I guess I’ve been covering this Masahiro Tanaka business quite a bit over the course of the off-season so far, which I’m not sure it is the best idea, given the way the whole Yu Darvish debacle went down. But while I don’t want to get my hopes up anywhere close to that much that the Jays might land him, Tanaka is just such a central figure in how this off-season is going to play out that whatever happens with him bears watching. And right now, that “whatever” doesn’t seem to be much…
Rakuten president says no decision on whether to post Tanaka.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 10, 2013
Rakuten assistant GM Aki Sasaki: “I don’t know if $20 million is fair value for this kind of trade.”
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 10, 2013
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that MLB has undersold themselves on this one, and that having the top pitcher in Japan pitch for them for two extra years is worth $20-million (plus whatever Tanaka’s salary would be) to Rakuten, but… I still think he gets posted. (Passan also tweeted that Sasaki said it’s Tanaka’s dream to play in the United States, which probably isn’t going to get in the way of a pure business transaction, but you never know.)
I’m hopeful that he does, at least, because the market– and the Jays, in particular– could use another top-quality body for everyone to go drooling over. Not that they wouldn’t also be involved themselves, by the sounds of it, but more realistically, Tanaka would probably end up somewhere else, which would at least take that club out of the running for whoever remains on the market.
Justin Masterson and Jeff Samardzija are two of those names, of course, and the Jays certainly have interest there. But they’re hardly the only ones.