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Nick Nelson
10-06-2013, 09:50 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=2393-The-Tanaka-Factor

Zephrin
10-06-2013, 10:10 PM
I think the Twins will go after him. And I think they will be aggressive. However, I don't think they can compete with the AL or NL West on this one. $100M would be a pretty aggressive investment for MN ($40 to post; $60 to sign). Texas and LAA both have to be feeling desperate about now, and LAD seem to have no spending limit (like the Yankees of old). Sprinkle in a dash of Sea or Oak, and someone will decide to go over $100 for their total investment. I don't think MN will.

Zephrin
10-06-2013, 10:12 PM
I think it will be more like $60M to post and $65M to sign. $125M total investment.

howieramone
10-06-2013, 10:18 PM
I think it will be more like $60M to post and $65M to sign. $125M total investment. I think you're very close. I see the Yankees or Dodgers.

Kwak
10-06-2013, 10:47 PM
He is a pipe dream for Twins fans. We have already been prompted that the 5+year contracts
are a "no-sale". Any team will require at least a six-year contract in order to amortize the cost of the bidding fee adequately. Then there is the annual salary...

drivlikejehu
10-06-2013, 11:11 PM
The Twins could easily afford to sign him. They just won't. Not a whole lot of analysis required.

Shane Wahl
10-06-2013, 11:15 PM
This is going to be 6 years and $120 million total. Maybe even pushing to $132 million.

There is no planet on which the Twins are going to do anything like this. And it's unfortunate.

Willihammer
10-06-2013, 11:36 PM
I think we can take the highest bids to this point (~50m), add on the 25m of free t.v. money, sprinkle in a little inflation for the string of successful Japanese pitchers we've seen since the Dice-K bust (Uehara, Tazawa, Darvish, Iwakuma) and that puts the winning posting fee in the 80-90m range.

glunn
10-07-2013, 12:19 AM
This is going to be 6 years and $120 million total. Maybe even pushing to $132 million.

There is no planet on which the Twins are going to do anything like this. And it's unfortunate.

I agree that the Twins are unlikely to do this, but don't agree that it's unfortunate. It seems to me that there are probably better ways to spend $120 million+. Some of the Japanese pitchers have been good and some have not. I was optimistic when the Twins signed Nishi -- it seemed to me that at worst Nishi would be decent. I was wrong. And the Tanaka proponents could now be wrong.

I think that it might be smarter to spend the big bucks on one of more of the Cuban prospects and/or free agents. Yes, Tanaka seems promising, but if the cost is going to be $120+ million, it might be smarter to spread that over 2 or 3 players rather than bet so big on one.

howieramone
10-07-2013, 12:34 AM
I agree that the Twins are unlikely to do this, but don't agree that it's unfortunate. It seems to me that there are probably better ways to spend $120 million+. Some of the Japanese pitchers have been good and some have not. I was optimistic when the Twins signed Nishi -- it seemed to me that at worst Nishi would be decent. I was wrong. And the Tanaka proponents could now be wrong.

I think that it might be smarter to spend the big bucks on one of more of the Cuban prospects and/or free agents. Yes, Tanaka seems promising, but if the cost is going to be $120+ million, it might be smarter to spread that over 2 or 3 players rather than bet so big on one. I agree there is always a walk away price. In a year or so, he would be at best our 4th best player and we can get a better starting pitcher in the deep 2014 draft. Also, Stewart is more highly rated, and maybe Meyer.

scottz
10-07-2013, 01:13 AM
And there are plenty of major-league teams ready to spend big on pitching.

The Twins are one of them.

I'd say this quote is half right. The first half.

Brandon
10-07-2013, 07:22 AM
I don't see the posting fee breaking 40 million by that much. only one team was willing to post 50 million when Yu posted. wasn't second place around 30 million? The only team with that kind of money available not in Minnesota is the Yankees and they are drawing back. the dodgers are saving for Kershaw, the Rangers are near their 125 million target and the angels are near theirs too. I wouldn't be surprised if the winning bid was between 20-30 million. a 5 year 60 - 70 million contract with a 6th option would make sense for the Twins. I do think the total cost to get Tanaka will be around 100 million.

Oldgoat_MN
10-07-2013, 08:22 AM
Grabbing Tanaka would give the Twins a real chance at signing Kazmir, I believe.
It would show that the Twins are serious about turning things around.

With Kazmir, Tanaka and the prospects we have coming, I think we could become a reasonably attractive landing spot for some FAs who want to play on a winner.

Those moves would be pretty much unprecedented for this GM, but I continue to be an optimist.

Steve Penz
10-07-2013, 08:27 AM
If it unfolds as Brandon describes then this lines up very well. If the Twins lose out because their attempt/offer stinks it will be incredibly hard to stomach. Like Nick stated, they would be rolling the dice on a guy entering his prime and not a 30ish FA. It could be such a huge acquisition to help bridge between this current team and the line up the Twins should have 2015 and beyond. If he worked out he could help make them relevant faster and rejuvenate the fan base. Come on....one time.

Dman
10-07-2013, 08:57 AM
I don't see the posting fee breaking 40 million by that much. only one team was willing to post 50 million when Yu posted. wasn't second place around 30 million? The only team with that kind of money available not in Minnesota is the Yankees and they are drawing back. the dodgers are saving for Kershaw, the Rangers are near their 125 million target and the angels are near theirs too. I wouldn't be surprised if the winning bid was between 20-30 million. a 5 year 60 - 70 million contract with a 6th option would make sense for the Twins. I do think the total cost to get Tanaka will be around 100 million.

I thought the posting fee didn't count against the cap or am I mistaken about that? So the Yankees or Dodgers or Angels could spend whatever they thought they needed to win the bid and getting a high quality pitcher for 10-12 million per year shouldn't break the bank for them. I am no scout but I think he looks good enough for high market teams to be interested and with the TV money coming in this will be a bigger offer than normal.

I really don't think the Twins can play with the big boys on this one. I really, really want the guy as it appears he could make us relevant in the very short term. TR has never proven good at these types of things because he places logical value on players vs performance. I don't think his brain can stretch far enough for Tanaka. Add in the unknown TV revenue effect and it makes it even harder to get this done. I think the Twins will put in a good bid but it won't be enough.

zenser
10-07-2013, 09:17 AM
I think Terry Ryan likes to use the line from Full Metal Jacket when negotiating with free agents. "Five dollars is all my mom allows me to spend."

Basically, I have a better chance of being in the rotation than Tanaka and I was the 4th man in a two man rotation in little league. I did have the dream once that they would actually pursue him hard and be in the running, but then I woke up. It wont happen.

Siehbiscuit
10-07-2013, 09:19 AM
If 6 years and $125 is acceptable for Tanaka, why wouldn't we look at signing Sanchez or even a guy like Price when he becomes a free agent?

The Twins will NOT go here if that is the price.

diehardtwinsfan
10-07-2013, 09:21 AM
The trick to winning this one is winning the posting fee. After that, only the winner can negotiate with Tanaka, and the contract will typically run 5/6 years for an amount fairly similar to the posting fee. This is a bit different than competing with the big boys, their initial offer simply has to be the highest. If they want him, throwing 50-60M at the posting fee will likely get it done.

If we are serious about him, I like our odds here much better than I do going after a Hughes, Kazmir, or Johnson, not to mention he fits in with the coming youth movement. Traiditional FAs can go back and forth until they get the contract they want and other teams stop bidding.

FSP
10-07-2013, 09:33 AM
If the Twins are smart they will post insanely high since that is the only time they will actually be competing with other teams, unless that posting rule changed. The player contract itself will be very reasonable since Tanaka has no leverage and it is easy to pay more than the NPB does. I'd go as high as about 80 million on the posting, its not like the money will be spent on anything else next year anyways.

SpitefulRabbit617
10-07-2013, 09:49 AM
I'd rather take a flyer and overpay on Lincecum, Santana, Haren, someone else or some1 else 2.0. If they money for pitching can be done just with that High expected posting fee, why just throw it away when we can get some1 who understands english well enough and is able to work with his teammates out of the ballgames? That just seems far smarter than spending the imaginary money that the Pohlads will theoretically drop.

Seth Stohs
10-07-2013, 10:22 AM
To be fair, Daisuke Matsuzaka was pretty good his first two years. He threw 200+ innings those two years. Then all the wear and tear from pitching so much in Japan added up and he was never 100% again after that. His second year, he went 18-2 with a 2.90 ERA.

I'm not against the Twins going after Tanaka because it's not my money. But, you could get two very good #2s for the same money.

diehardtwinsfan
10-07-2013, 10:30 AM
To be fair, Daisuke Matsuzaka was pretty good his first two years. He threw 200+ innings those two years. Then all the wear and tear from pitching so much in Japan added up and he was never 100% again after that. His second year, he went 18-2 with a 2.90 ERA.

I'm not against the Twins going after Tanaka because it's not my money. But, you could get two very good #2s for the same money.

And where exactly are these number 2s? I doubt Garza is returning. Kazmir might sign here, and Johnson is quite the health risk himself. I'd rather get the 24 year old with less milage then spending big money on older question marks.

Willihammer
10-07-2013, 10:49 AM
To be fair, Daisuke Matsuzaka was pretty good his first two years. He threw 200+ innings those two years. Then all the wear and tear from pitching so much in Japan added up and he was never 100% again after that. His second year, he went 18-2 with a 2.90 ERA.

I'm not against the Twins going after Tanaka because it's not my money. But, you could get two very good #2s for the same money.

That is true. Also, something to remember about Japanese baseball: starting pitchers get an extra day of rest (5) compared to our style. So while Tanaka has thrown a lot of innings (although not much more than a good minor league prospect, I reckon) he had good rest between starts.

I'm not sure what the usual routine is with bullpen sessions between starts is though. Anyone know?

mlhouse
10-07-2013, 11:20 AM
No matter how much they talk now, when the real negotiations start I doubt the Twins sign any free agent.

108 Double Stitches
10-07-2013, 11:48 AM
Seems like the cost of Tanaka will be about the price that Santana cost the Mets. Santana already had a Cy Young in the MLB at that time. The market may have changed some, but has the philosophy of the Twins changed?

Another way to look at it is you are approaching Joe Mauer money. Looks very good in Japan, but not even 1 IP in MLB.

Oxtung
10-07-2013, 11:48 AM
I'm not against the Twins going after Tanaka because it's not my money. But, you could get two very good #2s for the same money.

That doesn't seem to be true anymore Seth. Here is a list of the contracts signed by #1, #2 and #3 starters this last offseason.



Player
$MM/yr
years
total $


#1 starters1
~25
5-7
140-175


Wainwright2
20
5
100


Anibal Sanchez
17
5
85


CJ Wilson3
15.5
5
77.5


Edwin Jackson
13
4
52


Matt Harrison
11
5
55



1This includes Verlander, Hernandez, Hamels and Greinke.
2He was a #1 previously but sat out 2011 with an injury and had a "disappointing" 2012 before signing.
3Signed in spring 2012. Salaries went up again during '12-'13 offseason.

As we can see, clear cut #1's received about $25MM per year for 5-7 years. Sanchez, Wilson (with inflation) and Wainwright got paid for about #2 starter prices, $17-$20MM per year for 5 seasons. Jackson and Harrison got paid #3 starter rates.

Assuming salaries inflate again this offseason, which seems likely given the extra money being given out by MLB, a #2 starter will probably make ~$100MM over a 5 year contract. That seems to be right in line with what is being discussed here for Tanaka. Now, you could potentially sign two #3 starters this off season for a similar amount of money.

Of course the advantage that Tanaka brings is that he will only count for maybe $10MM/year towards the yearly salary with the balance going towards his one time posting fee. In essence he will be getting paid like a #3/#4 starter.

beckmt
10-07-2013, 11:54 AM
If the Twins offered a posting fee of around $50 and lost, would not feel bad about it, because the effort had been made. Looking at about $110 million over a 5 year period. Better than trading for #3 starting pitching. Tanaka looks like he is a #2 or #3 type, not a #1. Twins need to overpay and gamble a bit. This could be a place to start as I doubt the Twins Cities will become a free agent mecca.

DJL44
10-07-2013, 12:41 PM
The red flag on Tanaka is his out pitch is the split fingered fastball. The Twins organization believes the splitter causes elbow injuries.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/sports/baseball/split-finger-fastball-use-of-a-popular-pitch-falls-off-the-table.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

DJL44
10-07-2013, 12:46 PM
I think the top 3 teams posting all get to negotiate with Tanaka. I may be wrong about details but I don't think they're using the previous posting system.

Dman
10-07-2013, 12:55 PM
The red flag on Tanaka is his out pitch is the split fingered fastball. The Twins organization believes the splitter causes elbow injuries.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/sports/baseball/split-finger-fastball-use-of-a-popular-pitch-falls-off-the-table.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Well that does it for me. It was tough to see the Twins going for him to begin with but after that information I don't see them taking that kind of risk ever. Hope I am wrong but I am convinced we will not get Tanaka now. So best move my mind to the next best pitching option for the Twins.

Brock Beauchamp
10-07-2013, 12:55 PM
If the Twins are going to spend big, this is the way to do it. The team can eat $50m+ in one season and not hamstring themselves with a $20m+ yearly salary 4-5 years from now. They have the money just sitting there, having underspent for two consecutive seasons. Tanaka is 24 years old.

With that said, still not gonna happen. Sigh.

DJL44
10-07-2013, 12:58 PM
The time value of money says you are better off paying the $20M five years from now instead of up-front.

Willihammer
10-07-2013, 01:00 PM
The red flag on Tanaka is his out pitch is the split fingered fastball. The Twins organization believes the splitter causes elbow injuries.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/sports/baseball/split-finger-fastball-use-of-a-popular-pitch-falls-off-the-table.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

To throw a good split you have to pronate, its an exaggerated two seemer. My understanding was there was more evidence pointing to breaking balls as the cause of UCL injuries, due to the opposite (supinating) action.

In any case, I wonder if that is still the policy. If it is, it didn't stop them signing Pelfrey.

FSP
10-07-2013, 01:07 PM
The time value of money says you are better off paying the $20M five years from now instead of up-front.

True, but unless the Twins roll over their excess payroll into future payroll, which they never have before, it makes sense to pay more up front since that money just disappears otherwise.

DJL44
10-07-2013, 01:24 PM
I wonder if that is still the policy. If it is, it didn't stop them signing Pelfrey.

Pelfrey signed a one year deal AFTER his surgery. That's a lot different than giving a 24 year old a 6 year contract.

nicksaviking
10-07-2013, 01:30 PM
The red flag on Tanaka is his out pitch is the split fingered fastball. The Twins organization believes the splitter causes elbow injuries.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/sports/baseball/split-finger-fastball-use-of-a-popular-pitch-falls-off-the-table.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

The Twins also believed that the strikeout caused automatic admission to Hades. I don't defend the front office much lately but their recent draft picks and trade targets suggest they have softened on this one. A bit. I suspect at times they have learned from past conservative errors. (See righthander Hardy wanting to pull everything in 2010 followed by a successfull 2011 with Baltimore then mysteriously righthanders Willingham and Plouffe getting no static about pulling everying in 2012)

Perhaps they don't learn as fast as other clubs or as fast as we would like, but it's possible for them to adjust seemingly statuesque stances once in awhile.

Still, I'm in the camp that Tanaka isn't coming. I just wish we would be able to find out what the Twins actually bid so we could compare it to the winner.

Oxtung
10-07-2013, 01:35 PM
The Twins also believed that the strikeout caused automatic admission to Hades. I don't defend the front office much lately but their recent draft picks and trade targets suggest they have softened on this one. A bit. I suspect at times they have learned from past conservative errors. (See righthander Hardy wanting to pull everything in 2010 followed by a successfull 2011 with Baltimore then mysteriously righthanders Willingham and Plouffe getting no static about pulling everying in 2012)

Perhaps they don't learn as fast as other clubs or as fast as we would like, but it's possible for them to adjust seemingly statuesque stances once in awhile.

Still, I'm in the camp that Tanaka isn't coming. I just wish we would be able to find out what the Twins actually bid so we could compare it to the winner.

Not to take away from your larger point that the Twins can change, but other than Pelfrey who have the Twins signed or drafted that throws a split finger?

nicksaviking
10-07-2013, 01:45 PM
Not to take away from your larger point that the Twins can change, but other than Pelfrey who have the Twins signed or drafted that throws a split finger?

Well as you mentioned, one can at least point to Pelfrey as far as the softening of the splitter stance goes, but I really didn't mean to imply they have changed in that regard. I merely meant to point out that the Twins have shown what appears to be reluctant change in other areas recently which may mean they would be willing to reluctantly change on this issue as well. Though the fact that they actually sent scouts to watch him may be further evidence. Surely the Twins had a scouting report that showed heavy doses of splitters prior to buying the plane tickets.

DAM DC Twins Fans
10-07-2013, 01:49 PM
This is going to be 6 years and $120 million total. Maybe even pushing to $132 million.

There is no planet on which the Twins are going to do anything like this. And it's unfortunate.

100 percent agree...whether or not it counts against the salary cap...you take the posting fee (minimum $65 mil) and amortize it over the contract...assuming minimum 10 mil annual salary--that's 125 right there...or 21 million annual...I wouldn't do that at all.

Brock Beauchamp
10-07-2013, 01:56 PM
The time value of money says you are better off paying the $20M five years from now instead of up-front.

But in the reality of MLB, front-loading a contract if you have the ability to do it makes way more sense.

BabyJesusBuxton
10-07-2013, 02:04 PM
The Twins have stated that they were well below there anticipated team issued salary cap this year. I believe by around 20 million based on estimated 2013 revenue. If you add in the 25+ million they will receive from revenue sharing they can easily post 50 million to sign Tanaka without spending much of the Pohlad's pocket change. After that, you are looking at #3/#4 money to sign him. Honestly, if they expect to keep fan support moving forward this move would show that the Pohlads aren't just trying to make money and that they want to put a good product out on the field.

nicksaviking
10-07-2013, 02:19 PM
But in the reality of MLB, front-loading a contract if you have the ability to do it makes way more sense.

Yes. Especially considering the posting fee won't be counting toward payroll when the Twins may actually be concerend about extending any hypothetical young stud.

It's basically a reverse Bonilla. Damn that Mets contract makes me laugh every time. Take the hit now and it will be off the books this time next year.

cmb0252
10-07-2013, 02:30 PM
Rangers said months ago they aren't interested in Tanaka so take them off the list of potential buyers. After throwing 50+ million put of pocket for Darvish they might not have another $40+M to do so again on Tanaka.

nicksaviking
10-07-2013, 02:44 PM
Rangers said months ago they aren't interested in Tanaka so take them off the list of potential buyers. After throwing 50+ million put of pocket for Darvish they might not have another $40+M to do so again on Tanaka.

They also are reported to have their eye on a 2B who wants $300 million. Texas loves them some middle infield.

Oxtung
10-07-2013, 02:57 PM
They also are reported to have their eye on a 2B who wants $300 million. Texas loves them some middle infield.

Whoa...who is that?

gil4
10-07-2013, 03:07 PM
The trick to winning this one is winning the posting fee. After that, only the winner can negotiate with Tanaka, and the contract will typically run 5/6 years for an amount fairly similar to the posting fee.

That might change in time for Tanaka:

Sources: Major changes coming to Japanese player posting system (http://www.newsday.com/sports/columnists/david-lennon/sources-major-changes-coming-to-japanese-player-posting-system-1.6075431)

Major Leauge Ready
10-07-2013, 03:17 PM
If the Twins are going to spend big, this is the way to do it. The team can eat $50m+ in one season and not hamstring themselves with a $20m+ yearly salary 4-5 years from now. They have the money just sitting there, having underspent for two consecutive seasons. Tanaka is 24 years old.

With that said, still not gonna happen. Sigh.

I think you have a nice idea here and I think it would appeal to the Twins. The posting fee might not count as salary. Unfortunatley, the twins have to follow GAAP and I doubt the IRS would accept the accelerated write-off. So, it would appear the expense is going to be amortized over the lenght of the contract. In other words, the expense will be there but no recognized as salary. Of course, this is just my interpretation. I don't really know.

gil4
10-07-2013, 03:22 PM
Whoa...who is that?

I hadn't heard the Texas rumor, but the only 2B I know who wants $300M is Cano. That sounds like a long, long long shot to me - the rumor was probably started by Jay-Z to get the Yankees moving.

gil4
10-07-2013, 03:30 PM
I think you have a nice idea here and I think it would appeal to the Twins. Unfortunatley, the twins have to follow GAAP and I doubt the IRS would accept the accelerated write-off.

The posting fee (paid to the old team) and the salary are two separate items. The posting fee is a one-time expense, and, while I'm not a CPA, I would bet that it would be accounted differently. I think the real concern is the budget, anyway. Right now there is room in the budget. A few years down the road some ofthe yong players will (hopefully) start to get expensive. (By "hopefully" I mean that if Buxton and Sano aren't getting expensive in a few years, that means they were busts and the Twins have big problems.)

TheLeviathan
10-07-2013, 03:32 PM
This beautiful dream is hard to wake up from to the bitter reality of this team.

Major Leauge Ready
10-07-2013, 03:44 PM
The posting fee (paid to the old team) and the salary are two separate items. The posting fee is a one-time expense, and, while I'm not a CPA, I would bet that it would be accounted differently. I think the real concern is the budget, anyway. Right now there is room in the budget. A few years down the road some ofthe yong players will (hopefully) start to get expensive. (By "hopefully" I mean that if Buxton and Sano aren't getting expensive in a few years, that means they were busts and the Twins have big problems.)

I think it would help get this done if it could be written off the first year. And, I recognize they are two separate transactions. GAAP would generally require the expense be recognized consistent with the benefit, service, etc. I think that is pretty clear the life of the contract. The risks scares me a bit but wow what a boost this guy would be to our team if his ability transfers to MLB as some have projected.

nicksaviking
10-07-2013, 03:48 PM
Whoa...who is that?

I've seen multiple places list the Rangers as the most likely team to get Cano away from the Yankees including an ESPN writer. Reports are they tried to trade for him mid-season too. I could link sites but you can trust me right? Or if not me at least a Google search?

Nick Nelson
10-07-2013, 03:54 PM
I've seen multiple places list the Rangers as the most likely team to get Cano away from the Yankees including an ESPN writer. Reports are they tried to trade for him mid-season too. I could link sites but you can trust me right? Or if not me at least a Google search?
Can't see how that would make any sense. They already have Kinsler through 2018 and nowhere to put Profar.

ThePuck
10-07-2013, 04:05 PM
Can't see how that would make any sense. They already have Kinsler through 2018 and nowhere to put Profar.

The could sign Cano and try and trade Profar or Kinsler. Kinsler would be harder to trade, but still... Cano is an upgrade at 2B. Tigers had Cabrera at 1B, Fielder was available, they got Fielder anyway..even with Vmart coming back this year and getting out from behind the plate.

Some teams are always looking to improve wherever they can...whenever they can.

TPetter
10-07-2013, 04:15 PM
To be fair, Daisuke Matsuzaka was pretty good his first two years. He threw 200+ innings those two years. Then all the wear and tear from pitching so much in Japan added up and he was never 100% again after that. His second year, he went 18-2 with a 2.90 ERA.

I'm not against the Twins going after Tanaka because it's not my money. But, you could get two very good #2s for the same money.

Are there two very good #2s available and would the Twins be able to sweet talk two good pitchers into coming to Minnesota?

Thrylos
10-07-2013, 05:38 PM
This is going to be 6 years and $120 million total. Maybe even pushing to $132 million.

There is no planet on which the Twins are going to do anything like this. And it's unfortunate.

Agree about the planet part, but I'd rather have them sign Josh Johnson & Phil Hughes to 3 year contracts for the same $ than Tanaka. $20 mil a year for 6 years, is a Mauer-like albatross of a contract for an unproven player who is not Mauer...

Major Leauge Ready
10-07-2013, 08:24 PM
Agree about the planet part, but I'd rather have them sign Josh Johnson & Phil Hughes to 3 year contracts for the same $ than Tanaka. $20 mil a year for 6 years, is a Mauer-like albatross of a contract for an unproven player who is not Mauer...

What is the word on Johnson in terms of projected contract? Is he likely to pursue a one-year deal in an attempt to rebuild value or look for a team willing to take a chance on him?

Thrylos
10-07-2013, 08:33 PM
What is the word on Johnson in terms of projected contract? Is he likely to pursue a one-year deal in an attempt to rebuild value or look for a team willing to take a chance on him?

Hard to tell. He just had arthroscopic surgery on the elbow to clean up some bone spurs. He will be ready by ST. There is some question on whether the Blue Jays make a qualifying offer, but still I see him signing for a 3 year some place. And if the Jays make a qualifying offer and the Twins sign him, the Twins will lose only their second round pick (which is losing less than what they lost when they re-signed Capps)...

drivlikejehu
10-07-2013, 10:05 PM
I think it would help get this done if it could be written off the first year. And, I recognize they are two separate transactions. GAAP would generally require the expense be recognized consistent with the benefit, service, etc. I think that is pretty clear the life of the contract. The risks scares me a bit but wow what a boost this guy would be to our team if his ability transfers to MLB as some have projected.

Completely incorrect. Comments of this nature should probably be avoided without the appropriate background, because the result can be to mislead readers who don't know otherwise.

Human beings are not capital assets and cannot be depreciated or amortized. Also, the 'matching principle' of expense recognition does not apply to periodic expenses such as MLB salaries.

The timing of the expense is not terribly important to the Twins because they run a profit in any event. Obviously, front loading a contract may result in lower profits in the short term and higher in the long term, but unless tax rates change significantly the overall effect is minimal.

clutterheart
10-07-2013, 10:10 PM
The reports I have read on Tanka are a he generally pitches in the low 90's has a slider and splitter but neither are ++ pitches. He has good control but his fastball does not have the best movement and he can become a Fly Ball pitcher. He benefited greatly because Japan "deadened" their ball this year. If he signs with the Twins, we might be seeing him get that Neck injury from watching the ball fly out of the park - especially in places like Chicago. I don't know if he is worth a triple digit investment.

Furthermore, the posting process could drag out until March. I would hate to have the Twins have all their FA eggs in this basket and it not pan out.

The best outcome would be the Twins get aggressive with Free Agents and sign guys while other teams wait on the Tanka.

FSP
10-07-2013, 10:38 PM
He benefited greatly because Japan "deadened" their ball this year.

I heard Japan "livened" their ball. That is part of the reason why Wladimir Balentien destroyed their HR record. Also why their commissioner stepped down in shame recently.

launchingthrees
10-07-2013, 10:47 PM
He benefited greatly because Japan "deadened" their ball this year. If he signs with the Twins, we might be seeing him get that Neck injury from watching the ball fly out of the park - especially in places like Chicago. I don't know if he is worth a triple digit investment.


http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/06/12/japanese-baseball-officials-admit-to-altering-the-baseball-to-increase-offense/

So isn't the opposite true? Since he has been so productive with a juiced baseball you must be enthusiastic about signing him!

clutterheart
10-07-2013, 10:52 PM
Japanese baseball officials admit to altering the baseball to increase offense | HardballTalk (http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/06/12/japanese-baseball-officials-admit-to-altering-the-baseball-to-increase-offense/)

So isn't the opposite true? Since he has been so productive with a juiced baseball you must be enthusiastic about signing him!

Yes, you are right, they did enbiggen the ball. I read incorrectly.

But...still not pumped about him and would like the twins to go after other FA

mlhouse
10-07-2013, 11:17 PM
Furthermore, the posting process could drag out until March. I would hate to have the Twins have all their FA eggs in this basket and it not pan out.

The best outcome would be the Twins get aggressive with Free Agents and sign guys while other teams wait on the Tanka.

What eggs? Seriously? Maybe this is the year!!!! We have only been waiting for the Twins to spend on free agency for 50 years. I highly doubt the Twins will seriously compete for any free agents that command a salary above $5 million and they probabliy figure that keeping Kevin Correia is more than enough "investment".

glunn
10-07-2013, 11:21 PM
Completely incorrect. Comments of this nature should probably be avoided without the appropriate background, because the result can be to mislead readers who don't know otherwise.

Human beings are not capital assets and cannot be depreciated or amortized. Also, the 'matching principle' of expense recognition does not apply to periodic expenses such as MLB salaries.



With all due respect, I am 99% certain that Major Leauge Ready is correct -- the fee paid to his ballclub in Japan would have to be deducted over the term of Tanaka's contact, i.e. amortized. I am too lazy to look at the primary sources tonight, but here (http://books.google.com/books?id=FWeFqS2-368C&pg=PA267&lpg=PA267&dq=amortization+of+player+contracts&source=bl&ots=vNxQg_8drO&sig=JoGYMMozWjsWTYw80F9B-SPGzfY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WYFTUv6IO6T2iwLYn4HoDg&ved=0CE0Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=amortization%20of%20player%20contracts&f=false)is a link to a treatise by Sky Moore, who is a tax genius, and you can see Sky's citations in footnote 7. I am confident that Sky is correct, because Sky is always correct, but if you still disagree then please be ready to debate why Sky's citations are not controlling. Also, I would note that not requiring amortization would facilitate extreme shenanigans.

Kudos to Major Leauge Ready for his apparently correct intuition on this.

And let this be a lesson to all of us not to label someone else's post as "completely incorrect" unless we are 100% sure.

glunn
10-08-2013, 12:11 AM
Completely incorrect. Comments of this nature should probably be avoided without the appropriate background, because the result can be to mislead readers who don't know otherwise.

Human beings are not capital assets and cannot be depreciated or amortized. Also, the 'matching principle' of expense recognition does not apply to periodic expenses such as MLB salaries.

The timing of the expense is not terribly important to the Twins because they run a profit in any event. Obviously, front loading a contract may result in lower profits in the short term and higher in the long term, but unless tax rates change significantly the overall effect is minimal.


The red flag on Tanaka is his out pitch is the split fingered fastball. The Twins organization believes the splitter causes elbow injuries.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/sports/baseball/split-finger-fastball-use-of-a-popular-pitch-falls-off-the-table.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I wish that this post and the accompanying link were getting more attention. If this information about the splitter is correct, then Tanaka seems scary risky to me.

Hugh Morris
10-08-2013, 01:05 AM
Completely incorrect. Comments of this nature should probably be avoided without the appropriate background, because the result can be to mislead readers who don't know otherwise.

Human beings are not capital assets and cannot be depreciated or amortized. Also, the 'matching principle' of expense recognition does not apply to periodic expenses such as MLB salaries.

The timing of the expense is not terribly important to the Twins because they run a profit in any event. Obviously, front loading a contract may result in lower profits in the short term and higher in the long term, but unless tax rates change significantly the overall effect is minimal.

It really is unfortunate you were so concrete in your claims. In addition to what Glunn pointed out, player salaries (originally and especially in Baseball) have enjoyed a somewhat unique relationship with tax law.

For decades, organizations were allowed to write off salary expenses as asset depreciation as well (because all players were getting older and less valuable. Yes the internal logic for that position is tenuous at best) . In essence, a $2m salary became a $4m expense, doublecounting the expense to inflate the loss. Without any recent meaningful leaks, it's difficult to know exactly where this currently lies. Previous financial information leaks from the last decade or so have suggested that some form of this accounting policy is still in being used, with the blessing of the IRS and in accordance with GAAP.

I apologize for the slight derail as it's not specifically Tanaka related, but wanted to make sure readers weren't misinformed.

Spicoli
10-08-2013, 02:39 AM
You see how many people here are dreaming about him in a Twins uni? Well the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox and every other big market team are doing the same thing. The only difference is they are willing to spend to win. When was the last time the Twins went out and out bid everyone to get the best FA or the best INTL FA? NEVER. And don't say Sano because we all know if there wasn't an age controversy the Twins would of have no chance. I mean we could of gotten Anibal Sanchez last off season but we didn't, and he was cheap when it comes to good SPs.

launchingthrees
10-08-2013, 04:09 AM
It'll be a slap in the face if they don't spend the money they saved last year. Remember they promised 50-52% of revenue?

drivlikejehu
10-08-2013, 07:08 AM
It really is unfortunate you were so concrete in your claims. In addition to what Glunn pointed out, player salaries (originally and especially in Baseball) have enjoyed a somewhat unique relationship with tax law.

For decades, organizations were allowed to write off salary expenses as asset depreciation as well (because all players were getting older and less valuable. Yes the internal logic for that position is tenuous at best) . In essence, a $2m salary became a $4m expense, doublecounting the expense to inflate the loss. Without any recent meaningful leaks, it's difficult to know exactly where this currently lies. Previous financial information leaks from the last decade or so have suggested that some form of this accounting policy is still in being used, with the blessing of the IRS and in accordance with GAAP.

I apologize for the slight derail as it's not specifically Tanaka related, but wanted to make sure readers weren't misinformed.

I slightly misread what MLR posted, but I was correct and his analysis remains problematic.

I clearly referred to 'salaries' and 'periodic expenses' in noting that the Twins could front-load a player's contract without having to amortize it. The posting fee is a one-time expense that I did not address; it would be amortized over the 'useful life' of the ultimate contract.

So while MLR was correct in that aspect of the posting fee, it is incorrect to suggest the result is a problem for the Twins. They could still shift actual expenses to the current year, where there is budget room. They could still front-load the contract to leave more room for later. And by structuring the contract properly, they could still amortize a substantial portion of the posting fee in the current year.

*** Edited to add - here's an example of what I meant:

Posting fee: $40MM, Salary 4 years/$40MM with 2 option years

Salary by year: $18MM, $10MM, $6MM, $6MM, $12MM (vesting option), $12MM (vesting option)
Present value by year including amortized posting fee: $33MM, $23MM, $18MM, $17MM, $9MM, $9MM

Rick Niedermann
10-08-2013, 09:03 AM
I think the drop in payroll the last two years would cover the posting fee. And 10-11 million a year for a young #1 type pitcher is worth the gamble. But it will never happen. This is the risk averse Twins we are talking about. In Terry Ryan's eyes Mike Pelfrey is the answer. Accept and expect mediocrity next year. Because that is all Terry Ryan will give you.

JB_Iowa
10-08-2013, 09:59 AM
I wish I understood the Nishioka failure better.

I realize that scouting a pitcher is not the same as scouting a SS but Nishi was such a massive failure, it is very hard for me to have any confidence in the Twins putting so much money in the Tanaka basket.

I'm not saying they shouldn't do it but I hope the Twins have a good grasp on what went so dramatically wrong with Nishioka's transition before they decide to try it again with Tanaka (and a lot more money on the line).

Anthonyq
10-08-2013, 11:46 AM
I signed up specifically to comment on this thread which I am sure will lead me down the rabbit hole.

From what I have read this would be a decent way to go for the Twins. signing Tanaka would generate some hype (for the casual fan maybe not "good" due to the Nishi debacle), the team will get a good pitcher and will be seen as spending money.

However there are some things to think about here. First off is the posting fee. The people who think that his fee will be higher than Darvish's are likely wrong. Tanaka's stuff isn't as good. He also has some moving parts in his delivery, relies on his splitter for his out pitch, and has thrown a lot more pitches than most 24 year olds. The most worrying thing for me is that he seems to pitch high in (and out of) the zone. I got my info here (http://irfast.blogspot.com/2013/08/masahiro-tanaka-scouting-report.html) ( I paid a bit of attention to the analysis but more to the stats.) Pitch high in MLB is a good way to have a high ERA.

As disjointed as this post may be, my point is this: Tanaka has a ceiling of a good number 2 for a contender but is more likely to be an average 2 or top notch 3. For the Twins he would become our ace for next season and show the rest of the free agent market that we have found some ambition. As far as his posting fee, it should be around 33 million but if some team wants him enough could go as high as 45m. For me 45 is too much as I don't see Tanaka as worth that plus a five or 6 year deal at over 10m a season. you can find better value elsewhere.

Tibs
10-08-2013, 12:35 PM
To me, I think the idea of paying $50-$60 million just to talk to a prospect is a little crazy. Let me ask this question, who here would be willing to sign Byron Buxton to a 6 year $120+ million contract right now? It's not a perfect question, but Buxton is the #1 prospect in the game and neither have played in the majors.

Nick Nelson
10-08-2013, 02:01 PM
First off is the posting fee. The people who think that his fee will be higher than Darvish's are likely wrong. Tanaka's stuff isn't as good. He also has some moving parts in his delivery, relies on his splitter for his out pitch, and has thrown a lot more pitches than most 24 year olds.
Assessing what Tanaka might get for a posting fee isn't about comparing him with Darvish as a player. The landscape is simply different now than when Darvish came over two years ago. If Tanaka's posting fee is higher (which I suspect it will be) it's a reflection of the financial state of the game, not of his talent relative to Darvish.

cmb0252
10-08-2013, 03:05 PM
Assessing what Tanaka might get for a posting fee isn't about comparing him with Darvish as a player. The landscape is simply different now than when Darvish came over two years ago. If Tanaka's posting fee is higher (which I suspect it will be) it's a reflection of the financial state of the game, not of his talent relative to Darvish.

Tanaka is closer to the Dodgers Ryu Hyun Jin than Darvish. While Tanaka and Darvish are Japanese, Ryu Korean, both Tanaka/Ryu are #3 starters with #2 upside stuff wise. Ryu was signed last year for $36M for 6 years and had a $25.7M posting fee. I find it hard to believe Tanaka will get over double Ryu.

ThePuck
10-08-2013, 03:17 PM
I wish we had a #3 starter who carried an ERA of 3.00 and a FIP of 3.24. That would be fantastic! Just because Ryu is a #3 on the Dodgers, I'm not sure he's actually just a #3.

cmb0252
10-08-2013, 03:22 PM
I wish we had a #3 starter who carried an ERA of 3.00 and a FIP of 3.24. That would be fantastic! Just because Ryu is a #3 on the Dodgers, I'm not sure he's actually just a #3.

Sorry, I meant to say when Ryu was posted that was the scouting report. #3 with potential to be #2.

ThePuck
10-08-2013, 03:25 PM
Sorry, I meant to say when Ryu was posted that was the scouting report. #3 with potential to be #2.

Ah, I should have understood that. My bad.

Nick Nelson
10-08-2013, 03:44 PM
Tanaka is closer to the Dodgers Ryu Hyun Jin than Darvish. While Tanaka and Darvish are Japanese, Ryu Korean, both Tanaka/Ryu are #3 starters with #2 upside stuff wise. Ryu was signed last year for $36M for 6 years and had a $25.7M posting fee. I find it hard to believe Tanaka will get over double Ryu.
Again, this is a comparison based on precedence and that doesn't work here. The stakes are raised when every single team has an additional 25-30M in annual income to play with.

nicksaviking
10-08-2013, 04:06 PM
Assessing what Tanaka might get for a posting fee isn't about comparing him with Darvish as a player. The landscape is simply different now than when Darvish came over two years ago. If Tanaka's posting fee is higher (which I suspect it will be) it's a reflection of the financial state of the game, not of his talent relative to Darvish.

Not to mention that had everyone known what Darvish would have become his posting bids would have surely been higher. If free agency over the last 30 years has taught us anything, the best player doesn't set the curve for those that follow, he simply raises the bar with the expectation that the guys following him will raise it even higher, even if their skill is not equal.

I just noticed the Asian dating site add on the homepage. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm not sure that ad was targeted toward the most appropriate demographic. Or perhaps those marketing geniuses know something about the Twins off-season free agency plan that the rest of us don't?

diehardtwinsfan
10-08-2013, 05:42 PM
Not to mention that had everyone known what Darvish would have become his posting bids would have surely been higher. If free agency over the last 30 years has taught us anything, the best player doesn't set the curve for those that follow, he simply raises the bar with the expectation that the guys following him will raise it even higher, even if their skill is not equal.

I just noticed the Asian dating site add on the homepage. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm not sure that ad was targeted toward the most appropriate demographic. Or perhaps those marketing geniuses know something about the Twins off-season free agency plan that the rest of us don't?

Well, a half dozen Asian names are in every other post. My guess is some bot logic is seeing that and thinking there's something Asian about the site.

dannybgood
10-08-2013, 06:17 PM
It would make sense to me, since the Twins are so short on decent starting pitching, to bid aggressively on Tanaka. I think the down side of the older available starting pitching with their susceptibility to injury is what Ryan is looking at and I doubt he'll make any bids on the higher priced starters. I fear the Twins will look at people like Pelfry and once again this team be either at the bottom of the major leagues or close to it with starting pitchers ERA.

BG816
10-08-2013, 11:55 PM
I've been a longtime lurker, but after reading about Tanaka, I finally felt I needed to sign up and join the discussion.

I think Tanaka is the Twins' top priority this winter, and there are several reasons that have led me to this conclusion.
(And as a disclaimer, I don't agree with everything the front office does, and I have been as disappointed as anybody over the past 3 years. But, personally, I don't think me bitching about the negatives would add anything to the conversation, so my posts are going to be of the glass-half-full variety. That does NOT mean I'm an apologist ;))
1. Although Ryan is known as a spendthrift, I think there has been strategy involved in him not spending as much as permitted by ownership the past few years. He's not stupid. He knew the Twins would be awful for a few years while rebuilding. Why spend unnecessarily to make a 96-loss team into a 90-loss team? He has had his eyes on the future and stashing the unspent cash for a certain posting fee. Again, total speculation.
2. The Twins have probably been following Tanaka and other Japanese players for years. Tanaka didn't just come out of the blue. We know senior staff has made the trip over the Pacific to see Tanaka firsthand. Did they do that for Darvish or any other Japanese pitcher in the past? This could be evidence of a high level of seriousness on their part.
3. Payroll has been cut by attrition and trades, and the Twins are not going to risk further alienating fans by not spending the money we know they have on free agents. Despite fielding an awful team, attendance was impressive this past year (I live in Cleveland, so averaging over 30,000 per game to watch the Twins amazes me compared to what the Indians drew with a playoff team.) Income, therefore, has not dropped by much, so there's no business reason to cut payroll.
4. The prospects are being brought up in waves, allowing for future financial certainty. Obviously, for the first 3 years, each will be inexpensive. But, again, the money has to go somewhere. A $15m/yr. deal would be affordable and during those first few years there will be extra money to spend on other needs as well. If Tanaka is signed to a 5-year deal, there will be at least 2 seasons before a $15m salary would potentially become problematic. After that 2 year buffer, the problematic nature of the deal would only gradually rise over the final 3 years of the deal. I think the worst case scenario is that the Twins are stuck with a bad contract for 2 years at most, more likely for only 1 year, and if Tanaka performs as advertised, $15m/yr. is a bargain. Then, there is a year of arbitration, or more likely, an extension, and the terms and impact of that deal are impossible to know today, and will depend on the business health at that time. However, in 5 years, all signs point to the Twins being pretty damn good, and good baseball equals nice profits.
5. Finally, any talk of the Twins having to pay Tanaka more to come to Minnesota is nonsense. If the Twins post the winning bid, Tanaka will have 2 choices: sign with the Twins or go back to Japan and make a lot less in a worse league. There is no doubt he would sign. (Admittedly, I can't remember if anybody has claimed that he wouldn't want to sign with the Twins and would refuse to play for a rebuilding team like I've seen in other threads. So I'm sorry in advance.)
Conclusion: I'm an attorney. Viewing this through the eyes of a litigator, Terry Ryan's moves and non-moves, along with the financial health of the team and the need for a top-of-the-rotation pitcher without wanting to give up prospects or draft picks, everything points to the Twins making a very serious run at the best pitcher on the market, and a possible ace for years to come.

glunn
10-09-2013, 12:04 AM
I've been a longtime lurker, but after reading about Tanaka, I finally felt I needed to sign up and join the discussion.

I think Tanaka is the Twins' top priority this winter, and there are several reasons that have led me to this conclusion.
(And as a disclaimer, I don't agree with everything the front office does, and I have been as disappointed as anybody over the past 3 years. But, personally, I don't think me bitching about the negatives would add anything to the conversation, so my posts are going to be of the glass-half-full variety. That does NOT mean I'm an apologist ;))
1. Although Ryan is known as a spendthrift, I think there has been strategy involved in him not spending as much as permitted by ownership the past few years. He's not stupid. He knew the Twins would be awful for a few years while rebuilding. Why spend unnecessarily to make a 96-loss team into a 90-loss team? He has had his eyes on the future and stashing the unspent cash for a certain posting fee. Again, total speculation.
2. The Twins have probably been following Tanaka and other Japanese players for years. Tanaka didn't just come out of the blue. We know senior staff has made the trip over the Pacific to see Tanaka firsthand. Did they do that for Darvish or any other Japanese pitcher in the past? This could be evidence of a high level of seriousness on their part.
3. Payroll has been cut by attrition and trades, and the Twins are not going to risk further alienating fans by not spending the money we know they have on free agents. Despite fielding an awful team, attendance was impressive this past year (I live in Cleveland, so averaging over 30,000 per game to watch the Twins amazes me compared to what the Indians drew with a playoff team.) Income, therefore, has not dropped by much, so there's no business reason to cut payroll.
4. The prospects are being brought up in waves, allowing for future financial certainty. Obviously, for the first 3 years, each will be inexpensive. But, again, the money has to go somewhere. A $15m/yr. deal would be affordable and during those first few years there will be extra money to spend on other needs as well. If Tanaka is signed to a 5-year deal, there will be at least 2 seasons before a $15m salary would potentially become problematic. After that 2 year buffer, the problematic nature of the deal would only gradually rise over the final 3 years of the deal. I think the worst case scenario is that the Twins are stuck with a bad contract for 2 years at most, more likely for only 1 year, and if Tanaka performs as advertised, $15m/yr. is a bargain. Then, there is a year of arbitration, or more likely, an extension, and the terms and impact of that deal are impossible to know today, and will depend on the business health at that time. However, in 5 years, all signs point to the Twins being pretty damn good, and good baseball equals nice profits.
5. Finally, any talk of the Twins having to pay Tanaka more to come to Minnesota is nonsense. If the Twins post the winning bid, Tanaka will have 2 choices: sign with the Twins or go back to Japan and make a lot less in a worse league. There is no doubt he would sign. (Admittedly, I can't remember if anybody has claimed that he wouldn't want to sign with the Twins and would refuse to play for a rebuilding team like I've seen in other threads. So I'm sorry in advance.)
Conclusion: I'm an attorney. Viewing this through the eyes of a litigator, Terry Ryan's moves and non-moves, along with the financial health of the team and the need for a top-of-the-rotation pitcher without wanting to give up prospects or draft picks, everything points to the Twins making a very serious run at the best pitcher on the market, and a possible ace for years to come.

Excellent first post. I hope that you continue to participate.

Mr. Brooks
10-09-2013, 06:15 AM
1. Although Ryan is known as a spendthrift, I think there has been strategy involved in him not spending as much as permitted by ownership the past few years. He's not stupid. He knew the Twins would be awful for a few years while rebuilding. Why spend unnecessarily to make a 96-loss team into a 90-loss team? He has had his eyes on the future and stashing the unspent cash for a certain posting fee. Again, total speculation.


Unspent money is NOT carried over by the Twins. They are on record saying that, it is not opinion or interpretation, it is fact.

drivlikejehu
10-09-2013, 06:42 AM
Mr. Brooks is right, but that's not really the problem. The Twins just won't spend significant money on a free agent pitcher. I'm not sure what more they can do to prove this... decades of empirical evidence. Literally hundreds of statements by Terry Ryan. A cheap ownership group.

The chances of the Twins signing Tanaka are 0%.

Oldgoat_MN
10-09-2013, 07:38 AM
Unspent money is NOT carried over by the Twins. They are on record saying that, it is not opinion or interpretation, it is fact.

It would be unwise for them to say otherwise.
That doesn't mean that they couldn't splash an amount of money one year that would push the percentage above 54% one time.

I truly believe that the Pohlads are tired of losing, too.

I agree with BG816 in that Tanaka appears to be the prize of the off-season.

Dman
10-09-2013, 09:27 AM
I agree the Twins are interested in Tanaka and certainly are in a good position to make it work but given the history of the franchise I feel quite certain they will come up short. Another team will outbid them. When have Twins ever landed the premier free agent or player in their history? They will make a good bid but they will not get Tanaka so hopefully there is a plan B.

nicksaviking
10-09-2013, 09:34 AM
Well, a half dozen Asian names are in every other post. My guess is some bot logic is seeing that and thinking there's something Asian about the site.

I think I'd prefer to believe that Don Draper has infiltrated the Twins front office.

twinsfan34
10-09-2013, 11:39 AM
I've been a longtime lurker, but after reading about Tanaka, I finally felt I needed to sign up and join the discussion.



Great first post.

twinsfan34
10-09-2013, 12:17 PM
If the Twins can get Tanaka for similar to Yu Darvish (6yr $56M +$4M in possible roster bonuses + $51.7M for negotiating rights) money, he would probably be a better deal than most of the pitching signed this past off-season. Darvish ultimately will 'cost' an average of $18.6M per year.

Here's a rundown of 2012 FA class (begin 2013 with their new teams) production and salary for 2013:

5828
The question is, how would he then compare to the top pitching Free Agent Starting pitching for next year?

A quick gander at the crop of top FA starting pitchers for the 2014 (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/09/top-34-free-agent-starters.html) season can be had at MLB Trade Rumors.

If anyone saw my breakdown of starting pitching in the playoffs (http://twinsdaily.com/blogs/twinsfan34/4530-pitching-playoffs-through-farm-system-free-agency-trades.html) - most of the starting pitching that led to playoff teams was built on the farm, rather than through Free Agency.

Shane Wahl
10-09-2013, 03:43 PM
They reason I say it is unfortunate is because, yes, I would rather go six years with someone who could really be an ace, then to go three years for the same money on guys who will *then be gone* from the staff when 2017 gets here (unless signing another deal meaning more money etc.). Those are plans 1. and 1a. in my view though. And it is possible to trade one, two, or three of those guys at some point in the contract.

I am sold on Tanaka though. It took awhile.

BG816
10-09-2013, 04:26 PM
Mr. Brooks is right, but that's not really the problem. The Twins just won't spend significant money on a free agent pitcher. I'm not sure what more they can do to prove this... decades of empirical evidence. Literally hundreds of statements by Terry Ryan. A cheap ownership group.

The chances of the Twins signing Tanaka are 0%.

A. I'm not so sure ownership should be considered cheap. It's a business and they do what's necessary to make money for the shareholders, whether that means spending or reducing payroll. There is history of ownership spending when they deem it necessary, though that money was spent poorly by a bad GM. When evaluating the Pohlads, compare them to the rest of the league. Besides the Yankees, Dodgers and their ilk, they don't seem any less willing to spend than the rest.

B. Regarding Ryan, you have to take everything that comes out of his mouth with a grain of salt. He is not going to tell the press that he's going to spend a certain amount of money or he's going to target a certain player. He's competing with every other team in the league and showing his hand would assure loss. By keeping consistent in his statements (displaying a poker face), he can hide the fact that he may be holding a full house or better. Statements to the press should not hold much weight when determining whether the Twins will make a serious run at Tanaka or any other high end free agent pitcher. Though I'm not discounting Ryan's history of not spending much on pitching, I think circumstances are different here.

ThePuck
10-09-2013, 04:36 PM
In Smith's first two years as GM, payroll was lower than Ryan's last year as GM before he stepped down. Would you say Ryan spent money poorly for 2007 because it was higher than any other year before 2010 and we had a losing record after having a fantastic record in 2006?

The big money spend by Smith was due mostly to Mauer's pay raise (an additional 10.5 million form the 2010 team payroll). Heck 2011 was the really big spending year, who did he got get that wasn't on the 2010 team that cost a lot? Nishi? That pay was countered by getting rid of Punto.

In fact, when did Smith go out and get a pricey FA? What poor spending are we talking about? Re-signing Mauer, re-signing Cuddyer, re-signing Nathan or re-signing Morny? Which one of those were bad signings when they were done?

BG816
10-09-2013, 04:46 PM
The big money spend by Smith was due mostly to Mauer's pay raise (an additional 10.5 million form the 2010 team payroll). Heck 2011 was the really big spending year, who did he got get that wasn't on the 2010 team that cost a lot? Nishi? That pay was countered by getting rid of Punto.

In fact, when did Smith go out and get a pricey FA? What poor spending are we talking about? Re-signing Mauer, re-signing Cuddyer, re-signing Nathan or re-signing Morny? Which one of those were bad signings when they were done?

You make a good point. But I guess what I was trying to get across is that the willingness to spend was there. In other organizations, many of those players would have been traded before their raises or would have been allowed to walk. However, I suppose a lot of the spending could have had more to do with the Twins' loyalty to their own players who have come up through their system and flourished.

drivlikejehu
10-09-2013, 04:50 PM
A. I'm not so sure ownership should be considered cheap. It's a business and they do what's necessary to make money for the shareholders, whether that means spending or reducing payroll. There is history of ownership spending when they deem it necessary, though that money was spent poorly by a bad GM. When evaluating the Pohlads, compare them to the rest of the league. Besides the Yankees, Dodgers and their ilk, they don't seem any less willing to spend than the rest..

Pro sports franchises are not really a typical business. There are other factors in play as well, such as the prestige ownership brings. The Pohlads aren't totally outside the ordinary levels of financial commitment, but they aren't great either. The Tigers, Giants, White Sox, and Phillies are teams that come to mind where ownership has typically accepted lower profits to improve competitiveness (obviously some of the difference owes to market size rather than ownership).



B. Regarding Ryan, you have to take everything that comes out of his mouth with a grain of salt. He is not going to tell the press that he's going to spend a certain amount of money or he's going to target a certain player. He's competing with every other team in the league and showing his hand would assure loss. By keeping consistent in his statements (displaying a poker face), he can hide the fact that he may be holding a full house or better. Statements to the press should not hold much weight when determining whether the Twins will make a serious run at Tanaka or any other high end free agent pitcher. Though I'm not discounting Ryan's history of not spending much on pitching, I think circumstances are different here.

I'm not referring to any specific remark Ryan has made, but rather what his countless interviews and statements over the years reveal about his baseball philosophy. He just does not believe in spending money on free agent pitching. Sticking to that line isn't fooling anyone or giving him some kind of competitive advantage. If he does start going after free agents, other clubs will react the exact same way as if any other team bid... they could care less whether that team is the Twins or [pick team].

ThePuck
10-09-2013, 04:51 PM
You make a good point. But I guess what I was trying to get across is that the willingness to spend was there. In other organizations, many of those players would have been traded before their raises or would have been allowed to walk. However, I suppose a lot of the spending could have had more to do with the Twins' loyalty to their own players who have come up through their system and flourished.

The willingness was there because, at least in Mauer and Morny's cases, that was something that had to be done. Look at the timing of the spending and when it started taking effect. When we moved into the new ballpark. Would have been a HUGE PR hit if at least those two weren't signed...I mean HUGE.

That's not the case now...and it's not the same GM either...the owners have to be willing and so does the GM they entrust to spend.

h2oface
10-09-2013, 05:01 PM
Tanaka is exactly what the Twins need. He would mature with Buxton and Sano and Arcia and Levi Michael........ ops..... forget Michael...... Rosario.... et al. Puig was cheap to, considering. But then, he has way too much personality for the Twins and many fans. Tanaka could be the young ace that solidifies the diversity of the new up and coming teams, and provides the pitching that could lead the hopefuls.

BG816
10-09-2013, 05:48 PM
The willingness was there because, at least in Mauer and Morny's cases, that was something that had to be done. Look at the timing of the spending and when it started taking effect. When we moved into the new ballpark. Would have been a HUGE PR hit if at least those two weren't signed...I mean HUGE.

That's not the case now...and it's not the same GM either...the owners have to be willing and so does the GM they entrust to spend.

Again, good point. But don't you think PR has taken a hit recently with the decreased payroll, the decreased talent on the field, and the decrease in wins in the standings? The county is still paying for that stadium. I would hope ownership doesn't think it's okay to continue down this path, and I know the fan-base doesn't think it's okay. So I think the risk of PR hits IS still the case today, granted less pronounced or obvious.

ThePuck
10-09-2013, 06:56 PM
Again, good point. But don't you think PR has taken a hit recently with the decreased payroll, the decreased talent on the field, and the decrease in wins in the standings? The county is still paying for that stadium. I would hope ownership doesn't think it's okay to continue down this path, and I know the fan-base doesn't think it's okay. So I think the risk of PR hits IS still the case today, granted less pronounced or obvious.

Yes, there is still a PR issue, but now they can say they are rebuilding...now the can say attendance is down...now they can say we have a big payroll guy, even if the other three payroll guys are gone...and, you know, we're going into season five now at the new stadium. It's not right after the new ballpark got approved and moved into. Your argument is sound, but now it's a matter of degrees the PR hit threat is, IMO. And, again, even if the ownership is willing to live up to what they said, the GM has to make the moves...and ownership has made it clear, it's all in Ryan's hands...and Ryan thinks a 3 year 21M FA contract is a very big contract.

That is not to say Ryan won't change...he may...but I think he'll build this team up to where he wants to, and then bail if/when the really big contracts need to be done.

diehardtwinsfan
10-09-2013, 08:29 PM
BG816,

I do hope you are right in that they will go hard after Tanaka. I'm probably one of the more conservative people on this board in terms of how the Twins should operate, and like you I think this is the smart choice. I'm not as optimistic in them doing so.

Puck,

Here's the real problem with FA. 3 big moves won't make this team go from a 90 loss team to a 90 win team. It might make the 96 loss team drop to an 85-80 loss team depending on how things play out, and while that will be more beneficial to watch (and that's assuming they make the right 3 moves, which we all know isn't a given), I don't see how it makes sense unless the big moves are going to be around (and not blocking) the next wave. I like Tanaka from the standpoint of his age, as he's going to be playing out his contract in his 20s as opposed to his 30s. That said, if the Twins commit 100M to a guy, how much more are they going to spend? And how much more should they? I just don't see them handing out multiple huge contracts, and for good reason. They will need some flexibility as the next wave arrives. It's been said numerous times that no one knows which prospects will succeed and which will fail. That's all true, and it's all the more reason why you have money available so that you can plug the inevitable hole once the team is good again.

Getting Tanaka (or Abreau as a consolation prize), and doing little else other than trading away some bullpen players for prospects would be an excellent offseason in my opinion.

FSP
10-09-2013, 09:00 PM
Getting Tanaka (or Abreau as a consolation prize), and doing little else other than trading away some bullpen players for prospects would be an excellent offseason in my opinion.

Agree 100%. The only thing I care about this offseason is adding long term building blocks, prospects basically, and Abreu and Tanaka are just major league ready prospects. They are young enough to have several good years remaining while we are hopefully relevant while the other FA's will be gone or declining by then. Other than those two we're just throwing our money away to be not quite as bad in the short term, getting a worse draft pick in the process, but doing nothing for the long term.

freshinthehouse
10-10-2013, 03:08 AM
Agree with the last two post. This team is so abysmal right now that no off-season maneuvers are going to make this team a winner in 2014. A lot of youngn's are going to be making their debut throughout the season, and most of them will struggle at some point. That sounds like a rebuilding year to me. Grabbing a high-profile int'l player like Tanaka or Abreu (or both!) has to be priority #1. Picking up a couple of decent 30 year old pitchers is not what this team needs. This team needs as many young uber-prospects as possible.

BabyJesusBuxton
10-10-2013, 12:25 PM
The biggest glaring hole right now is starting pitching. Until this is fixed nothing else matters. Tanaka, if he produces as advertised, would be a huge step in the right direction. If they are able to get Tanaka and sign another quality FA SP this offseason to a 3 year deal I think the team could have a turnaround year.

I understand there are other issues, particularly with the offense. I think if the pitching is corrected, the other issues can be easily fixed through platoons, prospects, and free agents.

Shane Wahl
10-10-2013, 12:47 PM
The biggest glaring hole right now is starting pitching. Until this is fixed nothing else matters. Tanaka, if he produces as advertised, would be a huge step in the right direction. If they are able to get Tanaka and sign another quality FA SP this offseason to a 3 year deal I think the team could have a turnaround year.

I understand there are other issues, particularly with the offense. I think if the pitching is corrected, the other issues can be easily fixed through platoons, prospects, and free agents.

I am in 100% agreement. Tanaka and Hughes or Johnson or Kazmir or Hudson (1 year deal) would BLOW. MY. MIND.

A well-run organization with massive money to spend would do that. So, there is the problem. Right there. End of story.

Shane Wahl
10-10-2013, 12:48 PM
I do agree that $120 million would be better spent in Cuba. But I am not sure it is better spent in the U.S. on free agents.

BabyJesusBuxton
10-10-2013, 03:28 PM
Agreed that it is unlikely they land Tanaka but in order to save face with the fans they need to make a move such as this. I could see the attendance drop by more than 30 percent in 2015 if they don't improve next year to a respectable MLB team. 2014 attendance (tickets sold as apposed to people in house) will be fine because of the allstar game. If they lose 85+ games again next year there are going to be tons of people jumping ship on top of those just trying to score allstar tickets.

ScottyB
10-11-2013, 10:41 AM
Not only is it unlikely that we get Tanaka, but I would go a step further - it's impossible. The Yankees have decided to go after him strong and the other teams in the mix are the Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers. We would need to bid between $150 and $200 million just for the rights to make an offer. We just don't have pockets that deep.

nicksaviking
10-11-2013, 10:49 AM
Not only is it unlikely that we get Tanaka, but I would go a step further - it's impossible. The Yankees have decided to go after him strong and the other teams in the mix are the Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers. We would need to bid between $150 and $200 million just for the rights to make an offer. We just don't have pockets that deep.

While I agree it is very unlikely the Twins will get Tanaka, the $150-$200 million posting fee is pretty rediculous. While the Yankees may go after him, they are trying to get under the $189 million luxery tax threshold. With Arod's 2014 salray in a legal fight, the Yankees may actually have less free agent budget than the Twins do and that's beside the consideration that they surely will still at least attemt to retain Robinson Cano.

mike wants wins
10-11-2013, 10:49 AM
No one is bidding $200MM dollars.

Nick Nelson
10-11-2013, 10:49 AM
We would need to bid between $150 and $200 million just for the rights to make an offer.

Uhhh...

LaBombo
10-11-2013, 11:18 AM
2014 attendance (tickets sold as apposed to people in house) will be fine because of the allstar game. If they lose 85+ games again next year there are going to be tons of people jumping ship on top of those just trying to score allstar tickets.
Will people really fork over thousands of dollars to see Glen Perkins throw an inning of middle relief in a meaningless (for the Twins, anyway) exhibition game? Could happen, I guess; sometimes I forget there are people who love baseball even more than I do.

And only 85 losses would be a stunning victory for the front office, given that no team in over 70 years has lost fewer than 93 when bringing back a manager with a three-year record as bad as Gardy's. Probably better off hoping for the high draft pick anyway.

ScottyB
10-11-2013, 11:31 AM
My $150 - $200 was meant to be an exageration. However posting fees are not counted toward luxury tax, and whatever the final posting fee is it will be more than Ryan will spend. With the Yankees, Bosox, Dodgers and Rangers in the mix, it will be well north of Darvish's $51 million +. The most we've spent for a posting fee is the $5 million we paid for Nishi. We came in second for Iwakuma to the A's who paid $19 million to negotiate.

BabyJesusBuxton
10-11-2013, 02:31 PM
I would be surprised if the posting fee is higher than Darvish's.

The Yankees have been trying to decrease payroll and need to save money to secure Cano as Nick pointed out.

The Red Sox have a full rotation through the 2014 season which would make me wonder why they would post over 50 million to sign a 6th starter when that money could be spent elsewhere. Although everyone knows there is no such thing as too much SP.

The Dodgers are a bit of a wild card. They have shown that there isn't really a cap on their roster payroll. However, they are likely going to need to fork out around an 8 year $225 million deal to sign Kershaw after next season. They do have two open rotation spots though behind Kershaw, Grienke and Ryu so who knows how high they would go here?

The Rangers could also possibly go after Tanaka as they are in need of another starter. They have expressed wanting to bring back Colby Lewis which would be a low risk high reward signing coming off TJ surgery (one I wouldn't mind seeing the Twins pursue too). I could see them bidding highly for Tanaka as they had success with the posting for Yu Darvish.

Ultimately the question I find interesting is this - Will everyone post higher based on the number it required to get Darvish? Or does the highest bidder come back down to earth because the next closest bid after the Rangers was way less than the posting fee that the Rangers paid to sign Darvish.

mike wants wins
10-14-2013, 09:54 AM
Again with the argument that you don't add players unless they can get you to 90 wins.....you add 1 good/great player a year in FA for a few years, you are that much closer. I don't get this argument at all.

On Tanaka, I think that a big market team will post something like $75MM, and the Twins will post around $30MM. I'd go as high as $50-60MM if I was them, given the increase in revenue and what they've pocketed lately.....but I think they ultimately get outbid. I think they don't bid seriously on any Cuban also.

kab21
10-14-2013, 10:25 AM
Again with the argument that you don't add players unless they can get you to 90 wins.....you add 1 good/great player a year in FA for a few years, you are that much closer. I don't get this argument at all.

On Tanaka, I think that a big market team will post something like $75MM, and the Twins will post around $30MM. I'd go as high as $50-60MM if I was them, given the increase in revenue and what they've pocketed lately.....but I think they ultimately get outbid. I think they don't bid seriously on any Cuban also.

Who is making that argument in this thread?

In other threads people have made that argument but most of those other threads are about signing 30+ yr olds. The Twins shouldn't be investing a lot of money in players that will be finishing their contracts in their mid 30's. this team has to get younger. this thread however is about a 24 yr old which is exactly the type of player the Twins should target. the scary thing is that it might take 120M to sign him (including posting fee). That is A LOT OF money regardless of what you think the Twins payroll should be. Not only do you have agree to pay that much money for one FA but you also have to be very sure of someone that hasn't thrown an MLB pitch. The Nishioka concerns are silly because he wasn't a great player in Japan (he was a solid above average player) but Tanaka still hasn't thrown an MLB pitch.

mike wants wins
10-14-2013, 10:37 AM
Heh, I was reading two threads, and posted that first part in the wrong thread, sorry.

Jim Crikket
10-17-2013, 01:45 PM
From Keith Law's chat today:

Can you opine on Tanaka and if can potentially be as good as Darvish? Or do you not know enough about him to comment?
Klaw (1:17 PM)


He's not close to Darvish. No one from NPB is. The entire comparison is based on ethnicity/former league. Tanaka is more comparable to Kuroda.
Klaw (1:17 PM)


...but no one wants to say that because it's not as exciting. Tanaka is more like a mid-rotation guy here, but he'll be paid like he's much better than that.

Just wondering if that sort of evaluation makes anyone who has been suggesting the Twins be aggressive in the bidding process have second thoughts.

ThePuck
10-17-2013, 02:03 PM
I'll take a Kurodo all day long...

cmb0252
10-17-2013, 02:05 PM
From Keith Law's chat today:

Can you opine on Tanaka and if can potentially be as good as Darvish? Or do you not know enough about him to comment?
Klaw (1:17 PM)




He's not close to Darvish. No one from NPB is. The entire comparison is based on ethnicity/former league. Tanaka is more comparable to Kuroda.
Klaw (1:17 PM)




...but no one wants to say that because it's not as exciting. Tanaka is more like a mid-rotation guy here, but he'll be paid like he's much better than that.

Just wondering if that sort of evaluation makes anyone who has been suggesting the Twins be aggressive in the bidding process have second thoughts.

I don't think this should be new information to anyone. The scouting reports on Tanaka have always been a mid rotation guy with a chance to be a #2. The appeal about Tanaka is he will step right in and be our best starter, not cost a draft pick, and because he is so young he won't effect the rebuilding process. I would be happy to have 6 years of Kuroda production in the middle of our rotation.

nicksaviking
10-17-2013, 02:06 PM
From Keith Law's chat today:

Can you opine on Tanaka and if can potentially be as good as Darvish? Or do you not know enough about him to comment?
Klaw (1:17 PM)




He's not close to Darvish. No one from NPB is. The entire comparison is based on ethnicity/former league. Tanaka is more comparable to Kuroda.
Klaw (1:17 PM)




...but no one wants to say that because it's not as exciting. Tanaka is more like a mid-rotation guy here, but he'll be paid like he's much better than that.

Just wondering if that sort of evaluation makes anyone who has been suggesting the Twins be aggressive in the bidding process have second thoughts.

I guess it probably depends on what is agressive. Teams would pay a lot of money to have Kuroda on their team. In fact, I'd guess if Kuroda was Tanaka's age and on the market now, he likely would have gotten the same or larger contract than Darvish did. $10-12 million per seems like it would be a bargain for a 24-year-old Kuroda.

Jim Crikket
10-17-2013, 03:09 PM
I guess it probably depends on what is agressive. Teams would pay a lot of money to have Kuroda on their team. In fact, I'd guess if Kuroda was Tanaka's age and on the market now, he likely would have gotten the same or larger contract than Darvish did. $10-12 million per seems like it would be a bargain for a 24-year-old Kuroda.

Fair enough. I guess by "aggressive," I would say simply bidding enough to give you a high probability of winning the bid.

If most organizations see Tanaka as Law does, as a middle of the rotation guy, maybe that means the Twins' chances go up. I'm not sure how many teams would be willing to incur a huge up-front cost for the privilege of negotiating a deal for what would be, for them, a #3 starter.

If he would, indeed, immediately pencil in as the Twins' top starter, he might be worth more to the Twins than he would to other organizations.

I just don't think a posting bid comparable to what Darvish's rights went for makes much sense for any team if they're not getting a bona fide top of the rotation arm.

cmb0252
10-17-2013, 04:31 PM
Fair enough. I guess by "aggressive," I would say simply bidding enough to give you a high probability of winning the bid.

If most organizations see Tanaka as Law does, as a middle of the rotation guy, maybe that means the Twins' chances go up. I'm not sure how many teams would be willing to incur a huge up-front cost for the privilege of negotiating a deal for what would be, for them, a #3 starter.

If he would, indeed, immediately pencil in as the Twins' top starter, he might be worth more to the Twins than he would to other organizations.

I just don't think a posting bid comparable to what Darvish's rights went for makes much sense for any team if they're not getting a bona fide top of the rotation arm.

If the new posting system gets put into place it could work to our favor too. We would only have to finish in the top 3 bids to have a chance to negotiate with Tanaka. This is a double edged sword though. This should decrease the size of the posting fees but increase the cost of contracts handed out because multiple teams will be able to negotiate with the player.

Shane Wahl
10-17-2013, 04:39 PM
The Yankees are not going to care about the posting bid. So they will win by posting $50 or whatever million. They do care about salary and he is fairly cheap if in the 5-6 years and $55-66 million range.

kab21
10-17-2013, 09:09 PM
I think that new posting system is a pipedream. Why would Japan agree to it since it could result in substantially lower winning bids?

Jim Crikket
10-18-2013, 09:08 AM
I think that new posting system is a pipedream. Why would Japan agree to it since it could result in substantially lower winning bids?

Well, I'm no expert on international law (or much of any kind of law, for that matter), but my understanding has always been that MLB agreed to the current system in order to preclude having teams essentially treat the Japanese leagues as just another independent minor league and raid them for talent without any compensation at all.

I don't think anyone envisioned Japanese teams getting $50 million in a single posting fee and while the proposed new system may mean a bit less money going overseas as compensation, they won't see that money dry up completely. That's better than the alternative of having Japanese players simply able to negotiate with any/all 30 MLB teams with no compensation going to their former team at all.

nicksaviking
10-18-2013, 10:11 AM
I think that new posting system is a pipedream. Why would Japan agree to it since it could result in substantially lower winning bids?

Because Japan fears that if they don't change it, the high profile teenagers are going to go straight to the MLB instead of sticking around Japan for a few years to develop.

A secondary concern is that MLB teams have the ability to screw everyone over by posting a large bid only to not make a good faith effort to reach an agreement with the player. The A's were accused of doing this with Iwakuma simply to keep rivals from signing him.

I think the bigger question is why would mid-market Midweast MLB teams agree to this. What high-profile Asian free agent is going to choose Minnesota or Kansas City?

beckmt
10-18-2013, 11:28 AM
Twins still should take a chance here. Young controllable pitcher at a reasonable yearly cost. Hope the upfront fee does not stop them. Would bid up to a little over $50 million for his rights.

Jim Crikket
10-18-2013, 11:37 AM
I think the bigger question is why would mid-market Midweast MLB teams agree to this. What high-profile Asian free agent is going to choose Minnesota or Kansas City?

Which leads to the question, "what makes you think Bud Selig or the major market teams that run MLB give a damn what the mid-market Midweast MLB teams will or won't agree to?"

The new proposal absolutely favors the big market teams. As virtually all decisions made by MLB do.

kab21
10-18-2013, 11:59 AM
Because Japan fears that if they don't change it, the high profile teenagers are going to go straight to the MLB instead of sticking around Japan for a few years to develop.

Possibly but that high profile teenager is subject to the int'l signing rules and would get <5M guaranteed and then have to wait several years in the minors before making the MiLB min for 3 more years before hitting arb. Not exactly a quicker path to the big money.

JB_Iowa
10-18-2013, 12:35 PM
I worry that even if the Twins are the high bidder on Tanaka, the Twins do not have other factors in place to maximize his success.

Looking back, when Kuroda went to the Dodgers, he was 33 years old, the Dodgers closer was Takashi Saito and Kuroda was not expected to anchor the rotation. The Dodgers also had Lowe & Billingsley and 20-year-old Clayton Kershaw as well as Brad Penny.

When Darvish went to the Rangers, they not only had the guru in charge (Nolan Ryan), they also had Matt Harrison and Derek Holland (plus Scott Feldman, Colby Lewis & Ryan Dempster). They also had Yoshinori Tateyama already in their system (and having made his major league debut).

Tanaka would pretty much be expected to anchor the Twins rotation plus would be the only Japanese player on the team at this point. Would that really maximize his possibility of success? Is he the right fit for the Twins? Are the Twins the right fit for him?

Winston Smith
10-18-2013, 12:54 PM
Question, has Terry Ryan ever shown that he will (by actually doing it) spend a large amount of money on an International Free agent, Cuban or Asian player?

Oxtung
10-18-2013, 01:28 PM
Possibly but that high profile teenager is subject to the int'l signing rules and would get <5M guaranteed and then have to wait several years in the minors before making the MiLB min for 3 more years before hitting arb. Not exactly a quicker path to the big money.

But perhaps the only path to the really big money. Ryu and Darvish are making good money but not great until their contract expires. They won't be FA's until they are 32 and 31 years old respectively. It seems unlikely they will be signed to one of the 7 to 8 year mega contracts that are currently the rage at that stage of their careers.

If a pitcher, like Darvish let's say, feels like he is going to be an absolute stud then financially it might make sense to come over early, work your way up through the minors and make it to arbitration. Certainly that is considerably more risky but the potential reward is also much greater.

Another factor in the decision making process, and one I don't know the answer to, is how much these guys are making in Japan/Korea. Does anybody know?

Oxtung
10-18-2013, 01:29 PM
I worry that even if the Twins are the high bidder on Tanaka, the Twins do not have other factors in place to maximize his success.

Looking back, when Kuroda went to the Dodgers, he was 33 years old, the Dodgers closer was Takashi Saito and Kuroda was not expected to anchor the rotation. The Dodgers also had Lowe & Billingsley and 20-year-old Clayton Kershaw as well as Brad Penny.

When Darvish went to the Rangers, they not only had the guru in charge (Nolan Ryan), they also had Matt Harrison and Derek Holland (plus Scott Feldman, Colby Lewis & Ryan Dempster). They also had Yoshinori Tateyama already in their system (and having made his major league debut).

Tanaka would pretty much be expected to anchor the Twins rotation plus would be the only Japanese player on the team at this point. Would that really maximize his possibility of success? Is he the right fit for the Twins? Are the Twins the right fit for him?

I don't know the answer to any of your questions, I'm not sure anybody does, but they are great questions.

ericchri
11-05-2013, 09:15 AM
Wasn't sure if this really warranted a new topic, so I'll tack it on here as the discussion of Tanaka involves posting fees.

Just wondering if you could abuse the system to "block" a player if you were worried about him signing with a rival. Make a huge bid guaranteed to win, but then offer a terrible contract the player won't sign, thus preventing him from coming over here. Just wondering if there's anything that would prevent that, like the Japanese team keeping XX% of the posting fee regardless.

mike wants wins
11-05-2013, 09:20 AM
Oakland did that. It was not smiled on.....

Value is a funny thing. If you aren't going to spend that money elsewhere, and your best pitcher is a number 4 or 5 quality pitcher, I'd think Tananka holds more value to you than to a team that already has 3 or more good pitchers. Also, if you have a budget of between 90 and 120MM, and you are only spending 60-70MM, he should be more affordable to you (regardless of value).

ericchri
11-05-2013, 09:27 AM
I wasn't suggesting the Twins do that, just had the thought cross my mind wondering if it could even be done. Not they have reason to worry per se, but if the Red Sox were certain the Yankees were most likely to get him, could they pull that off to prevent it?

nicksaviking
11-05-2013, 09:30 AM
I wasn't suggesting the Twins do that, just had the thought cross my mind wondering if it could even be done. Not they have reason to worry per se, but if the Red Sox were certain the Yankees were most likely to get him, could they pull that off to prevent it?

Yeah, Oakland did it, and it's likely one of the reasons the Japanese Leagues are considering changing the posting system so that multiple teams are allowed to negotiate with the player.