Floor: Yu Darvish's 6 year, $108 Million investment (~$52 post/$56 contract)
Ceiling: Justin Verlander's 7 year, $180 Million Contract (No matter how much a team might like him, he's still not a proven MLB commodity.)
Consensus seems to be that teams will be willing to pay Tanaka in contract at a similar rate that they would have previously paid for the total investment, so let's project the total investment to be something in the neighborhood of $140 million (7/$120 + $20 posting).
Now for the real question:
If the "desirable" teams are willing to offer around $20 million per season (up slightly from Darvish's $18 million total investment per season), how much more would the Twins have to pay to land him? I ask this because we just saw Cano make Seattle go, reportedly, an extra 3 years and $65 million to lure him away from the "desirable" New York Yankees. And let's face it, the Twins have lot of shortcomings:
- Limited Japanese culture/fanbase in M/SP
- Fewer "extras" such as advertising/endorsements (though it probably wouldn't limit his continued exposure in Japan)
- Not a "no income tax" State
- Not ready to win now (though perhaps he could be sold on potential?)
- Lack of team infrastructure to foster assimilation into the culture of the MLB game (whether it is the Twins fault or not, Nishi did not succeed in our system)
All in all, I would expect the Twins to have to go more years or more dollars (or both). Perhaps 7/$175 (+ posting) would get it done? Or Maybe he would take security and go with 10/$180 (+ posting)? Either way, we're talking about a $200 million investment.
Terry Ryan might be looking to change his stripes, but signing Tanaka might be more like changing from a zebra into a lion.