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Thread: Masahiro Tanaka

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    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Masahiro Tanaka

    Darren Wolfson ‏@DarrenWolfson
    With #MNTwins VP Mike Radcliff heading to Japan in the coming weeks, I suspect he'll watch pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. Big-time FA this winter.

    via mlbtraderumors

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    Good news on Tanaka.

    I just sent Rad an email. As long as he's over there, there's a kid in Japan, plays shortstop, incredible range, good enough arm, great line-drive hitter. He's a can't miss MLB standout. Probably get him cheap. What's his name again? .....

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    Like buying a plane ticket?!

    That's encouraging both in the fact that the Twins may have learned it's best to scout Japanese players in person in lieu of YouTube and in the fact that the Nishioka incident has not completely scared the Twins away from Asian prospects.

  4. #4
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Good news if that's what happens. Not only that they are looking into the player, but that the Nishi situation didn't scare them off for the future.

  5. #5
    Senior Member All-Star James's Avatar
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    I'd love to read some scouting reports on this guy to see what he features for pitches. But he has really good numbers in Japan.

    Yes, yes. I am aware that the Japan Pacific League is not the MLB, but I think any of us would be interested in him if he was in a AA or AAA (somewhere in between?) with the numbers that this guy is putting up.

    Any way about it, there's definitely nothing wrong with taking a look. I'm also, glad the Twins aren't scared away from Japanese players because of the Nishi thing. I say get talent where ever you can get it.
    You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Danchat's Avatar
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    I'm all for signing a Japanese pitcher. Yu Darvish, Hiroki Kuroda, Koji Uehara, that Dodgers Ryu guy, and others have had tons of success.
    Just don't sign any more infielders from there. Ever.

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    Wiki says: Tanaka is a 188 cm (6 ft 2 in), 93 kg (205 lb) right-handed power pitcher with a high three-quarters delivery. He throws a four-seam fastball that usually sits around 145 to 149 km/h (90 to 93 mph) (clocked as fast as 96 mph at Dodger Stadium in 2009 WBC) and complements it with a vicious 82-86 mph slider with a sharp, late break. He also throws a solid 84-88 mph splitter, and a two-seam fastball. In 2007, Tanaka often relied on this slider to strike out batters. He has since worked on improving his other offspeed pitches to induce more groundballs and get batters out more efficiently.
    One area of Tanaka's pitching that is often cited as needing improvement is his motion from the stretch. He allowed a league-high 28 baserunners to steal on him in 2007...but as always with the Japanese buyer beware...look at this from high school (in a single tournament) "Tanaka threw 742 pitches in 52⅔ innings (six appearances) in the tournament, striking out 54 and walking 20 with a 2.22 ERA." Lots of mileage on these arms. They say Darvish is an exception in that his father was Iranian and fought the Japanese arm overuse culture.

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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    There is mileage but what is encouraging to me is the secondary stuff. A guy can afford lose a few ticks off his fastball when the secondary stuff is there. I personally think, after looking at some of the youtubes, Tanaka has the goods. In the older clips he shows a good slider but in last spring's WBC you see him more making guys look silly with the splitter.

    It seems to be a trend with the Japanese pitchers, or at least the really elite ones, to learn a good split. Kuroda, Darvish, Iwakuma, , Uehara, all lean on very good splits. Dice-K and Nomo threw them too. Tanaka seems to fit right in, possibly the closest comp being Kuroda.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsfanstl View Post
    In 2007, Tanaka often relied on this slider to strike out batters. He has since worked on improving his other offspeed pitches to induce more groundballs and get batters out more efficiently.
    Well now I'm torn. This would explain his K/9 dropping from 8.8 last year to 7.4 this year.

    Masahiro Tanaka Minor League Statistics & History - Baseball-Reference.com

    Not surprised the Twins are interested as he has already willingingly taken to the pitch to contact approach. What does a Japanese League 7.4 K/9 look like at the MLB?

    Ugh, I'm happy they are looking internationally, but why, WHY can't they go after a power arm?

  10. #10
    Senior Member All-Star Winston Smith's Avatar
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    Interested is one thing, willing to spend money on a competitive offer is another.
    This comment brought to you from the Rosedale Mall studio by Hamm's Beer, brewed in the land of sky blue waters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    Well now I'm torn. This would explain his K/9 dropping from 8.8 last year to 7.4 this year.

    Masahiro Tanaka Minor League Statistics & History - Baseball-Reference.com

    Not surprised the Twins are interested as he has already willingingly taken to the pitch to contact approach. What does a Japanese League 7.4 K/9 look like at the MLB?

    Ugh, I'm happy they are looking internationally, but why, WHY can't they go after a power arm?
    Tanaka's numbers look similar to Kuroda's in Japan. It wouldn't be a bad thing if Tanaka could put up Kuroda type numbers here. At 25 he would be coming into his prime.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    Just think if the Twins sign this guy and the Cuban SS their offseason goals would almost be complete. It would just be to tinker with the team the rest of the offseason.... Morneau 1 year contract with low base and maybe another starter with upside signing....

  13. #13
    I like that they are keeping all options open. If this guy is really that good they are going to have to get out the checkbook though. I would imagine other clubs are checking him out as well.

  14. #14
    Didn't he play for the Indians in the 90's?



    Is this the guy?

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    What are the posting rules for Tanaka?

    Is it blind? Best offer wins?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    What are the posting rules for Tanaka?

    Is it blind? Best offer wins?
    It's a blind bid and the best offer wins. And the team only wins the right to negotiate.

    As a comparison the Rangers paid a 51M posting fee for Darvish and signed him for 56M/6 years. Tanaka is obviously not Darvish but teams are throwing money around so I wouldn't be surprised if it took 30+M to win the posting fee. I have no idea if he's worth it but they are at least checking him out so that's good.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab21 View Post
    It's a blind bid and the best offer wins. And the team only wins the right to negotiate.

    As a comparison the Rangers paid a 51M posting fee for Darvish and signed him for 56M/6 years. Tanaka is obviously not Darvish but teams are throwing money around so I wouldn't be surprised if it took 30+M to win the posting fee. I have no idea if he's worth it but they are at least checking him out so that's good.
    This is a pretty good idea of what will happen with Tanaka too. From what I understand he and Darvish would be pretty comparable situations.

    That said, if they don't reach a deal, the posting fee is refunded, so there's no risk if you win the bid and cannot sign a contract.

  18. #18
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    Since it is a blind bid...

    The Twins can outbid and eliminate the competition. This won't be a case of Tanaka choosing another team looking for a better situation. If they don't acquire Tanaka, it will be solely because they didn't put up enough money.

    How much should they bid?

  19. #19
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    Every time I read a report about Tanaka I want the Twins to get him more. Especially with how poor the FA arms are this year and next year. He isn't an ace like darvish but I think he could be a a solid #2.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by cmb0252 View Post
    Every time I read a report about Tanaka I want the Twins to get him more. Especially with how poor the FA arms are this year and next year. He isn't an ace like darvish but I think he could be a a solid #2.
    Do we really think the Twins will take another (big) chance with the Japanese market again?

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