Sunday, January 19, 2014

Masashiro Tanaka bidding heats up with the finish line is sight ( January 24 , 2014 at 5pm ) .. Current state of play - The Yankees were among five teams to formally place a bid for Masahiro Tanaka this week with nearly all bids coming in around six years and more than $100 million. In addition to the Yankees, the Dodgers, White Sox, Cubs, and Diamondbacks have all reportedly made an offer for the Japanese right-hander with the deadline for bidding coming this Friday, January 24th, at 5:00 pm. .....Additionally , According to Nikkan, a daily sports newspaper in Japan, the Yankees and Dodgers have made "equivalent offers"..... The equivalent offers may or may not be on par with the purported Arizona Diamondbacks' six-year/$120 million offer.

Hot stove items ..... 1/22/14...

The Yankees have reportedly won the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes. Ken Rosenthal reports that they have agreed to a seven-year, $155 million contract, with an opt-out after 2017. Counting the $20 million posting fee, that amounts to seven years and $175 million, or precisely what they were offering Robinson Cano earlier this off-season.
Mike already told you everything there is to know about Tanaka, so now seems like as good a time as any for a refresher. NPB Tracker also has a nice breakdown of Tanaka’s pitch data and game logs from the past few years, though it does not include 2013 data.
The new posting system, combined with the Yankees’ desperate need for another starting pitcher, created this situation. In the past the Yankees might have bid $75 million and worked out a $50 or $60 million contract. Just yesterday Joel Sherman wondered if the Yankees’ financial advantages might not be the same as in the past: “And is it possible there are organizations beyond the Dodgers ready to do the monetary staredown with the Yanks?” Apparently not.
The Yankees have now spent $474 million this off-season, and they might not be done. Now that they’re over the luxury cap, they can continue flexing their muscles by spending money to fill the current roster holes. The next few weeks could get interesting.

The baseball world eagerly awaits Masahiro Tanaka's decision. He has until 5 p.m. Friday. (AFP/Getty )
Masahiro Tanaka has been on the clock for weeks, but his time in the spotlight is almost up. Tanaka, the 25-year-old Japanese right-hander, has until 5 p.m. Friday to complete a contract. The Yankees, Dodgers and Cubs are considered three of the favorites to land him.
His agent, Casey Close, has done a remarkable job convincing teams to keep quiet about the negotiations. But as teams slip out of the running, more and more information should become available.

For instance, on Wednesday morning , reported Arizona is no longer in the running. The Diamondbacks scouted Tanaka intensively, according to people familiar with their thought process, and coveted him.

Tanaka is expected to command a multi-year deal worth perhaps as much as $120 million, in addition to the $20 million posting fee due to the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball.


Hot stove item .... 1/21/14....

Tanaka inadvertently trolls baseball world with 'can't decide' tweet

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

The MLB signing period for Rakuten Golden Eagles right-hander Masahiro Tanaka's is up at 5 p.m. ET on Friday. Otherwise he must return to Japan for another year. I wouldn't bet on the latter. He's going to take many millions from some MLB team soon.
Despite the upcoming deadline, we're still waiting for Tanaka's decision. Depending on who you ask and the day of the week, the Dodgers, Cubs, Yankees, Mariners, White Sox or Diamondbacks are the front-runner. The whole process has been pretty tight-lipped -- by agent Casey Close's design -- so everyone is speculating.
On Tuesday morning, Tanaka threw some gas on the fire with this tweet:

Leave it to someone who actually speaks Japanese to ruin all the fun. Tanaka still can't decide on a new team, which stinks. He's really cutting it close with the deadline.
Oh, wait. Scroll back through Tanaka's Twitter timeline and you'll see the "I can't decide" had nothing to do with him picking a MLB club. Turns out...
Leave it to someone who actually speaks Japanese to ruin all the fun. Tanaka still can't decide on a new team, which stinks. He's really cutting it close with the deadline.
Oh, wait. Scroll back through Tanaka's Twitter timeline and you'll see the "I can't decide" had nothing to do with him picking a MLB club. Turns out...
  1. Tanaka indicates he has yet to pick a team: RT @npbtracker "I can't decide~" @t_masahiro18 決めれん(・_・;
@BillShaikin @t_masahiro18 Actually it looks like it's about his Twitter avatar. He's asking followers to submit photos to use.

Hot stove item of the day..... 1/20/14

Eventually Masahiro Tanaka will sign someplace, and when he does, we won’t have constant, often contradictory reports about who is in the lead and who will outbid who in what is, essentially, a totally opaque process. Until then:

Industry sources believe the Cubs will outbid the field on money and years. None of the clubs know other teams bids.

Masahiro Tanaka Rumors: Decision reportedly coming down to Yankees or Cubs

Chung Sung-Jun
Tanaka rumor, everybody drink!
The Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes are winding down to the last few days. After his posting was delayed over a month due to extensive negotiations between MLB and NPB, he officially posted on December 24. Under the new agreement, the Japanese right-hander essentially became a free agent able to negotiate with anyone, just with an added $20 million release fee attached to his final contract. He was given one month to negotiate with clubs and agree to a contract before he would miss out on American baseball in 2014 and now it seems like we're almost there.
News and rumors have been all over the place these last few days with everyone becoming the team to beat and everyone else declaring they will not be outbid. Now there is word coming out that Tanaka is deciding between the Yankees and Cubs. There were some rumors that he preferred the East or West coasts, leaving out Chicago, but now people think the Cubs offered a contract that is hard to walk away from.
Last week, it was believed that the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox, andDiamondbacks all placed competitive bids on the 25-year-old superstar. There was at least one report saying that Arizona's contract offer was for $120 million over six year, though it's unknown if that's even close to the highest. Right now we're all in wait-and-see mode because Tanaka's agent, Casey Close, has kept a clamp on all information about the ongoing negotiations. What little we have heard is either just random conjecture from baseball writers trying to be the first to report some bit of news, or terribly translated reports coming out of Japan that may or may not be any more reliable.
While Friday is the deadline, we might know his decision as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday to allow time for a formal physical and all the details to be worked out. He needs to have a deal signed by the end of the week if he wants to be playing Major League Baseball this year.

1/19/14 hot stove items.....

( main contenders seem to be Arizona Diamondbacks , Yankees and Dodgers... )

Masahiro Tanaka rumors: Decision could come Tuesday or Wednesday

Adam Pretty
Tanaka could make his decision early this week so that teams can conduct more medical tests before Friday's deadline.
If you've been paying attention, the deadline for teams to bid on Masahiro Tanaka is January 24th at 5:00 PM. As Tanya wrote yesterday, the Yankees were among five teams to have made formal offers to Tanaka, including the CubsWhite Sox , Diamondbacks and Dodgers. Of those, the Cubs and White Sox seem to have the smallest chances of landing Tanaka.
While there has been some speculation as to whether Tanaka has to make his actual decision before the January 24th deadline, or whether that's just the latest any team can make an offer, it seems as though it is the former (at least according to this article). Now an AL scout has said that Tanaka's decision could come as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday, so that teams have time to conduct "further medical exams" before the Friday deadline.
There has been a lot of waiting this offseason (for both the A-Rod decision and now Tanaka's decision), so the sooner Tanaka picks a team, the better. Especially since the Yankees will need to come up with a fourth starter if Tanaka signs elsewhere, assuming that Pineda, Phelps, Warren, etc., are going to compete for the fifth spot.

Masahiro Tanaka Rumors: Sunday

Masahiro Tanaka will reportedly command a contract in the neighborhood of $120MM over six years (plus the expected $20MM posting fee) and is said to have received such an offer from the Diamondbacks. Here's the latest with five days remaining before Tanaka's posting period expires Friday at 4pm CT:
  • Tanaka's decision should come Tuesday or Wednesday to allow time for further medical exams to take place prior to the Friday deadline, an AL scout tells David Kaplan of (via Twitter).
  • Kaplan tweets the same scout tells him the Cubs' current state is the biggest drawback in their landing Tanaka. Yesterday, we learned the Cubs made a formal offerto Tanaka, but are considered a long shot to win the bidding. 
  • The White Sox, who also have reportedly have made a formal offer to Tanaka, are in the same boat as the Cubs, tweets Kaplan.
  • The Mariners may have been priced out of contention for Tanaka or the 25-year-old's interest in Seattle wasn’t as high as some thought, reports the Seattle Times' Geoff Baker

Masahiro Tanaka rumors: Yankees among teams to formally make offer to right-hander

Koji Watanabe
The Yankees are among five teams to have placed a formal bid for Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka this week. Now we wait.
The Yankees were among five teams to formally place a bid for Masahiro Tanaka this week with nearly all bids coming in around six years and more than $100 million. In addition to the Yankees, the DodgersWhite SoxCubs, and Diamondbacks have all reportedly made an offer for the Japanese right-hander with the deadline for bidding coming this Friday, January 24th, at 5:00 pm.
According to Nikkan, a daily sports newspaper in Japan, the Yankees and Dodgers have made "equivalent offers". Because translating from Japanese to English is a science that extends beyond my capabilities, I'm not sure if that means the two teams have bid exactly the same amount for Tanaka or if they bid an amount on par with Nikkan's report of the Diamondbacks' six-year/$120 million offer. The Angels were previously rumored to be in competition for Tanaka's services, but owner Arte Moreno says that it is unlikely they'd be able to fit him into the team's budget.
MLB Trade Rumors speculates that the negotiating process is nearing the stage where the only remaining question is which team Tanaka will ultimately choose between now and Friday's deadline. It would be nice for there to be some kind of indication of what the Yankees decided to bid between now and then, which could come now that the majority of interested teams have put together an offer. If Nikkan is correct about the Diamondbacks' bid, the result will not be any less than six years and $120 million. It's always possible that a team drastically outbid themselves in the process, and it's not unreasonable to think that may have happened based on how badly each team seems to want the right-handed pitcher to join their team.
The Yankees were the odds-on favorites to land Tanaka two days ago in the world of sports betting, but that obviously has little to do with what the ultimate results are. It's possible that some other factor besides money will be the deciding factor for Tanaka when deciding where to make his new home in the United States, and all we can do in the mean time is wait and hope that he feels like putting on pinstripes in 2014.

Masahiro Tanaka Rumors: Dodgers, Four More Teams Make Formal Offers

Masahiro TanakaWith under a week until he has to make a decision, the race to sign 25-year-old Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka is heating up. While the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees have been pegged as favorites from the beginning, the Chicago Cubs are emerging as a strong threat to steal him away.
For the Dodgers, the interest has been there from the start, but it’s wavered from serious to lukewarm throughout the process. The strongest indication about their interest came after they signed Clayton Kershaw to a record-breaking extension, saying they want to add another starting pitcher and have remained in constant contact with Tanaka’s agent, Casey Close.
However, according to Nikkan Sports via Bernie Pleskoff of, the Dodgers were among five teams to submit formal offers:
At the GM Meetings this week, several executives believe the Cubs are going to “blow away the field” with an offer. However, it’s been reported that the 25-year-old right-hander wants to win and his wife, a pop-star, prefers to live on the West Coast.
Tanaka has until January 24 at 2 pm PST to choose a team, with the team that signs him responsible for paying the modest $20 million posting fee. For the Dodgers, adding him to the fold would give them arguably the best pitching rotation in all of baseball and most likely make them the favorites to win the 2014 World Series.
The Nikkan report suggests the Diamondbacks offered six-years and $120 million, with the Dodgers and Yankees believed to be offering equivalent contracts. Close has kept most of the negotiations close to the vest and it sounds like things are starting to heat up as it’s within a week of him needing to make a decision.
ICYMI: Here’s where the Dodgers interest is in Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka