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Thread: Masahiro Tanaka

  1. #1
    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Masahiro Tanaka

    I think he deserves a thread of his own.

    First, all of the posters clamoring for him, have you even watched him pitch? Youtube might not be perfect, but you can get a good idea of what a guy has. From watching him some you can see a few things. What first stands out in this clip is he has a sweet split finger (I think that is what it is anyway). Second, I don't like the command of his FB. MLB hitters are patient and will force hitter's counts making him unable to cut teeth with that split finger or slider.

    I found this article with some scouting information on him. After going through it, it really didn't completely convince me Tanaka is worth 100m (assuming that is the price-tag). An interesting comp they threw out was Dan Haren. I wouldn't mind risking 10-15m a year on this guys since he does look like he will be a pretty good pitcher, but I wouldn't go over 15.

    It is easy to get excited considering the success Darvish has had recently. However, we shouldn't put too much into the comparison between because the only similarity they have is being born in the same country. Darvish is taller, has a better delivery (IMO), throws harder, and have a different mix of pitches that are effective. Darvish is a guy I would have put 100m into, unfortunately, he isn't on the market, Tanaka is.

    The link provided shows a comparison with how each did in the Japan league. I am not putting too much weight into other than they both did really well. If we've been shown anything, is that the two leagues are not directly correlated with success. If the Twins do bite the bullet and go after him I will not lavish if it is a failure, rather applaud their willingness to compete. I hope someone signs him and gives us another story to follow next season.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

  2. #2
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    I want him because, from what I've read, he's the most likely player to be available to be a number 3 pitcher. Not one US FA is likely to be that, possibly yes, but not likely. They have as much money available to spend on this as it takes, they are committed to under $60MM next year.

    To me, he has more value to the Twins than he does to other teams. They have plenty of money, they don't have 1 pitcher they are sure is even a number 4 signed for next year, and the guys in the minors were in AA or lower this year.

    Nope, never seen him pitch. But I have not seen Phil Hughes this year, or any other US FA this year.

    If you wouldn't go over 15, what would you do with the money instead, to make the team better?*

    *not saying I'd go over 15, just wondering why you picked that number
    Lighten up Francis....

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    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post

    If you wouldn't go over 15, what would you do with the money instead, to make the team better?*

    *not saying I'd go over 15, just wondering why you picked that number
    I wouldn't feel comfortable spending more than 15 on him since he is such an unknown quantity. From the surface, he looks like he could pretty easily be a #2, not sure if Ace potential is there (p.s. I like to capitalize the "a" in Ace for a dramatic effect).

    It is purely speculation, but I feel that would be a good limit to set based on possible return. I could be way off. I didn't read anything about offers on the table. Just purely from reading scouting reports and watching youtube clips, completely arbitrary.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

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    Mike, what is the magical number the Twins should post? I know you will express some displeasure if the Twins come away empty handed and I was hoping you could provide some guidance on the correct course the Twins should take. Remember, one shot, winner take all.

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    1 billion dollars,

    I have no idea what the posting number needs to be.
    Lighten up Francis....

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    I'll throw this out there, 5 year contract totaling 80 million for both posting fee and contract or 6 years with 90 million total cost. Either one would about be an appropriate limit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    I'd be upset if they posted less than 40M. They have tht much in saved in payroll this year alone.

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    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    I found this article with some scouting information on him. After going through it, it really didn't completely convince me Tanaka is worth 100m (assuming that is the price-tag). An interesting comp they threw out was Dan Haren. I wouldn't mind risking 10-15m a year on this guys since he does look like he will be a pretty good pitcher, but I wouldn't go over 15.
    Interesting report. I would have liked to hear what Tanaka's actual x-z pitch movement is but the comps are helpful in a roundabout way I guess. And if they are accurate,' then I don't know how you can conclude anything but excitement over this guy's talent. Haren's splitter is an excellent pitch. Samardzija's slider is a good pitch.

    His fastball isn't going to blow many guys away but that's not Tanaka's game. He throws less than 40% fastballs. So his game is junk, and his junk pitches are solid.

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    Senior Member All-Star James's Avatar
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    Darvish's posting fee was $51.7M. I'm not saying that you would have to post that much to get him, but I would expect the winner will probably post somewhere in the $47-55M range.

    Wild speculation, but given the scouting reports that I've read, and looking at the stats from the NPB, that's my guess. He will be the same age as Darvish was when he was posted, and I've seen some reports say that he has the best splitter in the world. That's a pretty bold statement.

    Here are some comparison pitchers stats from NPB:

    Hisashi Iwakuma (Posting fee of $19.1M after 2010 season, but did not sign with Oakland):
    Hisashi Iwakuma Japanese League Statistics & History - Baseball-Reference.com

    Yu Darvish (Posting fee $51.7M, signed 6-year $60M contract):
    Yu Darvish Japanese League Statistics & History - Baseball-Reference.com

    Masahiro Tanaka (Posting fee??? Contract??):
    Masahiro Tanaka Japanese League Statistics & History - Baseball-Reference.com
    Last edited by James; 09-11-2013 at 03:25 PM. Reason: I revised my posting amount after thinking about it for a while. Bumped it up from $40 - 47M.
    You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    I'd be upset if they posted less than 40M. They have tht much in saved in payroll this year alone.
    Finally an agreement. If he checks out with our scouts, I would go 50M without batting an eye. If Ryan can pickup same or similar prior to the 2015 season, our starting pitching should be somewhere in the middle. Future improvements will be in place in our farm system by then.
    Last edited by howieramone; 09-11-2013 at 02:55 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member All-Star Winston Smith's Avatar
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    Sanchez signed last winter for 5yrs $88m. He is a solid pitcher certainly our ace/best starter. I have no idea how this guy would compare with Sanchez but my guess is $15m a year will be needed to sign him.
    IMO that will never happen for two reasons:
    1. Terry has never even come close to spending that much on a FA
    2. Nishi do they really take a chance for a lot more money ending up with Nishi 2.0?
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    I'm guessing the winning bid will need to be in the 50-60M range. Hope I'm wrong there, but someone is going to shell out some cash for him.

  13. #13
    Senior Member All-Star James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
    Sanchez signed last winter for 5yrs $88m. He is a solid pitcher certainly our ace/best starter. I have no idea how this guy would compare with Sanchez but my guess is $15m a year will be needed to sign him.
    IMO that will never happen for two reasons:
    1. Terry has never even come close to spending that much on a FA
    2. Nishi do they really take a chance for a lot more money ending up with Nishi 2.0?
    I don't think that he'll need $15M per year to sign. Consider that Darvish only averaged $10M per year. I don't think you should expect anything more than that.

    Overall, with pitcher cost inflation, I'd expect that it will take about the same amount of money to Tanaka as it took the Rangers to get Darvish.

    As far as the Nishi comparison goes, he's not Nishi. First off, Japanese pitching seems to translate better the MLB than postion players. Second, Tanaka has a track record of being good. Look at his NPB stats. Nishi had one good year and then Bill Smith came running.

    The Nishi experience should not scare the Twins away from Japanese players, especially pitchers.
    You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.

  14. #14
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    No sources that i have seen have suggested Tanaka will get anything close to 100M. Darvish and Dice-K were looked at as #2's with ace upside while Tanaka is looked at as a #3 with #2 upside. Some experts have suggested once all is said and done he will be in the70-80 million range. About half of that will go to the posting fee so in reality you would only be on the hook for ~7-8 million a year. Even if doesn't turn out to be a #2 you aren't crippled financially.

    Reports have Rangers out of the running, Dodgers more concerned trying to lock up Kershaw, and the Yankees worried about luxury tax/resigning Cano. Does this mean they won't jump back in later? No, but several of the big players have other things on their plates. Also, the only two teams that I have seen reported with top brass out there so far are the Twins and Giants.

  15. #15
    Senior Member All-Star James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmb0252 View Post
    No sources that i have seen have suggested Tanaka will get anything close to 100M. Darvish and Dice-K were looked at as #2's with ace upside while Tanaka is looked at as a #3 with #2 upside. Some experts have suggested once all is said and done he will be in the70-80 million range. About half of that will go to the posting fee so in reality you would only be on the hook for ~7-8 million a year. Even if doesn't turn out to be a #2 you aren't crippled financially.

    Reports have Rangers out of the running, Dodgers more concerned trying to lock up Kershaw, and the Yankees worried about luxury tax/resigning Cano. Does this mean they won't jump back in later? No, but several of the big players have other things on their plates. Also, the only two teams that I have seen reported with top brass out there so far are the Twins and Giants.
    You're probably right. I probably am estimating way too high. I also forgot those other factors. I hope that he only goes for the $70-80M range, and I hope that money comes from the Twins.
    You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.

  16. #16
    Based on what we've heard about him, I assume that there will be a posting fee that is roughly half to 2/3 of what Yu Darvish got. Which would be roughly a 25-35 million dollar posting fee. When it's that high you're probably expecting a contract in the ballpark of 5 years for 25-40 million depending on how high the posting fee ends up. The posting fee is high, but in the end you're probably only paying 5-8 million a year for a pitcher who probably becomes our best pitcher. That's far from a prohibitive cost, even for the Twins.
    Last edited by Larsbars08; 09-11-2013 at 04:00 PM.

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    The one team the "scares me" are the cubs. They are pretty much in the same spot as us but have more ready now guys IMO. Add in Theo signed Dice-K while in Boston and the front office's willingness to spend money. I haven't heard their top brass linked to him yet but if I had to guess today I would bet they win him. Hopefully Ryan proves me wrong!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer 70charger's Avatar
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    I was under the impression that the posting fee bidding for Darvish was ridiculously one-sided. As in, the Rangers paid $52 million, and the next highest bidder bid something like $15 million. I guess that kind of gross overpay is the price of certainty, but the only other posting fee that's ever even been in that neighborhood was Daisuke Matsuzaka.

    In other words, if there isn't one team out there ready and willing to break the bank to guarantee Tanaka's rights, is there any reason to think that this posting fee would be even close to Darvish? Even half?

  19. #19
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    You're probably right. I probably am estimating way too high. I also forgot those other factors. I hope that he only goes for the $70-80M range, and I hope that money comes from the Twins.
    I suspect your first guess is still on the low end. Tanaka might not be as talented as Darvish but I suspect he is the best talent available this offseason. He will cost the most. I think we're talking something between Anibal and Greinke type money.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70charger View Post
    I was under the impression that the posting fee bidding for Darvish was ridiculously one-sided. As in, the Rangers paid $52 million, and the next highest bidder bid something like $15 million. I guess that kind of gross overpay is the price of certainty, but the only other posting fee that's ever even been in that neighborhood was Daisuke Matsuzaka.

    In other words, if there isn't one team out there ready and willing to break the bank to guarantee Tanaka's rights, is there any reason to think that this posting fee would be even close to Darvish? Even half?
    Reports have the Cubs coming in second and the Blue Jays coming in third with bids less than $35 M of the $52 M the rangers offered. I think the elevated number comes from the Dodgers putting up a $27.5 M posting fee for Ryu before signing him to a six year deal. Tanaka is considered a better pitcher than Ryu who the Dodgers ended up spending a total of $62M on.

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