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Article: The Tanaka Factor

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 08:50 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...e-Tanaka-Factor

#2 Zephrin

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 09:10 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.

#3 Zephrin

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 09:12 PM

I think it will be more like $60M to post and $65M to sign. $125M total investment.

#4 howieramone1406390264

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 09:18 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.

#5 Kwak

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 09:47 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...

#6 drivlikejehu

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:11 PM

The Twins could easily afford to sign him. They just won't. Not a whole lot of analysis required.

#7 Shane Wahl

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:15 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.

#8 Willihammer

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:36 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.

#9 glunn

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 11:19 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.


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.

#10 howieramone1406390264

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 11:34 PM

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.

Edited by howieramone, 06 October 2013 - 11:54 PM.


#11 scottz

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 12:13 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.

#12 Brandon

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 06:22 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.

#13 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 07:22 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.

#14 Steve Penz

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 07:27 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.

Edited by Steve Penz, 07 October 2013 - 07:34 AM.


#15 Dman

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 07:57 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.

Edited by Dman, 07 October 2013 - 08:01 AM.


#16 zenser

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:17 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.

#17 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:19 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.

#18 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:21 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.

#19 FSP

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:33 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.

#20 SpitefulRabbit617

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:49 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.

#21 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 09:22 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.

#22 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 09:30 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.

#23 Willihammer

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 09:49 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?

#24 mlhouse

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:20 AM

No matter how much they talk now, when the real negotiations start I doubt the Twins sign any free agent.

#25 108 Double Stitches

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:48 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.

#26 Oxtung

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:48 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.

[TABLE="class: grid, width: 500"]
[TR]
[TD]Player[/TD]
[TD]$MM/yr[/TD]
[TD]years[/TD]
[TD]total $[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]#1 starters1[/TD]
[TD]~25[/TD]
[TD]5-7[/TD]
[TD]140-175[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Wainwright2[/TD]
[TD]20[/TD]
[TD]5[/TD]
[TD]100[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Anibal Sanchez[/TD]
[TD]17[/TD]
[TD]5[/TD]
[TD]85[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]CJ Wilson3[/TD]
[TD]15.5[/TD]
[TD]5[/TD]
[TD]77.5[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Edwin Jackson[/TD]
[TD]13[/TD]
[TD]4[/TD]
[TD]52[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Matt Harrison[/TD]
[TD]11[/TD]
[TD]5[/TD]
[TD]55[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

[SIZE=2]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.[/SIZE]

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.

#27 beckmt

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:54 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.

#28 DJL44

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 11:41 AM

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.c...wanted=all&_r=0

#29 DJL44

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 11:46 AM

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.

#30 Dman

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 11:55 AM

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.c...wanted=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.