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.