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Article: The Tanaka Factor


If the Twins are going to spend big, this is the way to do it. The team can eat $50m+ in one season and not hamstring themselves with a $20m+ yearly salary 4-5 years from now. They have the money just sitting there, having underspent for two consecutive seasons. Tanaka is 24 years old.

 

With that said, still not gonna happen. Sigh.

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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.com/2011/10/02/sports/baseball/split-finger-fastball-use-of-a-popular-pitch-falls-off-the-table.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

To throw a good split you have to pronate, its an exaggerated two seemer. My understanding was there was more evidence pointing to breaking balls as the cause of UCL injuries, due to the opposite (supinating) action.

 

In any case, I wonder if that is still the policy. If it is, it didn't stop them signing Pelfrey.

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The time value of money says you are better off paying the $20M five years from now instead of up-front.

 

True, but unless the Twins roll over their excess payroll into future payroll, which they never have before, it makes sense to pay more up front since that money just disappears otherwise.

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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.com/2011/10/02/sports/baseball/split-finger-fastball-use-of-a-popular-pitch-falls-off-the-table.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 

The Twins also believed that the strikeout caused automatic admission to Hades. I don't defend the front office much lately but their recent draft picks and trade targets suggest they have softened on this one. A bit. I suspect at times they have learned from past conservative errors. (See righthander Hardy wanting to pull everything in 2010 followed by a successfull 2011 with Baltimore then mysteriously righthanders Willingham and Plouffe getting no static about pulling everying in 2012)

 

Perhaps they don't learn as fast as other clubs or as fast as we would like, but it's possible for them to adjust seemingly statuesque stances once in awhile.

 

Still, I'm in the camp that Tanaka isn't coming. I just wish we would be able to find out what the Twins actually bid so we could compare it to the winner.

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The Twins also believed that the strikeout caused automatic admission to Hades. I don't defend the front office much lately but their recent draft picks and trade targets suggest they have softened on this one. A bit. I suspect at times they have learned from past conservative errors. (See righthander Hardy wanting to pull everything in 2010 followed by a successfull 2011 with Baltimore then mysteriously righthanders Willingham and Plouffe getting no static about pulling everying in 2012)

 

Perhaps they don't learn as fast as other clubs or as fast as we would like, but it's possible for them to adjust seemingly statuesque stances once in awhile.

 

Still, I'm in the camp that Tanaka isn't coming. I just wish we would be able to find out what the Twins actually bid so we could compare it to the winner.

 

Not to take away from your larger point that the Twins can change, but other than Pelfrey who have the Twins signed or drafted that throws a split finger?

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Not to take away from your larger point that the Twins can change, but other than Pelfrey who have the Twins signed or drafted that throws a split finger?

 

Well as you mentioned, one can at least point to Pelfrey as far as the softening of the splitter stance goes, but I really didn't mean to imply they have changed in that regard. I merely meant to point out that the Twins have shown what appears to be reluctant change in other areas recently which may mean they would be willing to reluctantly change on this issue as well. Though the fact that they actually sent scouts to watch him may be further evidence. Surely the Twins had a scouting report that showed heavy doses of splitters prior to buying the plane tickets.

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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.

 

100 percent agree...whether or not it counts against the salary cap...you take the posting fee (minimum $65 mil) and amortize it over the contract...assuming minimum 10 mil annual salary--that's 125 right there...or 21 million annual...I wouldn't do that at all.

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The Twins have stated that they were well below there anticipated team issued salary cap this year. I believe by around 20 million based on estimated 2013 revenue. If you add in the 25+ million they will receive from revenue sharing they can easily post 50 million to sign Tanaka without spending much of the Pohlad's pocket change. After that, you are looking at #3/#4 money to sign him. Honestly, if they expect to keep fan support moving forward this move would show that the Pohlads aren't just trying to make money and that they want to put a good product out on the field.

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But in the reality of MLB, front-loading a contract if you have the ability to do it makes way more sense.

 

Yes. Especially considering the posting fee won't be counting toward payroll when the Twins may actually be concerend about extending any hypothetical young stud.

 

It's basically a reverse Bonilla. Damn that Mets contract makes me laugh every time. Take the hit now and it will be off the books this time next year.

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Rangers said months ago they aren't interested in Tanaka so take them off the list of potential buyers. After throwing 50+ million put of pocket for Darvish they might not have another $40+M to do so again on Tanaka.

 

They also are reported to have their eye on a 2B who wants $300 million. Texas loves them some middle infield.

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If the Twins are going to spend big, this is the way to do it. The team can eat $50m+ in one season and not hamstring themselves with a $20m+ yearly salary 4-5 years from now. They have the money just sitting there, having underspent for two consecutive seasons. Tanaka is 24 years old.

 

With that said, still not gonna happen. Sigh.

 

I think you have a nice idea here and I think it would appeal to the Twins. The posting fee might not count as salary. Unfortunatley, the twins have to follow GAAP and I doubt the IRS would accept the accelerated write-off. So, it would appear the expense is going to be amortized over the lenght of the contract. In other words, the expense will be there but no recognized as salary. Of course, this is just my interpretation. I don't really know.

Edited by Major Leauge Ready
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Whoa...who is that?

 

I hadn't heard the Texas rumor, but the only 2B I know who wants $300M is Cano. That sounds like a long, long long shot to me - the rumor was probably started by Jay-Z to get the Yankees moving.

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I think you have a nice idea here and I think it would appeal to the Twins. Unfortunatley, the twins have to follow GAAP and I doubt the IRS would accept the accelerated write-off.

 

The posting fee (paid to the old team) and the salary are two separate items. The posting fee is a one-time expense, and, while I'm not a CPA, I would bet that it would be accounted differently. I think the real concern is the budget, anyway. Right now there is room in the budget. A few years down the road some ofthe yong players will (hopefully) start to get expensive. (By "hopefully" I mean that if Buxton and Sano aren't getting expensive in a few years, that means they were busts and the Twins have big problems.)

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The posting fee (paid to the old team) and the salary are two separate items. The posting fee is a one-time expense, and, while I'm not a CPA, I would bet that it would be accounted differently. I think the real concern is the budget, anyway. Right now there is room in the budget. A few years down the road some ofthe yong players will (hopefully) start to get expensive. (By "hopefully" I mean that if Buxton and Sano aren't getting expensive in a few years, that means they were busts and the Twins have big problems.)

 

I think it would help get this done if it could be written off the first year. And, I recognize they are two separate transactions. GAAP would generally require the expense be recognized consistent with the benefit, service, etc. I think that is pretty clear the life of the contract. The risks scares me a bit but wow what a boost this guy would be to our team if his ability transfers to MLB as some have projected.

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Whoa...who is that?

 

I've seen multiple places list the Rangers as the most likely team to get Cano away from the Yankees including an ESPN writer. Reports are they tried to trade for him mid-season too. I could link sites but you can trust me right? Or if not me at least a Google search?

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I've seen multiple places list the Rangers as the most likely team to get Cano away from the Yankees including an ESPN writer. Reports are they tried to trade for him mid-season too. I could link sites but you can trust me right? Or if not me at least a Google search?

Can't see how that would make any sense. They already have Kinsler through 2018 and nowhere to put Profar.

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Can't see how that would make any sense. They already have Kinsler through 2018 and nowhere to put Profar.

 

The could sign Cano and try and trade Profar or Kinsler. Kinsler would be harder to trade, but still... Cano is an upgrade at 2B. Tigers had Cabrera at 1B, Fielder was available, they got Fielder anyway..even with Vmart coming back this year and getting out from behind the plate.

 

Some teams are always looking to improve wherever they can...whenever they can.

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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.

 

Are there two very good #2s available and would the Twins be able to sweet talk two good pitchers into coming to Minnesota?

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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.

 

Agree about the planet part, but I'd rather have them sign Josh Johnson & Phil Hughes to 3 year contracts for the same $ than Tanaka. $20 mil a year for 6 years, is a Mauer-like albatross of a contract for an unproven player who is not Mauer...

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Agree about the planet part, but I'd rather have them sign Josh Johnson & Phil Hughes to 3 year contracts for the same $ than Tanaka. $20 mil a year for 6 years, is a Mauer-like albatross of a contract for an unproven player who is not Mauer...

 

What is the word on Johnson in terms of projected contract? Is he likely to pursue a one-year deal in an attempt to rebuild value or look for a team willing to take a chance on him?

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What is the word on Johnson in terms of projected contract? Is he likely to pursue a one-year deal in an attempt to rebuild value or look for a team willing to take a chance on him?

 

Hard to tell. He just had arthroscopic surgery on the elbow to clean up some bone spurs. He will be ready by ST. There is some question on whether the Blue Jays make a qualifying offer, but still I see him signing for a 3 year some place. And if the Jays make a qualifying offer and the Twins sign him, the Twins will lose only their second round pick (which is losing less than what they lost when they re-signed Capps)...

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I think it would help get this done if it could be written off the first year. And, I recognize they are two separate transactions. GAAP would generally require the expense be recognized consistent with the benefit, service, etc. I think that is pretty clear the life of the contract. The risks scares me a bit but wow what a boost this guy would be to our team if his ability transfers to MLB as some have projected.

 

Completely incorrect. Comments of this nature should probably be avoided without the appropriate background, because the result can be to mislead readers who don't know otherwise.

 

Human beings are not capital assets and cannot be depreciated or amortized. Also, the 'matching principle' of expense recognition does not apply to periodic expenses such as MLB salaries.

 

The timing of the expense is not terribly important to the Twins because they run a profit in any event. Obviously, front loading a contract may result in lower profits in the short term and higher in the long term, but unless tax rates change significantly the overall effect is minimal.

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The reports I have read on Tanka are a he generally pitches in the low 90's has a slider and splitter but neither are ++ pitches. He has good control but his fastball does not have the best movement and he can become a Fly Ball pitcher. He benefited greatly because Japan "deadened" their ball this year. If he signs with the Twins, we might be seeing him get that Neck injury from watching the ball fly out of the park - especially in places like Chicago. I don't know if he is worth a triple digit investment.

 

Furthermore, the posting process could drag out until March. I would hate to have the Twins have all their FA eggs in this basket and it not pan out.

 

The best outcome would be the Twins get aggressive with Free Agents and sign guys while other teams wait on the Tanka.

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