Posted 28 December 2013 - 01:12 PM
1) A mea culpa: I "doubled down", opining that Rakuten would not post Tanaka, and I was as wrong as wrong can be. I will punish myself by drinking sorghum-based 'bai jiu' liquor thru Chinese New Year. Clearly, I misread owner Mikitani's dissenting vote against the new agreement. In hindsight, he needs to look forward and make his club an attractive signing option into the future. Smart guy. Me? Not so much.
2) From all I've read from Tanaka himself, he prefers the west coast, for obvious reasons. If that's truly the case, then I rank this way:
Dodgers, Mariners, Angels, D-Backs, Giants.
Dodgers have the deepest pockets, Mariners less so after Cano, but M's have a track record of NOB-MLB crossover success (as do the Dodgers, of course) = attractive.
Angels? Free-spending all right, but something in that org. and lineup just does not compute. Same for Seattle, though LA A of AA is more stretched than M's. D-Backs? Outside chance at best. Yanquis will wine and dine, and try to sell the Big Apple.
Flying in the face of common sense, I'll make a second prediction on Tanaka:
Dodgers sign him.
3) As for the Twins' interest, to be honest, I am still feeling the after-effects of the Nishioka experience (shudder). In the past few days, many analysts have been weighing in, concluding that he's no Darvish, and that his main asset is his young age (25). So this revelation seems more like a bargaining tactic to get Arroyo.
4) If that's so, then good on TR. If the Twins are serious, then I would welcome it on one front, but would like to see follow-through. At present, even with the recent signings, we are at roughly the same payroll as 2013. Spending to get back to a post-peak par isn't so impressive (especially with all the new money coming in). On the other hand, neither is this year's SP market.
5) Financially, if the goal is $100m again, then it could work, depending on how a deal is structured. However, this feels like just the high-risk FA deal the Twins have always been averse to, TR in particular. We’ll see about those stripes soon enough. Again, if this is a bargaining tactic, then great. If it’s a delaying tactic while looking to make a mid-season pickup, then fine- probably smart considering the roster.
While the Twins’ interest is a surprise, I’ll believe it when I see a deal.
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.