them for so long.
    It may not be on top of AA’s mind at the moment, but rest assured some Director of Finance somewhere is lloking at it very closely. I know we don’t normally talk business here so much but I got to raise the caveat before we get our hopes too high.
    Having said that, give Tanaka the dough, then buy more futures contracts

    • It’s not good for the Jays. In general it’s maybe not the worst.

      Anyway, it’s Rogers, clearly they’re aware. Projected to go down to like .88 USD in the next year or two, or something?

      • Cant help but think if GW Bush was still around the US economy wouldnt be so strong.

      • Sure hope that is wrong,but the signs are clearly negative at the moment, partly because that new fuck at the BofC says he has no intention of raising interest rates. Funny how when the $ was a buck they said they couldn’t do it cause the $ would rise and now that we are tanking they could do it and maybe only get a goose back to .94. Fuckin liars all of em. Anywty check out zerohedge for how we are being fucked royally.
        Keep up the good work on the Jays and hopefully I’ll have some player transactions to yak about soon instead od depressing finance numbers! Can’t help it, after not ever making it as a player all I ever learnt how to do was count it. ( Became an accountant when a 83mph fastball wouldn’t cut it, plus control waas wonky-not good)

        • For Jays its negative yes but not for all the exporters selling stuff to America particulaily oil. I’m not complaining that interest rates aren’t climbing! Much more comes into play with interest rate than Canadian dollar worth vs American and low dollar is good for economy and all most of us. Look at China that is how they have become an economic power house by deflating their dollar.

          • Please don’t discuss a topic about which you know fuck all. China with a dollar? I think not. You admire red china like asswipe Trudeau, with the lack of human rights and slave labour? Is this where you think we should be headed as a country , content to just subsist from day to day while the leaders live in extravagance? Do some reasearch so you don’t come off as a dolt!
            There has not been oNE country in history that became GREAT while having a WEAK currency.
            Now, a
            back to the game

            • Overreact much? Especially since Nick is kind of right. A weak currency makes a country’s exports more desirable since the purchasing power of the foreign buyer is greater (i.e.. it costs less of their currency to make the purchase in the weaker currency).

              China’s artificially devalued currency is definitely one of the reasons they became an economic superpower (no, I’m not going to dispute the human rights issues, child labour, etc., because that’s definitely real too).

            • Fukstik you have some angst!

              I know a little about what I am talking about as it is Economics 101 and the issue has nothing to do with Chinese human rights and labour issues. There is a current example of a country becoming an economic powerhouse by devaluing its currency – China. The international community is trying to stop them from doing it – do some research. Maybe evaluate your education and knowledge of something before putting someone else down.

            • The only person that looks dumb here is you fukstik. It is a fact that China has manipulated its currency in order to keep it artificially low, thereby increasing the attractiveness of its exports. It is also a fact that a lower CDN dollar benefits exporters here. The rising dollar was not part of any plan of the Bank of Canada, but an unplanned result of the financial crisis. The Province of Ontario has suffered as a result of these changes, so I have no doubt a lower CDN dollar will be largely welcomed in this Province. As for your comments about human rights, I highly doubt anybody admires China for its human rights record. Not sure why your mentioning Trudeau, but if you paid attention to the news, you’d know Harper has bent over for China repeatedly. Frankly you sound either really young and uninformed, or possibly just a victim of Faux News.

              • typical leftist clown. When our dollar fell to .63 did we sell anymore?? No, we didn’t. Will the US buy more OIL if our dollar falls?No, because it is priced in $us you mutts-it just gives the oil companied more profit. Anyway, for you and Nick, I’ll get right on that education and learn something about finance.BTW, I have a CFA degree in addition to being a CMA but by all means , educate me on the FX market

                • Finance and macro economics are two entirely different disciplines. Finance is about allocating assets and liabilities for individual entities while macro economics is about behaviour, analysis and manipulation of an entire economy considering the mass effect of many individual events on the overall system. Taking a finance perspective on macro economics doesn’t make any sense.

                • Since you’re calling everyone out here, what, pray tell, is a CFA degree? Because anyone who knows it knows to call it a CFA designation, or that you are a CFA charterholder…

        • Are you Bill Caudill?

    • I have said this a few times before, companies like Rogers have multi-year hedge programs in place to even out the fluctuations in the currencies they deal in. I remember having this argument the last two years with people here. Last year the smart guy was saying Rogers were idiots for hedging because the dollar was strong. All you have to do is look at a company’s A/R to find out what they do.

      • haha I missed that argument, but only an idiot would suggest Rogers or any other company with currency risk shouldn’t hedge against shifts in the CDN dollar. There is absolutely no doubt that Rogers has a comprehensive financial plan in place to deal with this.

  27. Another factor to consider when discussing the financial means of AA is what he has been allowed to spend internationally the last 4 years prior to this new cap.
    The Jays have been at or near the top getting Hechavarria, Barreto, Osuna, Tirado, Lugo….etc

    None of that is added into the yearly salary numbers that we have all been discussing yet he has been approved to spend lavishly on International Free Agents. So again, a finite amount of funds doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Totally. I’ve always thought of the $150-million number we’re hearing as the same kind of number as the $105-million we heard in retrospect about last year, which they blew past when the right opportunity arose. Perhaps Tanaka is sellable as “the right opportunity”. Ubaldo and Santana maybe not, but they look like they’d fit under the $150M cap.

      • Also, these moves do not occur in a vacuum. Spending on tanaka means you dont have to trade prospects .like stroman or sanchez. ….they can then be cheap back of the rotation guys on the team for several years while possibly performing at a mid to upper rotation level.

        Now if you dont sign tanaka..and end up trading these cheap prospects..you have to
        1. pay for the salary of the expensive guy you are likely acquiring.

        2. likely pay for the salary of another , less heralded..but still likely to be relatively expensive , starting pitcher …

        so you can sign tanaka for 20 million a year.and have stoman and sanchez..or you can trade stroman or sanchez or both..and pay two lesser veteran pitchers 20 -25 million total.

    • And the amateur draft the Jays spent a lot in recent past.

  28. I agree that I don’t think there’s a firm ceiling in place–maybe not even that much of a soft ceiling in fact. Although the perception that it does exist kind of helps to keep negotiations from spiralling out too far into the wide blue yonder. I sometimes wonder if, say, the free-spending Yankees paid more than they needed to on some free agent players because the other side started very high from the get go.

    • I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right on that. AA clearly doesn’t want perceptions and expectations– both from inside the game and from the fans– to get out of whack, and I think he learned a hard lesson on Darvish that we’re now seeing the response to. Maybe acting so quickly last year was a different way to respond to it, even.

      • True, but I think there were a lot of events that played into last off-season. I was as happy as anyone else about The Trade and so on. But this off-season I would rather nothing was done than the wrong players were brought in. I know the Jays need a second base and a pitcher, but they don’t need just any 2nd base guy and they need the right pitcher. We might have to wait on both but I’d rather that then rush it and/or overpay.

    • But if there isn’t a ceiling, where were they on Cano and McCann? Especially McCann who was had rather reasonably I thought? Or is Tanaka the only guy they’d make an exception for based on age?

      • Agreed. Seemingly not even having interest in McCann from what we can tell indicated there is a soft cap and available money is earmarked for SP. Cant be denied that McCann would have been big big upgrade for the team and not an exteremly long term commitment either. Catchers like this in their prime rarely hit the FA market and was big need for the team. Who knows maybe they didn’t like his physicals or he simply wouldnt sign with Jays for a reasonable amount.

        • Definitely possible that they were interested but he simply had Yankee fever, hence the small discount (in my mind) he gave them.

        • Purely conjecture, but based on his “protecting the national pastime” shtick (and the fact that he’s from Georgia), I don’t think he had any interest in playing for a team based in (gasp) Canada that plays on (double gasp) artificial turf. He probably had a boner for a team like the Yanks with the history and the traditions and the stripes and whatever.

  29. You can’t help but think that Darvish’s success makes Tanaka all the more appealing…

  30. On the Klaw chat, Keith gave this response regarding possible pitching for the Yanks:

    “Santana’s not a great fit, Garza’s medicals are apparently scaring teams off, and I have no idea what to make of Ubaldo.”

    Yet when I asked him

    “If Anthopolous can only sign one of Santana or Usbaldo assuming all other factors equal, whom should he choose?”

    Klaw (1:25 PM)

    Ubaldo. Higher beta makes more sense for them, where a pitcher who’s worth 4 WAR is worth maybe three times as much as a guy who’s worth 2 WAR.

    I’m confused Stoeten, help me out here.

    • No clue on that one.

      • Yeah, he’s just saying that Ubaldo has a bigger range of outcomes (could be amazing, could be awful) than Santana. For what they need, it’s much better to spend on a guy who could turn into a 5 WAR pitcher than one who might max out at 3 WAR, even if the latter also has a better chance of being “okay.”

    • I take it to mean that essentially Ubaldo has high volatility (“no idea what to make of” him) but that his high end is higher than Santana’s, so he’s the kind of risk the Jays need to take. It kind of makes sense too, given where the Jays are on the win curve. If a 2 WAR pitcher gets them to 88 wins and a 4 WAR pitcher gets them to 90 wins, then the 4 WAR pitcher is worth a whole lot more than twice the 2 WAR pitcher.

      • Agreed. The Jays have the depth of mediocre pitchers to fall back on so the high upside guy is more worth the risk because of that too.

    • I think hes talking about where they are on the win curve. Taking the guy with the upside for 4 WAR makes the move one that potentially puts them over the top. Picking Santana, who’s a safe bet to give you 2 WAR but unlikely to give you more, is probably not enough to take them where they want to go.

    • In finance anyway beta means “how much a stock will move compared to the overall market”. Like if the market goes up 10%, some stocks have more beta and go up 15%. Or have less beta and only rise 5%.

      Don’t ask me what that has to do with pitching though.

  31. I hope I’m wrong, but think of things from Tanaka’s perspective. In his mind he’s probably already envisioned himself playing for an historic franchise in a world class city like New York or L.A. In his Japanese mind, does Toronto even rate? Even if the Jays offer more moolah, I bet it wouldn’t matter. AA would have to do the sell-job of a lifetime to get him here.

    • I fear you are very much correct, and even as a place to win, the first thing Tanaka’s group is gonna do is look at last year’s standings and poop: the Jays ain’t gonna look very good. I doubt theyll care about projected WAR standings or care two shits about why the Jays were terrible or their chances of a bounceback. Their gonna have to offer a lot more dough or do one hell of a sell job. Be prepared for Jimenez.

  32. I cannot envision a scenario in which Tanaka spurns any of the “big name” cities like NY or Los Angeles or Chicago….but maybe that’s the inherent inferiority complex of Jays’ fans that never get to be on top of any free agent’s wish list.
    All I hope is that they’ve offered a competitive bid, so AA doesn’t get a new one reamed out by the guys who will (invariably) moan that the Jays pussied out on the big contract.

  33. Maybe AA should get his Montreal Greek Homey gear on and bring Drake down to meet Tanaka.

    Apparently Drake was somewhat instrumental for TFC in signing Tottenham Spur Dafoe who is apparently a fan.

  34. Really I’m not optimistic that the Jays can win this bidding war unless they do something unique.

    About the only thing I can think of is a large signing bonus up front, say $ 100 million, then 3 to 5 million/ year over 5 seasons.Also I believe bonus money is handled beneficially by revenue Canada compared to other jurisdictions.

    Obviously this would have luxury tax implications, but if anybody could do it, Rogers being the largest corporation in MLB may be better positioned to pull something like this off.

  35. Dumb.

    • He is leaving japan to play in the major leagues. not to play in the US.

      you can also spin it like this to him.

      hey tanaka…you already are a hero in japan. ..if you sign with an american team..you will be a hero in japan and that US city.

      if you sign with jays..you will be a hero in japan and a hero in all of canada.

  36. Dear OriLoLes,

    How unfortunate that your team has not even been mentioned in connection with Tanaka. It must be frustrating. So sorry.

  37. @oriLOLes: Go shit in your hat.

  38. Word out of New York that A-Rod might be willing to accept
    any suspension that is 100 games or less,
    and that a decision might come as soon as tomorrow

    Also, Verlander had surgery on a “core muscle” this morning.
    He won’t make opening day.

  39. OriLOLes usual schtick.
    He strikes me as the kind of guy that wipes back to front after he takes a piss.

    • “Usual” is the absolute right word to be using. That post is an identical cut and paste of the last one he left .

  40. Are there any good Karaoke Bars in Toronto that we can sell him on??

  41. My offer to be Tanaka’s pet monkey still stands if he signs with the Jays.

  42. OMG Gibby said “dead hookers” on air referring to pull happy hitters


  43. Kenny Ken Ken and Jon Heyman reports are the only ones anybody should pay attention to.

    • Heyman is pretty much worthless until it comes down to rumors of a guy actually getting signed.

      • Fair point, but he’s often the first with the actual details on a contract, so he’s definitely plugged into something.

        So long as it’s not a Boras client, I find that he’s usually on the right path .

        Kenny Ken Ken is of course the gold standard in this racket.

  44. I’d hope after the PR mismanagement around the Yu Darvish situation that AA/Beeston would come out and say if we were definitively out on Tanaka – especially with the team coming up in these rumours.

    Rumours around Yu had the jays as the leader and it turned out to be a large disappointment when we didn’t land him.

  45. AA: Would you consider accepting a 5 or 6 year contract to come to Toronto?

    Tanaka: Fuck no, I can get 7 from New York, LA or Chicago for the same amount of money

    AA: Fuck it, we’ll trade Rasmus and a bullpen guy for pitching.

    • Generally if it’s for the “same amount of money” a player will take less years so they can hit free agency sooner and get paid again.

      Also, if you’re implying that the Jays wouldn’t go over 5 or 6 years to sign a 25 year old because of “the policy”, that’s incredibly stupid.

      • He obviously means AAV when he says same amount of money.

        • Oh it was obvious that “same amount of money” meant “an additional year at the same average annual value”? You’re right. I don’t know how I could have misread that, it was so obvious.

          Which brings me to my second point. Why is it assumed that the Jays wouldn’t tack on an extra year? The kid is 25 years old. If it’s because of “the policy” everyone seems to think Toronto won’t budge on, that’s fucking retarded.

          • It is obvious, if you run on the assumption that the commenter isn’t an idiot, because no FA would choose a 7 year offer for, say $120 million when he has 5/120 on the table.

            That’s why it’s obvious.

            As for the 5 or 6 year policy, it’s been pretty much shot down by AA already. He said something along the lines of being willing to go beyond that for the right player. A lot of this stuff is probably just AA and the Jays trying to keep agents from using the team to increase the market for their FA’s.

            • Never run on the assumption that a commenter isn’t an idiot. ;)

              And that’s exactly right. Which makes me wonder what the point of the original comment was. Like what was he trying to say? He’s implying that if every other club was offering him 7 years, the Jays would have nothing to do with it. And that seems like a pretty baseless assumption to make.

  46. Anyone see this pile of shit from Bill Madden, NY Daily News, Jan. 4:

    “Blue Jays

    Toronto needs at least two starting pitchers and so far has done absolutely nothing this winter. The Blue Jays, too, should be in on Tanaka but are not. They also need offensive upgrades at catcher, second base and left field and a healthy season from Jose Bautista. Right now they look like a last-place club.”

  47. “Jermain Defoe is expected to complete a £5million transfer to Toronto FC on Monday but will not link up with the MLS side until March.

    The 31-year-old Tottenham striker is said to have been persuaded to make the move by his friend, rapper Drake.

    The Canadian star is a big fan of his city’s sports teams and telephoned Defoe so he could talk him into making the switch.”

    Maybe MLSE could loan him out? Is Drake big in Japan?

    • As much as I’d like to roll my eyes and make the customary snide remark, this is a guy who makes a living working with major league hitters. Maybe, just maybe there’s something there.

    • Seitzer:

      “I’m looking forward to getting these guys to be complete hitters, and not just grip-and-rip home-run guys”


      • He can leave EE the fuck alone though.

        • We’ll let it slide w/ EE. Seriously though, I saw waaaaay too many examples of guys looking to go yard when it wasn’t necessary last year.

          anyone else excited to see if Goins can become something more than advertised ? That would be a huge bonus. Dude hit .252, and .310 at the very end of it….can’t be worse than the parade of mediocrity we’ve had there lately.

          • Excited – of course. Optimistic? – no.
            Yes, he definitely (and likely) could be worse than the ‘parade of mediocrity’

            • tell me the last GOOD 2nd baseman ?

              • Aaron Hill I guess…

                • But I’m not sure what that has to do with my original comment…

                • dude that 3-4 yrs ago…..

                  Emilio Bonifacio
                  Mark DeRosa(end of his career)
                  Maicer Izturis(done nothing remarkable for 4 yrs running now)
                  Kelly Johnson (2 good yrs in ATL)
                  Mike McCoy
                  John McDonald (barely an MLB hitter)
                  Omar Vizquel (end of his career)

                  • Either you’re missing my point, or I’m missing yours.
                    I am by no means arguing that the 2b position has been good for the Jays in the past few years. All I’m saying is Goins doesn’t stand much chance of being any better.

                    • point taken…..I’m merely trying to be optimistic here. And so are the Jays decision-makers, apparently. Maybe they’re slinging bullshit, I dunno. If he tanks, we got a problem then, because Izturis seems headed for a low plateau.

                      Kinda sad when 140 mill still leaves you with so many question marks……

                    • On that we agree. Though I’M optimistic that more changes are coming before ST.

                    • I’d love to know what AA is thinking just the same. It’d be interesting to see if just one wknd stint with Seitzer could help Goins’ problem with LHP. The article talked about fouling off inside pitches which has been a prob for the Jays for forever.
                      Also let’s not forget that Murphy went down to Colby’s house for some instruction and batting practice last winter before ST and the results were ok there.

      • Just out for a rip, are ya bud?

  48. Does anyone else think that he might not really be only 25 yrs old?

  49. Classic quote from Gibby today,

    “I always hava, a fire in my belly, ahh, err, well, there’s some cheese burgers in there too.”

    He’s a beauty.

  50. Pipe dream is dead, he’ll be a Dodger on Opening Day 2014.


  51. Why even post Jays and Tanaka in the same sentence. It’s not going to happen end of story.

    I’m very happy that AA does his due diligence, it’s made the team so much better.

  52. What counts as a discussion?
    AA – “Sign with us”
    Tanaka : “no”.
    AA : “C’mon…you’ll like us.”
    Tanaka “no”

    And if you do that a few times….is that “multiple discussions”?

    Tell you what – if he does sign in Toronto…I’ll have multiple orgasms.

    • Tell you what if he signs in Toronto I will give you multiple orgasms.

      I just can’t see it happening. For him to come here I think we would have to overpay to the point that it makes no sense.

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