tanakaAI

I’m perhaps a little more optimistic than most that the Jays might actually try in good faith to land Masahiro Tanaka, but I’m not delusional enough to actually think they’re going to land him — not with the Yankees and the Dodgers as determined as they appear to do so in their own right. [On Friday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted that the Dodgers would go "all-out" for Tanaka and "certainly won't be out-bid," only to completely walk back the suggestion later.]

In a way, then, I agree with the latest from Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, who tells fans not to get their hopes up about the Japanese star pitching in a Jays uniform next year. In another, more realistic way, though, the piece really grinds my gears, forcing me, as it does, to read yet more lazy utterances of the completely bogus suggestion that the Jays’ fake policy limiting contract length will have anything to do with the club’s pursuit of Tanaka ultimately ending up futile.

I hate to sound like a broken record on this [note: not really -- it's super easy!], but I find that I can’t not push back when I get so damn exasperated by stuff like this:

It will be easy for teams to plunk down $20 million to buy their way into the bidding. It won’t be easy to sign him as he will command a seven-year contract, one he will get, with maybe 10 teams interested.

And the Blue Jays, while they like Tanaka — and scout Danny Evans, former Chicago White Sox general manager, has seen him pitch — are not into seven-year deals, rightly or wrongly.

Once again, the suggestion that the Jays’ supposed insistence (though they’ve already admitted it’s bendable!) on not offering deals of that length has anything to do with what will likely ultimately be their inability to sign Tanaka is a giant steaming load. I can’t fathom why so many people are willing to simply swallow the company line on it.

Sure, in the way that it’s usually discussed, adding years to deals implies that money is being added too. When you hear a report that a GM was willing to do a four year deal with a player but wouldn’t add the fifth year, clearly the idea is that it would have been an extra year at similar money. So, OK, if the Jays’ “policy,” dubious as it is to begin with, is bound to the same notion of added years meaning added money — or being the only way to add significant money, as it’s often presented — then a self-imposed limit to contract length obviously does have real world implications on the club’s ability to sign top free agents. It’s just that those implications have zero to do with term, and everything to do with money. Talking about this in terms of term is utterly pointless– not to mention, at this point, interminable.

If Tanaka was determined to take the most total money — as free agents generally are, give or take a few peripheral factors — and the Jays were willing to offer him more money than any other club, they would acquire him, whether they artificially imposed on themselves a seven-year limit, a five-year limit, a three-year limit, or a one-year limit. The contract may end up having an unusually high average annual value (which would have luxury tax implications for a team like the Jays, if they had ever been close to spending enough to reach that stratum), but there is no way that it couldn’t — or wouldn’t — be done.

Once again, it’s impossibly simple. Once again, we shouldn’t be so willing to allow the club to use the excuse.

Elsewhere in the piece Elliott says he has a source that tells him “Tanaka wants to go to a World Series, wants a city where his family will feel at home since they don’t speak English. He has a desire to be on a team with potential to win and loves the pressure.” He also compares the current process to the Yu Darvish circus and, refreshingly, points out that Jays fans got so lathered up two years ago based not on shady, groundless internet innuendo or blog-fuelled speculation — as I feel is sometimes is the characterization — but by people from “credible” organizations like the Dallas Morning News (and, though unnamed, the New York Post, as well).

That’s all pretty terrific, interesting, valuable stuff for his readership, I’d say — though it’s not necessarily good for the Jays’ chances of landing him.

Perpetuating the myth about The Policy, and not total money, being the concern when it comes to the club’s chances of making a serious bid for Tanaka, however, helps nobody. Except maybe Rogers and the Jays themselves, who apparently would rather be skewered for their strict adherence to a silly supposed self-imposed rule than for lacking the funds or the wherewithal to throw in more good money after so much of last year’s spending went bad.

Comments (100)

  1. It’s the fuckin Toronto Sun.

  2. You know we’re just going to end up with a ginormous case of blue balls here.
    The prom queen isn’t gonna dance with you…….let alone go home with you.
    But you gotta give ‘er the old college try, right?

  3. If “The Policy” does actually exist, I’m pretty sure that it would only apply to players who you would expect to decline by the end of the contract, not to a 24 year old.

  4. Of course the Jays are making a serious run at Tanaka. The issue, however, probably isn’t whether the Jays would accept a 7 year contract but rather whether they would accept anything much shorter.

    My thought is that Tanaka would probably like a long-term contract with one or more opt out clauses. The winning team has to amortize the $20 million over the life of the contract so if Tanaka were to opt out after 2 or 3 years the annual costs are very high.

  5. I’ve learned to just ignore anything that comes from Bob Elliott.

  6. So if I understand this correctly, and create a correlation with my own employment situation some people think it goes something like this:
    Employer A offers me an eight hour shift for $15/hr and I’m thinking ‘Score! That’s a full day’s work!’
    But then employer J comes along and says we’ll give you $20/hr for a six hour shift and I’m supposed to say ‘No thanks, I was really hoping for a full day’s work?’

    • Your analogy is weak. Of course rubes like us want a shorter work day for more money.

      We assume that Tanaka wants to work at his job until he is unable to continue. Let’s say, 40.

      So if he’s already earmarked those years to playing pro-ball, then it’s just a matter of structuring his contract years strategically.

      Does he sign long-term for security? Or short term and hope for another bazinga.

      • Disagree, I think the analogy is sound. If there are two contracts of equal overall value, one for 7 years and one for 5 years, why wouldn’t he take the one for 5 years and look to capitalize off of another FA contract while still in his prime years when the 5-year contract is done?

      • Granted, it’s a huge over-simplification. But the amounts work out to $120 either way. Why work more for the same money? If he wants to work until he’s 40 that’s great but his odds of working until then don’t change with a 5 or 7 year contract now. And his career earnings can only be helped by signing a shorter contract with a higher AAV now and then diving back for more when it expires.

        • Making the jobs equal pay in the long run is what throws me off.

          Instead, let’s say A) $15 per hour for a 40 hour work week, vs. B) $20 per hour for two 8 hour days, plus the *possibility* of further work afterward.

          If choosing B), at the end of your 2 days, would you be able to find further work? If you sucked, got hurt, etc, you will have damaged your future income. If you excelled, etc.you will have improved them. Not to mention positive/negative market factors, supply vs. demand, etc.

          • Yeah but having the money equal is the only thing that parallels reality here because as Stoeten said and experience has shown us, he’s going to take the most money (plus or minus some peripheral stuff). So it isn’t the same at all as two 8 hour days at $20 instead of four 8 hours days at $15. The analogy only mirrors reality when the total money is the same.

            • (that should read “five 8 hour days”)

            • It don’t think you can assume he’ll just take the most money. But he’ll almost definitely take the best available combination of money and years.

              If a team went and knocked his socks off, offering him something like 4 years/$100 million, and the contract that offered the most money was something like 7/125, it’d be pretty foolish to take the 7 year offer.

              At least that’s how I see it.

          • i dunno, you’re kind of moving the goal-posts on the original comment, aren’t you? i mean, the whole argument is that IF there is some arbitrary ’5-yr limit’ to the term, the jays can, in theory, overcome that by making the total value of the deal the same as it would be on a 7-yr deal, via a higher AAV.

            5 yr for $100 ($20M AAV)
            7 yr for $100 (~$14M AAV)

            i’m not sure there’s a coherent argument to be made that option 1 isn’t better; same total money, but he enters FA at a younger age, when snagging another huge, perhaps even longer term deal would be more likely.

            • Apologies, I had no idea that “same money, shorter term” was the baseline argument. That is a very, very simple decision to make. So much so that I shifted the goalposts to ground it closer to reality.

              I assumed the Jays argument was “Ok, here’s a lot more money PER, but less total years, and less total-total. But hey! You can cash in again while the iron is still hot.”

              I mean, to give AA freedom to match a total value, but then RESTRICT HIM TO 5 YEARS is just absurd.

              Apologies for hijacking original comment.

            • Yes. Making the same amount of money for less time working is the preferable option for literally everyone on Earth. There is not a person alive who would choose 7 years/100 mil over 5 years/100 mil (based on numbers alone. Not including factors like location/team etc).

              How could you argue otherwise? Pretty straightforward.

  7. If he wants a city where his family, as non-English speakers, can be comfortable then Toronto has to be at the top of that list.

    • Have you been to New York, Chicago, Southern California?

      • I have. Toronto is just as fun/cool/exciting. Especially if you have money to fly away in the winter anyway.

        And we’re safer.

        Do I expect him to think that? No, not really.

      • Yes, I’ve been to all 3 for multiple visits, not that that is the basis for my comment. I’d easily put Toronto ahead of Chicago, they are neck and neck with New York depending on how upbeat your lifestyle is. if you’re a little more laidback Toronto is better. The LA area is probably #1 if you’re a Japanese immigrant to North America which is why I think the Dodgers will ultimately get him but then they’d also have the advantage for every Japanese, Korean and Mexican free agent and they can’t get all of them. If this were based on who has the best Little Tokyo then the San Francisco Giants and even Oakland A’s should be competitive with big ones in SF and San Jose.

    • Well, assuming you’re not trying to make some kind of tasteless joke, I think it would help if there were a lot of Japanese speaking people in Toronto. LA for example, has a Little Tokyo. Toronto has a tiny Japanese shopping centre in the burbs, a few Japanese restaurants run by actual Japanese people instead of Koreans, the Japanese Cultural Centre at Bay and Bloor, and Sanko on Queen street, but that’s about it.

  8. I can’t understand why a 24 year old WOULDN’T want 5-6 years of higher AAV, putting him back in FA a year earlier (ergo, closer to his prime).

    • Longer security. What if he gets hurt? What if he sucks?

      • What if salaries have gone up and he’s forfeiting a chance to be on the market earlier?

        There are what ifs all over the place. If he sucks, he is still pocketing, presumably, same or more money over less years. At MLB mad money salaries, we’re talking money that will set up your grandkids already. If money is the key thing and you neutralize it with higher AAV, the team sacrifices payroll space for the security that the guy won’t be on the books for an extra two years if his arm blows up, etc.

        For the pitcher, he is already insured against the arm blowing up by making a shit ton of money whether it happens in year one or year four.

    • u get 6 years of control no matter what I think, but even still he’s 25, so he’ll get more on this deal than any other one he signs after turning 30.

  9. Rotoworld has this report out of Japan.
    http://www.rotoworld.com/headlines/mlb/417514/report-yanks-dodgers-halos-lead-for-tanaka
    Have not seen it substantiated anywhere else, but it makes sense.
    The Yankees are the Yankees and living in California is not a tough sell.
    Both the Dodgers and the Angels offer a chance to win.

  10. As far as “The Policy” goes its “horseshit” because Stoeten says it is.

    Beeston has been President for 10 years (in two separate terms)
    and has always maintained such a policy exists.
    But Stoeten says he’s lying.

    AA recently said they “might” be able to go “six” years.
    He must be lying too.

    Every major newspaper columnist acknowledges its existence.
    But they’re all wrong.

    And the fact that in Beeston’s 10 year tenure as President,
    Blue Jays have awarded exactly ZERO contracts of more than five years
    cannot be taken as evidence that the policy exists.

    Its horseshit because Stoeten says it is…evidence be damned.

    • Beeston ” has always maintained such a policy exists”. Sources?

      • You have to be kidding.
        Any one of a hundred radio interviews over 10 years.

        • No, not kidding. I’ve never heard Beeston categorically say the Jays would not sign a pitcher for more than 5 years. Evidently Stoeten didn’t hear him say that either.

          • Actually, if you go back far enough, Beeston has said that they
            prefer (or preferred) not to sign a position player for more than five years
            or a pitcher for more than three years.

            That goes back to his first tenure as President ’91-’97
            but I have not heard that for a while.

            As for links to sources, I have no idea where to find old radio interviews
            or in which interviews he made the statements.

            Maybe you just have to be old
            but not old enough to forget where you put your pants.

    • http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-five-year-club-policy-is-flexible/

      “Alex Anthopoulos has some wiggle room. Though the Toronto Blue Jays general manager would prefer not to sign players to contracts of more than five years, he has the flexibility to do so.”

      So to me this sounds like an organizational preference, rather than a policy.

  11. I really can’t see the Dodgers not signing him. Location, ability to win, history with Japanese pitchers, money, they have all the ingredients. Just as long as it isn’t the fucking Yankees. So Dodgers, sign him and let the rest of the peasants fight over the sloppy seconds

    • Ditto. LAD sign him, he isn’t in our division (or even league), Yankees don’t get him, we can move on to the other free agents.

  12. Am I the only one around here who just wants the Tanaka stuff to end so that the rest of the free agent SPs can sign?

    We’re not getting Tanaka. But we WILL get one of the FAs.

    (At least I hope to god we do)

    • yeah but its fun to dream (girlish sigh)

    • I am getting to that point. I was one of the extreme “Darvish to the Jays” suckers last time around. Short of seeing him sitting at a Jays news conference I won’t be buying anything that’s being sold about him. For now I would love for anyone in the NL to get him, have the Jays sign Ubaldo and trade for a good 2nd baseman.

    • I agree. However, am also concerned. I think that one of the things which seems now to be happening is that the remaining free agent pitchers other than Tanaka are getting built up in everyone’s minds – many people now take for granted that it will be a good thing when toronto signs one of them. No one seems to question anymore whether it is a good idea to do so. To me, based on their track record in recent years, it would not be at all surprising for one of them to come into an ackcnowledged home run ballpark like rogers centre and be a huge bust. But I guess that is the risk which you take.

  13. I think you’re separating dollars and years too much here, basically saying that the length of contract is irrelevant because they can just throw more money on a shorter deal. That’s just not going to be realistic. How much more money are they seriously going to add to make it worth it for Tanaka to drop presumably several 7 year offers in order to take 5 from the Jays? With more years comes more money, the 2 are largely tied. At the end of the day, it’s extra years, not extra dollars that separates offers. The Jays won’t even be in the ballpark if they’re sticking at 5 years, unless they want to offer 30M a year on top of the posting fee. It’s not happening.

    • And I’m not trying to be some negative shithead, I just think that all things considered, there is zero chance that Tanaka ends up here. And for the price he’s going to cost, that’s fine with me. The Jays had better be in on Santana or Jimenez though.

      • This was the first yawn-er in a very very log time. The only interesting thing is the map Sawyer found in the van. Could mean a much begigr Othersville complex than we think.Background about the characters, especially Hurley, is good. But we’ve seen his rags-to-riches background and bad luck before. No real eye openers.PS- In reference to the beer smelling/tasting bad, there’s a Stephen King short story called Gray Matters in which a guy drinks bad beer then transforms into a monster. He knows it’s bad when he opens it (doesn’t know what it will do to him) but drinks it anyway ’cause beer is beer. I don’t think Sawyer or Jing are going to becomer monsters. But I think it could be another nod reference to King stories.

    • More years does not equal more money, 5yrs 120million with the ability to hit the free agent market at 30 to hopefully cash in again would be actually greater than 7yrs 120 million and hitting the open market again at 32

      • No shit that 5 years for 120M is better than 7 years and 120m, but that’s just never going to happen. It happened with Cliff Lee because the Phillies are stupid.

        If you look at free agency this year, everyone has lots of cash and is willing to put up a large AAV on short contracts. The teams that have signed players so far are the ones who are willing to keep that high AAV and then add more years on top of that. That’s not going to change with Tanaka. Nobody is getting him on a 5 year deal.

        • i wouldnt say never, dodgers could offer him 5yrs 140 and the yanks can offer 7yrs 140, im not saying its likely but it could happen

          • Of course it could happen, and a team could sign him for 1 year and 140 million too. It’s just not going to happen, Phil Hughes got 3 friggin’ years! He’s going to get signed for at least 7 years and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees go to 8 years.

            • tanakas gettin 7 or 8 which isnt that much of a gamble considering he’s 25, but eventually teams have gotta learn these 10 year deals to 30 year olds are crippling and offer shorter deals with higher AAV

              • lol you’d think so, but they never seem to learn anything

              • i dunno, i think that there’s certainly a chance he gets some monster deal, but at the end of the day, i think the teams/GMs pursuing him will realize that they’re going after a guy who is, in reality, totally unproven. i get that the darvish comparos have ramped up lately, but the length/value of the contracts mentioned above seem pretty outrageous, and are based on the singular example of darvish working out, when there are other examples where a just-as-hyped japanese import gets a huge deal and, while decent for a short term, is now basically out of the league. it’s easy to assume that teams with seemingly no limit to resources will just break the bank, but every team has a limit.

              • When you sign a pitcher for 7-8 years, you never know what your going to have towards the end of that contract. Johan Santana signed 137.5 million 6 year deal at 29, pitched 1 full season, missed some time in the next two seasons, but still managed 600 innings(exactly) for his first three seasons. Then missed two out of three seasons with a grand total of 117 innings in that span. Now you can make the arguement that his great seasons were 25 through age 29 years, but he also didn’t have the early workload that Tanaka has had. You sign him for 8 years, and being a pitcher, he could give you three good seasons, or he could give you 7. Or he could give you one. It’s the lottery, and usually the back end of these deals are a wash. Halladay was paid in his last two seasons for what he did in the previous decade, but was anything but a 20 million dollar pitcher. As much as he would be a great addition, the chances of him living up to the cost of his contract is very unlikely, and even if you can sign him for a 5 year 150 million dollar contract, as mentioned, you would likely be giving a guy 2 million per win, if all goes well. And it could go bad…. very bad.

            • that i think I speak for most people beuscae after reading many of the comments on this site i felt that the general consensus was that the show needed to end sooner rather than later.4. Don’t use numbered paragrahs beuscae it feels like i am being told off by a schoolteacher.5. Please don’t put me in detention!

            • I’m really into it, thanks for this great stuff!

          • Baisy Mama sorry for the delayed rponsese you have probably already moved into the area and have become a neighborhood expert in the time it has taken me to answer your comment but just in case you aren’t an expert quite yet, you must must must make it to Flore and the vegan spot in silver lake as well as Home (which has one location in los feliz and one in silver lake). I could eat at those places five plus times a week. If you ever want some cheap Mexican my favorite taco stand is Machos Tacos on the corner of Prospect and Vermont in los feliz. Hope that helps! Welcome to the hood!

  14. Just sign santana and ubaldo trade happ and whatever else for more IF depth call it a day.

  15. I would take a 5 year deal and hit FA at 30 but that would be risky as he could tank and blow any value he has now. Still zero chance the jays land him unless they overpay drastically

  16. i dont believe the 5 year myth….but until AA signs someone past that….we can’t prove it one way or another……and every year that goes by without a 6 year plus deal to someone…..anyone….then the myth grows…..

    • how many 6+ year contracts are actually out there, though? i mean, they’re usually offered to/signed by guys who are among the game’s elite, and unless you haven’t noticed, they haven’t exactly been calling up AA asking to sign with TO, 5-yr ‘limit’ or not.

  17. The Yankees basically get out of taking Arod’s salary as far as the luxury tax right?

    And if LA wants this guy also… yike. Could cost (with posting fee) upwards of 140M.

    So my question is, for that kind of money couldn’t we get 2 of the top free agent pitchers (other than Tanaka)?

    Then trade away Happ and Romero for salary relief.

    • … whoever takes Romero will be taking him on the Jays dime .. there is no relief from that contract

      • Happ is worth a bit over his contract – the combination might mean you pay a bit, but still save a good chunk.

    • Whoever loses the Tanaka sweepstakes is immediately going to be in on Santana, Jimenez, Garza, and Price. Not getting Tanaka hardly guarantees you win any of the other guys.

  18. Pretty straight forward here. The front office isn’t comfortable drooping a ton of money on a long term deal and run the team that way. THe low risk is how Beeston runs the business. Top FAs demand long deals and piles of money – Jays aren’t in on that. Would pay high salary for a few years which they only will get with older veterans or guys on comebacks like Cabrerra and most of those want to play for a strong contender.

    Dont expect the Jays to ever sign a long term big money deal. Debate myth policy and meaning of term vs overall money – the front office philosphically does not take on risk like that

  19. I wouldn’t get too hung up on “policy”. Recent history has shown us that the Jays are willing to roll with the punches depending on the circumstance……

    http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111025&content_id=25789154&c_id=tor

  20. Some Thoughts:

    1. Until the Jays pay more for a free agent over the course of say 5 years than what the largest speculated bid for a team is over say 7 or 8 years, I’m going to assume that the Jays are not foolish enough to make such an deal. I get your point about a player taking the largest amount regardles of the length of contract, but it is theoretical nonsense that the Jays would pay a greater total amount over a short period just to keep a contract length something that they are comfortable with.

    2. “Jays might actually try in good faith to land Masahiro Tanaka” – I’m not even sure what this is supposed to mean? Are you saying that you believe the Jays will offer a contract competitive with the highest offer?

    3. “I’m not delusional enough to actually think they’re going to land him” – that’s not the impression I’ve got from reading your comments over the past little while. If you don’t think he’s going to sign with the Jays, that should be your message, otherwise you will just get a lot of fans hopes, which will only backfire and cause a lot more fans to get pissed off when he doesn’t sign. We don’t need that happening so it would have been better to make it clear that it is not happening and present more realistic options.

    All that said, the Jays will be fine and I believe it is in their best interest not to sign Tanaka, but what the hell do I know.

  21. “I can’t not push back” – please omit double negatives in your writting. It’s isn’t not exhausting to read.

    • Go away

      • MasterPo: You’d think everyone on the isnlad would be anxious about people walking around with guns and knives after what Michael did.How do they know the Kate and Sawyer weren’t brainwashed and sent back to spy on the Losties? After all, Michael did their bidding.My basic contention is that Lost would have worked out better as a 2-season, or 3-season at most, series. All these extra episodes reveal deficiencies such as why aren’t the Losties actively asking questions about the isnlad?As a study of human nature, it’s getting pretty wobbly.

  22. Wasn’t the policy 3 or 4 years deals for pitchers but max 5 years for everyday players. The only time AA went past that rule was with RR. I remember after that contract extension AA said that he had to go to Beaston and convince him to do it because RR was a special case.

    I think there are many more bad 7+ year deals than good ones. Adding club options allows a work around it but it will come at a price. Although it hurts not to be able to compete for upper end talent, I can understand the reluctance. If you are not going to participate in the upper end of free agency, you had better draft well and keep your young talent.

    • “Wasn’t the policy 3 or 4 years deals for pitchers but max 5 years for everyday players”

      I believe that was Beeston’s “policy” in the 80s and early 90s?

  23. I think the other thing to consider here is Tanaka’s age. The reason the Jays are generally not interested in long contracts is that they rarely work out for the club because they are paying for past performance and end up with multiple years for regression and declining skills.

    With Tanaka being 25, all of those considerations are off the table. Sure, there is the lack of MLB experience, but you’re still getting a pitcher in his prime throughout the entire contract, which is different than giving a 31-year-old 6 years at $20 million per.

  24. I guess when you have Romero and Wells both being paid millions to not be major league players at this point, it could make you gun shy.

    Thank God we are still not paying Wells.

    • I don’t recall that was ever confirmed.

      It was rumoured at the time to be a one time 5 or 10 mil payout to the Angels, but AA was animate about not disclosing that info.

      If the jays were still paying part of his salary in 2014 I would not be surprised.

      • If that is the case, and I doubt it, it would be awesome. Since the Angels and Yankees are on the hook for this year as well, that would be three different teams paying a player not to play. Awesome

      • Given Wells performance if I were the Angels GM( since they are still paying most of it) I would not be too shy about leaking that the Jays were on the hook for some of his contract. Usually with trades don’t they have to disclose money that will be exchanged along with players?

        • From the Angels perspective, it would actually make sense (if true) to keep it under wraps so that they can cry poor at their convenience.

        • My observations:1. I loved this edsoipe!!!!! It was very entertaining and brought back all of the great characters! I missed Sayid and Locke and Hurley and Charlie, etc.2. They need to kill off that new annoying couple ASAP. They drive me insane.3. I am so glad Rousseau is back! She is awesome. Do you think she thought her daughter was dead?4. I am glad the Sawyer that I love is back enough with the love story of James and Freckles. Sawyer and Kate are back notice the transformation once they got home. Love it!Overall, I loved this edsoipe. I love Hurley’s history and it was a nice, light edsoipe but did also bring intrigue and mystery. It was so great to see the beach family again! After last week, this edsoipe made me exclaim Lost is back!!! Woo hoo!

      • they liked it and am kind of disgusted. But this time auornd I gotta agree with them: it was a pretty good episode. I liked how they just threw the Easter eggs in our face and discarded them just as quickly: the blueprints, the paper with the writing on it next to the driver corpse . . . I literally had no expectations for this one since last week’s wasn’t so great, but I liked it. And Cheech as Hurley’s dad? How is that not awesome?The promise of what’s in next week’s episode is basically what has kept me from tuning out for the past couple of weeks, and the preview didn’t disappoint at all. I’m excited.

  25. And the Blue Jays, while they like Tanaka — and scout Danny Evans, former Chicago White Sox general manager, has seen him pitch — are not into seven-year deals, rightly or wrongly.

    Ok. Nowhere in that statement is there anything about a five year policy. He is simply stating they “are not into” seven year deals. In other words, they prefer not to dole them out .

    He is describing an organizational guidline / preference. Never said it was an immutable policy.

    You are not being fair in your contention that he is brining up this fictitious policy.

  26. I would venture to guess that Tanaka’s preference for his first MLB contract would be to end up in a pitcher friendly stadium. So that puts Dodger Stadium and to a lesser extent, Safeco right at the top of the list. Tanaka will get big money wherever he ends up, but I suspect he would allow one of those two teams (likely the Dodgers) the option to match the dollars from any other front-runner.

    Whether his contact is 5-6 or 7 years (or a hybrid opt-out), he’s still going to be young in his next round of free agency. Why wouldn’t he choose something more pitcher friendly? I know, teams will easily see through this logic, but it sure as shit can’t hurt him.

    West coast pitcher friendly parks seem to have the advantage. Now if only the Padres would pony up… ;)

  27. 5-year policy=$150M ceiling. They are useful perceptions in negotiations. In reality if the Jays are serious I’m sure they will offer whatever years/$$ they think will get ‘er done and Tanaka in a Jays uniform. Unfortunately, given that the other teams in the running have very deep pockets, that deal may go very very high and even for Tanaka, there’s a point I would begin to feel uncomfortable about.

  28. If the Jays don’t sign Tanaka, I wouldn’t consider that a failure. If they don’t even bother making a 7-year offer on a 25-year old pitcher who’s ceiling is apparently high, that I would consider a failure.

  29. And now we have a serious drop in the Canadian dollar, meaning that the Jays have to factor that into any contract equation…

  30. Tanaka is only 25 years old… if there was ever a time to make an exception to that ridiculous policy, this would be it.

    We’ve watched enough good games tossed by Darvish to know the Jays need to go after Tanaka just to make sure we don’t face him in pinstripes.

    This guy has ace potential and will not cost any draft picks. Rogers needs to nut up and make this happen!

  31. I was hoping they would land this guy, but I’m not so sure now. After hearing and reading countless articles chronicling the leaks at the Fukushima plant, and then looking at how insanely close it is to his home ballpark, I would be checking this guy for radiation before even sitting down to negotiate with him. The sad thing is, I’m not even joking. They have been lying about the severity of this situatition for over two years, and I fear for the safety of the people in Japan, not to mention what it has done to the Pacific west coast of north America.

  32. For what it’s worth, Jonah Keri said 6 and 120 would be ultimately what Tanaka gets.

  33. I understand the five year limit when it comes to free-agency. Most MLB players don’t hit FA until they are maybe 28-29 for position players or 30-31 for pitchers.

    This guy is 24 tho. They should factor in those extra six seasons and be willing to go nine years on this guy.

    Is nine a risk? yeah. But if he ends up as good as Darvish? Nine years of that pitcher at 13-15 per is an absolute steal. You’ll be getting the guy for a good six or so seasons where he would be making 25 million.

    Plus he will always be tradable to the Yankees, Mets, or Dodgers if it doesn’t work out.

  34. When was the last WS win for Baltimore?

    Ya I thought so….

    • Someone mentioned erlaier that Sawyer and Kate have reverted back to their old behavior habbits now that they are back on the main island. Maybe this is a lead into what Ben really did to Kate after breakfast. if you get on to watch with kristen on eonline.com she has excellent interviews with damon and carlton. one such interview tells us that they had to cut a scene out of the episode where kate’s wrists were damaged that showed kate trying to escape from the handcuffs in the locker room post-ben breakfast. i would highly recommend checking out kirsten veatch’s episode recaps and interviews anytime after the latest episode they’re always very insightful.

  35. While Stoeten is right that it’s the money, not the years, that matter, it doesn’t actually resolve the big issue: the Jays aren’t likely to spend as much as other teams on this guy. Let’s consider two situations: first, where the team is reluctant to sign him for more than five years, and second, where the team is willing to sign him for as many as seven years.

    If we assume that the ‘policy’ is true, and that the team will sign him to a five-year deal and not longer (let’s not re-hash whether or not this policy makes sense or should be in place, but just assume it exists for now), then this means that the Jays will have to sign him to a 5 year deal at a higher AAV than what other teams will offer. I’ve read the Dodgers are likely the high-bidders in the sweepstakes, offering as much as 140/7 ($20MM AAV), so let’s go with that number. In order for the Jays to sign him to a five year deal, they’ve got to offer him 120/5 at a minimum. The lower amount is reasonable because Tanaka will probably figure that if he’s worth $24MM AAV now, he’ll be able to get at least $10MM AAV in five years, even if he gets injured. So the Jays have got to be prepared to say that Tanaka is worth, on average, 20% more per year in WAR than the highest other bidders in the sweepstakes. It’s possible, but this seems aggressive.

    Next, let’s remove the policy from existence, for any number of reasons, and assume that Toronto is willing to go toe-to-toe with any other team in baseball in terms of length of a contract. So this would mean that Toronto would have to be willing to pay $140/7 to match the Dodgers’ rumored offer, before we begin talking about the possibility of the Dodgers adamantly refusing to lose this one (remember, Kershaw is a FA after 2014). Could this happen? Sure. Is there much data that we can point to that suggests that this organization is willing to spend $20MM+ per year on a player that has yet to play an MLB game and who could then become a financial obligation and liability well beyond the current administration’s lifespan (assuming that AA won’t continue as the Jays’ GM for 7 more years, which seems reasonable, unless they win the WS, and even then…)? Not really, no.

    So yes, the ‘policy’ may be horseshit, and they may be willing to spend for a 7 year deal, but this seems unlikely. And even if it’s not horseshit, they could sign him to an overpay (based on AAV and therefore expected WAR) deal that pays similar money over fewer years, but that’s even less likely.

    Let me be clear, I’m not trying to call Rogers cheap bastards here, but the last time the team signed players to big deals – at franchise player rates – was the extensions that Wells and Rios signed after the 2006 season. Those contracts haven’t worked out well for whichever teams have been compelled to pay for them (with the occasional exception on a season-by-season basis, but not over the life of the contracts), and I think and speculate that there is just too much risk that they’re going to be signing an albatross deal if they go long-term with Tanaka.

    • I don’t disagree with most of this, but a couple points:

      - One, while I think the dollars-per-WAR kind of stuff is silly and I try to avoid using it, I feel I must point out that Rios has been “worth” (by the FanGraphs calculation on his player page) $68-million over the life of his $69.835-million contract, with one year still left. Dubious calculation, sure, but just sayin’, not sure the Rios one was that bad, nor should it be held against him because of the way the Jays cut bait.

      - Two, a lot of this is based on the idea that the team won’t spend to a certain point that it’s never shown willingness to, but certainly not a level to which they can’t. I agree that it’s all very unlikely, but it’s pretty fucked to think that Rogers bought the team for $120-million in 2000 and Bloomberg just valued it at $950-million (per Cot’s). They do plenty well, and could certainly afford Tanaka becoming an albatross. Avoiding him would be more about unwillingness– which isn’t to say that you were suggesting otherwise. But with the way the sports economy is going — shit, look at what MLSE just did with TFC, which is a nothing TV property and entirely gate driven, at this point — in the name of trying to reenergize the fan base and build a winning team. Part of me — perhaps a naive one — still thinks there’s a chance they see it the same way, and think that the investment towards making the content an extraordinarily valuable property is worth it. Their NHL deal shows they obviously see the massive value in this kind of content. Not sure if that works regarding Tanaka, though, just because it’s going to be such a long shot if they land him anyway, but it wouldn’t shock me if they finally feel they actually have to start spending like the world is changing around them.

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