Carig: Yankeees have already been in contact with Tanaka’s agent


Via Marc Carig: The Yankees have already been in contact with agent Casey Close, who represents Masahiro Tanaka (and Derek Jeter). Yesterday was the first day teams were allowed to negotiate with the right-hander. The 30-day negotiating window expires at 5pm on January 24th and he must be officially signed by then. Passed physical, signature on the dotted line, everything.

Tanaka, 25, has reportedly been the team’s top pitching target all winter, so it’s no surprise the Yankees reached out so early. Considering every team is free to talk to him, I don’t expect this to be a quick process. Close and Tanaka will take the most of those 30 days to hear the various sales pitches, visit cities, so on and so on. There’s no rush, really. My official contract guess (emphasis on guess): six years, $112M ($4M bonus plus $18M annual salary) with an opt-out after the fifth year.

Aside: I wonder if the Yankees will ask Hiroki Kuroda to make a recruiting call to Tanaka. Jeter said he doesn’t make recruiting calls and Ichiro Suzuki will probably be gone soon. Kuroda’s a fellow starter who can talk about living in New York, pitching in Yankee Stadium, wearing the pinstripes, etc.


  1. CountryClub says:

    As far as reaching out to Tanaka, maybe Matsui makes sense too. He seems to be connected to the team still, so I can’t imagine it would hurt.

    But I agree that, for obvious reasons, Kuroda calling him would be great.

  2. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Not convinced Ichiro will be gone soon but, really, who else can offer the kind of successful stat power that can talk to Tanaka about adjustment to the US, as the Yankees can? I’d make sure I had Kuroda, Ichiro, and Matsui on speed dial at all times here.

    Let’s do this!!!!!!


    • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

      Yeah. Ichiro won’t likely be around any less time than Kuroda at this point.

  3. The Great Gonzo says:

    This just in, the Yankees just gave Derek Jeter ANOTHER $12M after all of 73 PAs in 2013. PICK UP THE FUCKING PHONE. It’s your agent, and lets call it a parting gift.

    Fucking Yankees and their rules and shit. It’s getting ridiculous. Let the boys grow a goatee, start signing mid contract extensions, and MAKE THE CALL JETER!


    • Slugger27 says:

      im confused by what the yankees rules have to do with jeter calling tanaka?

    • NYY27 says:

      Hey Gonzo…take it down a notch willya. Agree on the extensions and for Jeter to grease the wheels, but after seeing all those disgusting dirtbag Fenway beards, I never thought I’d say this, but I really applaud the Yankees no beards policy. And would it kill ya to lose the f-bombs? You could still make your point without all that.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      The didn’t give him “another $12M”, they gave him another $3M.

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      The majority of this was posted in jest, however the ‘Jeter doesn’t do recruiting calls’ is a little much for me. Get over yourself Jeets.

      • Dr. TJ Eckleberg says:

        Maybe I’m the perennial optimist here, but I sort of read that statement as ‘I don’t do recruiting calls because it’s the Yankees, they don’t need me to make recruiting calls’.

        In other words, it’s the greatest franchise in sports, what case do I need to make to make it better?

      • Pasqua says:

        If you read the article linked to that claim, you’ll see that Jeter made the comment specific to Cano’s situation, and it was more along the lines of, “I don’t make phone calls like that because it shouldn’t be necessary to convince guys to play in NY,” not “I don’t do phone calls ‘cuz that’s not my job.” It sounds much more sensible in context, and, if anything, a little bit of an “eff-you” to Cano. I’m sure that if the team reached out to Jeter to speak on their behalf, he’d do it.

      • If you think the difference between landing Tanaka or not is Derek Jeter making a phone call then you are seriously delusional.

  4. Dan says:

    I really want Tanaka, but am I the only one who thinks paying more than $15m AAV for a pitcher whose never thrown at the MLB level is more than a little risky? This is a contract that could easily bite them in the ass.

    • JonS says:

      Being risk adverse with something you have in abundance (money) isn’t wise.

    • NYY27 says:

      Dan – Yes it could…like Igawa. OR No it couldn’t…like Yu. Santana, Jiminez and Garza could also bite them in the ass. Or heaven forbid Arroyo. It’s time the Yanks continue to throw their financial weight around. He’s 25. Medium risk, HIGH reward.

      • Mr. Roth says:

        Igawa was an example of taking a risk without doing the research. All reports that I’ve read show that the Yankees have really done their homework on Tanaka.

    • ajr24 says:

      If you’re ok with a $15m AAV, is $17 or $18 that big of a deal?

    • Fat Kitty Toad says:

      I don’t understand this enthusiasm at all. It’s like people assume he will be the next Darvish when there’s little to think he’s that good.

      Now they’ll pay more for a lesser pitcher? It makes no sense to me.

      • Steve (different one) says:

        Well, for one, they changed the rules. And another, salaries have increased.

        Just because they made a mistake with Darvish, does not mean signing Tanaka at this point in time is a bad idea. The market has changed. The Yankees can afford it.

        You can’t change the past, have to do what makes sense now.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          It’s possible they made a mistake in being too gunshot with Darvish. It’s also possible they would have gone balls-out on him and lost out anyway.

          And, yes, I do think there’s quite a bit of “we need to start being leaders in this market again” going on here with Tanaka.

        • RetroRob says:

          I have no idea what he’s even talking about. What does one pitcher have to do with another?

      • dansyankees says:

        It’s something of a risk but baseball wise but it’s the correct move for the organization. They are not just paying for on the filed contribution. any team who buys him will be making their money back and then some, unless he is the next Kei Igawa which seems unlikely. Tanaka is a star. He doesn’t have to be an ace. Overpay? That doesn’t mean the same to all teams concerning all players.

    • Pasqua says:

      Give me the guy who MAY be a GREAT MLB pitcher for a lot of money over the guy who we KNOW is an AVERAGE MLB pitcher for a lot of money any day.

      Especially if it’s not my money.

    • qwerty says:

      The problem isn’t so much the salary, but the yankees’s inability to properly scout and judge talent. When you look at it in that light then 15 million a year could look like a huge potential disaster. Why is Tanaka suddenly worthy of interest but not Darvish who possessed much more talent and is better looking. They’re not considering signing Tanaka because he is better than Darvish, but because they look at all the other IFA that have been working out lately and they probably feel left out. Their way of judging talent appears to be completely arbitrary. Remember when they got Igawa on a whim simply because they lost out on Dice K? When you have a bunch of fools running the show, with Cashman being the head fool, then 15 million a year for 6 or 7 years looks very bad. If you’re the Rangers, the Rays or the Cards, then it doesn’t look too bad.

      • Evan3457 says:

        I would agree with this if several other organizations, some of which are well regarded as judges of talent, weren’t coming to the same conclusion about Tanaka.

        In the Igawa case, there’s no reports anyone was going to bid anything like $25 million for his rights.

        • qwerty says:

          Yes, and what does that tell you about our FO? The same people running the show back then are still there!

          Many of those same well regarded teams have not shown a high interest in Tanaka despite the low 20 million dollar bid.

  5. FLYER7 says:

    Can not belief Captain of the team does not make recruiting calls…doesn’t offer to change positions and doesn’t bat lower than second lol

    • Slugger27 says:

      my least favorite thing about girardi is his timidness to upset a lot of these veteran guys. its not just batting jeter 1st or 2nd against righties. ive seen a number of times him leaving sabathia in a game about 3 batters too long because he knows cc doesnt wanna come out.

      • Havok9120 says:

        Given the way that no lasting drama ever comes out of that clubhouse, despite the fact that it is and has been packed with former stars of declining importance, I’m willing to let Joe do his thing as long as we aren’t talking some huge downgrade for the sake of a player’s ego.

        That thing with Jorge, one single incident, is the only major public drama that I can think of during Girardi’s tenure. That’s a pretty darn good track record considering what he’s had to deal with.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:


        • Mr. Roth says:

          Absolutely agree. The fact that we never hear much of anything that goes on in the clubhouse speaks volumes about Girardi’s ability to manage the off the field stuff that comes along with being the manager of the Yankees.

        • Slugger27 says:

          i think that reflects more on posada than girardi. the guy couldnt hit his way out of a paper bag, hes the one that made it a big deal.

          i think jeter hitting 1st or 2nd against righties is a big enough downgrade to challenge him and bat him lower. i think he wont act like posada.

          • RetroRob says:

            I think batting order is pretty minor, so one has to balance out the human and media backlash vs. the gains to the club. In Girardi’s case it is not being timid (and that is most definitely a word I’d associate with him), but successfully managing the egos and the media is a skill that the Yankees value in their managers.

            In his last full season, Jeter triple slashed .294/.346/.377 against righties. Last year, Brett Gardner hit .274/.345/.402 against righties.

            The day will come when Jeter will be dropped in the order just as Posada was removed, but let’s clearly get to that day first.

      • BamBamMusings says:

        Lots of managers today are ‘Player Managers’. Its a trend in pro sports.

    • NYY27 says:

      I bet you said the same thing in 2012. How did that work out? He was hurt last year. He deserves the 2 spot until he proves otherwise.

    • nyyankfan7 says:

      Why is it his job to make recruiting calls? Do you make recruiting calls for your work? I’m pretty sure no Yankee has to make recruiting calls – the history speaks for itself. What’s he gonna say – “Did you know we have 27 banners flying? Have you ever heard of these guys named Ruth, Mantle & DiMaggio? – they were pretty good”

      Derek Jeter is a class act, probably the best in all of sports, if he thought a recruiting call was going to help anything he would do it. He’s smart enough to know money talks. Nothing he could have said would have made Robbie change his mind – period. Nothing he is going to say will change Tanaka’s mind – period. They both want money, not a personal greeting from #2.

      • The Great Gonzo says:

        Its not his job, but in the spirit of the ‘full court press’, it is LITERALLY like Micheal Jordan trying to sell you on joining his Country Club. Its a gesture, and could be considered an honor.

      • Betty Lizard says:

        Oh good grief, yes I make recruiting calls in my work!

        And yes, Ellsbury heard from several Yankees.

        I expect the team members to do whatever might tip the scales to get the player they’re pursuing.

        OK, let me change “whatever” to something more benign, like “outreach”.

    • Mr. Roth says:

      Just because DJ said in an interview that he doesn’t make recruiting calls, doesn’t mean he really doesn’t make recruiting calls. What Jeter says in an interview rarely means much of anything.

    • nyyankfan7 says:

      And Derek Jeter should bat #2 until he proves he can’t. He’s a career .312 hitter with a .381 OBP, owns 5 rings and is a sure-fire 1st ballot hall of famer – what more does he have to do to earn your respect? He isn’t Brendan Ryan with a bat – I don’t think there is a valid reason to bat him 8th like you want to.

      • Yanks20 says:

        The guy spends 1 year hurt and all we hear is how much he kills us at the top of the order. My bet is Jeter comes back and is our best hitter (avg). I have not seen anyone post this but, the real lineup should be:

        1- Jeter
        2- Ellsbury
        3- Beltran
        4- Soriano
        5- McCann
        6- Tex
        7- Johnson (if no Arod)
        8- Roberts
        9- Gardner

        You get 9-1-2 without back to back lefties!

        • Mr. Roth says:

          I wouldn’t have a problem with Jeter leading off against LHP, but I really think you have to have Ellsbury leading off most of the time. The dude is going to steal about 50 bases a year.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      I’m not sure whether I have an issue with the recruitment call thing. On the one hand, yes, you’re an employee of a company that has treated you insanely well your entire career. On the other, I can see Derek as the type who doesn’t want to infringe upon the decision-making of others. That’s his player-focused business sense. Definitely torn there.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        Also, Darren doesn’t do recruitment calls either. :)

        • Darren says:

          You rang? :)

          I think the Jeter comment Mike linked to shouldn’t be taken as the absolute truth. It was made in the context of the Cano negotiation, where Jeter knew Cano was going to take the most money, and to quote Bruce, “There was nothing that he could have done, there was nothing nobody could say.”

          People, people…do you really think Jeter wouldn’t make a call if he really thought it could help? Come on!

    • Pasqua says:

      Read the article that statement is linked to, and consider the context. He’s not being a diva about it.

  6. The Other Sam says: says Tanaka was workout partners with Darvish. I’m sure that phone call has already been made. It’s very possible if the Rangers come close to the Yankees offer (and they seem to have limits these days), he goes there.

  7. Naka Time says:

    Sign him no matter what. Whatever it takes. Get him in pinstripes. Having 2 aces will make us World Series caliber and is very fun to watch. Cc will return to form this year and I predict both cc and tanaka win 20 games!

    • Fat Kitty Toad says:

      Why do you assume Tanaka will be an “ace”?

      Hate to break it to you, but CC ain’t a #1 any more either.

      • Naka Time says:

        Cc had a bad year I’m sure he’s ready to bounce back. We have a stronger lineup this year which will help them get their wins. On tanaka being an ace, there’s no doubt in my mind he will be dominant. He is the real deal I’ve watched him pitch a lot I don’t care if he’s pitching to Japanese players or the miggy trout canos of the mlb noones hitting his slider and curve they are dirty

        • Mr. Roth says:

          Isn’t his splitter supposed to be his best pitch?

          • Naka Time says:

            I don’t know if it’s a splitter or a slider but it is filthy nonetheless. I’ve seen him strike batters out in the dirt with it and also throw it for strikes. He’s got a full arsenal of above average pitches.

            • CashmanNinja says:

              It’s his splitter. It has a great “fall off the table” kind of sink to it. He normally keeps that one down low, but can throw it for a strike. He’s also got a pretty nice slider/curve…basically the same pitch, but he can throw it harder or soft depending on the situation. Pitches like that are great to keep batters off balance. His fastball has a little run on it when pitching to lefties and he does like to keep it up in the zone…but he has enough juice to get away with it. Plus it’s his mentality that really makes him stand out. He doesn’t seem all shy and apprehensive like Igawa did. He’s very emphatic and will show emotions. He’s more like Joba Chamberlain (before he really began to suck) when he’d strike out batters in a big situation. Honestly, I view his mentality as the energy of Joba Chamberlain and the focus of Chien-Ming Wang.

              • qwerty says:

                I don’t think he has enough juice to throw high fastballs. His scouting report says he sits at 91 mph and throws straight two seam fastballs up in the zone. Two seamers are supposed have downward movement. This guy will get crushed in yankee stadium if his scouting report is accurate.

        • Fat Kitty Toad says:

          You seem really sure of things but without much evidence.

          The velo drop Sabathia showed seems very really. If his velo doesn’t come back, then it’s a stretch to think he will.

          As for Tanaka, words like “dominant” set you up as biased. There’s little to suggest he’ll be that good. That was Darvish. And for no clear reason the Yankees never made a run at him.

          • Mike Axisa says:

            Maybe if you keep whining about Darvish, time will reverse itself and they can go back and sign him.

            • Fat Kitty Toad says:

              It’s not just me. And it is a legitimate question. They didn’t have the dollars then but they do now?

              Can you explain that to me?

              • Fat Kitty Toad says:

                I mean you’re the one saying (whining?) years later they didn’t sign Beltran when the argument then was less clear (three OFs under contract) than the argument not to make a run at Darvish.

                As far as “mistakes” go, where do you rank the failure to make a serious run at Darvish?

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  I mentioned the Beltran thing in a post about a question directly related to Beltran. You’ve been whining about Darvish in multiple posts under multiple handles.

                  • Fat Kitty Toad says:

                    You still rank missing out on Beltran as higher than missing out on Darvish?

                    With Beltran you correctly pointed out the OF was full (with Bernie rapidly declining).

                    With Darvish, there was no similar concern.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                    MULTIPLE HANDLES?!?!?! THIS GUY?!?!?!

                    I’m shocked. Shocked, I say.

              • Mike Axisa says:

                They didn’t have the dollars then but they do now?

                Can you explain that to me?

                Yes. It’s been two years and things change. Crazy world we live in.

                • Fat Kitty Toad says:

                  Yup, crazy world indeed! Wladimir Balentien just set the Japanese homerun record. He hit .221/.281/.374 in MLB.

                  • Mr. Roth says:

                    His last year in MLB he hit .234/.305/.385
                    His first year in Japan he hit .228/.314/.469

                    I’m guessing your point in mentioning him several times in this thread is that the competition in Japan isn’t as strong as it is in MLB. While that may be true, the numbers he put up in 2011 show that maybe the difference isn’t as extreme as you want it to be.

              • Colombo says:

                Darvish wasn’t a free agent (for all intents and purposes) like Tanaka is now. The Rangers came in with a crazy posting bid, beating the second best offer by something like $20M.

                • qwerty says:

                  Which is irrelevant. The fact remains that the yankees made no move to sign Darvish regardless of how much the Rangers bid. Darvish could have been had for a 20 million posting bid and the yankees still wouldn’t have been able to negotiate for him.

      • JohnC says:

        Hate to break it to YOU, but neither is Garza, Santana, Jimenez or Arroyo. Might as well take a risk for once no?

        • Mr. Roth says:

          I didn’t know anyone mentioned anything about Garza, Santana, Jimenez or Arroyo…

          The words I read just said that CC isn’t an ace anymore and Tanaka isn’t projected to be one either.

          He may be wrong, but no need to put words in his mouth.

          • Fat Kitty Toad says:

            Thanks, and nor do I assume those are aces. Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball. It’s one year from now. If the Dodgers can’t sign him, then that’s the pitcher you go all out for. Not Tanaka.

            Otherwise, the Yankees’ problems run very deep. They need two starters, a 2B, SS, and 3B. If the price is that high on Tanaka, Ubaldo is a clear bounce back candidate. And Chris Owings seems available.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

              I’m sure the team has a better idea as to the likelihood Kershaw hits free agency than you do.

              • Fat Kitty Toad says:

                Which team? The Yankees? Or the Dodgers?

                For the latter, with all the spending, I just ask why they have already locked up Kershaw. He’s won two CYs and finished 2nd a third time.

                Like Sabathia, he’s the guy you find every last dollar for. Not Tanaka. Tanaka is a hyped prospect, nothing more or less.

            • Faithful yank says:

              Ur an idiot….we have two shortstops and two second basemen…and the likelihood of jets haw bailing out on the dodgers next deal is ridiculously low…I beleive that tanka will be a 15 game winner and that is more than any other pitcher on our roster

            • Evan3457 says:

              …and they’ll be able to go all-out on Kershaw, if he’s available, if they want to, because the spending restrictions come off after the salary cap resets.

              They can have BOTH, if the Dodgers don’t re-sign him, as opposed to having NEITHER, if they wait for Kershaw, and the Dodgers do re-sign him. See how easy this is?

            • qwerty says:

              They have all those things. Ryan is the SS, Johnson the 3b and Roberts is the 2b. Phelps and Nuno round out the rotation.

          • John C says:

            Point was, that the other options on the pitching market are no better, so why not take a shot with Tanaka, who has had nothing but glowing reports from the scouts who have seen him time and time again

    • Mr. Roth says:

      Lay off the weed, Nostradamus.

  8. ajr24 says:

    Tanaka wants $17m AAV minimum per Nightengale. I’m ok with that.

    • Fat Kitty Toad says:

      Really? For a guy who hasn’t proven anything?

      That’s insane to me.

    • mt says:

      If that is what he wants (seems reasonable), given the auction type situation in such a compressed period of time, I think the teams (say Cubs, Dodgers, Mariners, Rangers and Yankees) will be quickly OK with that AAV very early in the process.

      Then how does a team separate themselves from the pack to actually clinch the deal. Answer: hiking the AAV up. That is why I predict north of $20 million AAV.

      • Dr. TJ Eckleberg says:

        I think you’re right, and in a world where Fatolo Colon gets 2/20 and Scott “my arm might fall off” Kazmir gets 2/24 I think that his asking price isn’t terribly unreasonable. Hell, I don’t think in the context of things a 18-21/year is that bad.

    • Bo Knows says:

      I’d do that in a heartbeat and throw in the free access to the finest hookers and brothels in the NY area

    • RetroRob says:

      He’ll get more.

  9. mt says:

    Other than money, who knows whether Tanaka will value any of the other intangibles – Yankee’ Kuroda and Matsui connection (Suzuki is a wild card since his position with team is tenuous)? Casey Close’s influence as agent for Greinke and Kershaw of Dodgers (not to mention jeter of Yankees)? Rangers’ Darvish as a workout partner (hadn’t heard that angle before)? Seattle’s partial Japanese ownership and proximity to Japan versus East Coast?

    I think he will exceed $20 million AAV.

    I had not thought of whether opt-out clause makes sense but given his unfamiliarity with American baseball landscape it actually might make sense here for this particular player (other than just an option for another money grab like it is with most players). If some team with which he signs comes in way below expectations, he can bolt. I normlly don’t like those opt-out clauses but Yanks may have to come up with one in this free-for-all situation (basically a maximum 30 day auction where there is no draft pick compensation attached for a relatively young starter who can provide ancillary publicity and revenue benefits off the field – I can imagine the Japanese media following his every move like they have done with other stars.)

    • vicki says:

      (Suzuki is a wild card since his position with team is tenuous)

      you and i see it as tenuous, because we know he won’t return any value for his contract. but from an outsider’s perspective, the yankees gave a venerable japanese elder statesman what no other team would; the respect of 2/12, and 150 games on the field last year.

  10. Farewell Mo says:

    It should be an easy negotiation for Cashman. Whatever anyone else offers, he just needs to beat it by about $1 million per year.

  11. Fat Kitty Toad says:

    Someone here posted the list of Japanese imports. Suffice it to say, it’s not an inspiring list. I hope Tanaka is good, I just don’t see the slam shut case. I’m old enough to remember the hype around Irabu, then Dice-K, even Igawa had hype.

    I would much rather make a run at Ubaldo. At least he’s shown the ability to dominate MLB. Tanaka certainly doesn’t deserve more money than him or even Santana. But if Mike is right, Tanaka will get as much as Ubaldo and Sanatana combined. Let’s save the dollars to blow away the Dodgers on Kershaw. He’s the guy you go all out for, not Tanaka.

    The Yankees are not one pitcher from a championship in 2014. They have too many holes (like their whole infield). Give their system another year to improve and with Kershaw and an infield maybe they make a run in 2015. Or sign Ubaldo and Santana for 2014 for the same money as Tanaka, trade the young pitchers/catchers for Chris Owings, and they could get close to a playoff spot.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      “Old enough to remember Hideki Irabu.” LOL.

      Congrats, dude. I was halfway through my Masters degree then.

      You don’t invest in Tanaka because you’re one player away, or whatnot. You invest in him because you’ve done your homework on him and guys this young and polished don’t hit the market often. We all know the risk involved. It’s significant.

      • Fat Kitty Toad says:

        Well, then you remember Irabu was hyped as the Japanese Clemens. Lol.

        “guys this young and polished don’t hit the market often.”

        See 2015 and Kershaw.

        It makes no sense to pay Tanaka $17-20M AAV. “Polish” here is vastly over rated. He’s a prospect that’s been facing AAA hitters. Many prospects do well there then fail against MLB hitters, some we’ve seen a lot of over the last few years.

        Wladimir Balentien just set their homerun record. He hit .221/.281/.374 in MLB.

        • Dalek Jeter says:

          I’ll give you 1/1 odds on any dollar amount that Kershaw doesn’t see the open market.

        • The Great Gonzo says:

          Javier Vazquez was hyped as the new Pedro Martinez in 2004 when the Yankees traded for him. He was then hyped as the innings eater the Yankees needed in 2010.

          The bad hype isn’t relegated to Japanese Imports.

        • Bo Knows says:

          A guy from 15 years ago has zero relevance to what is happening now. That’s like saying the Yankees should never sign a FA because of Carl Pavano. Also Tanaka’s “polish” does matter because he’s been facing those AAA hitters since he was 18 years old and has done nothing but kill them.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      The Yankees are not one pitcher from a championship in 2014.

      So does that mean they just shouldn’t sign one then?

      I would much rather make a run at Ubaldo. At least he’s shown the ability to dominate MLB.

      Ubaldo has dominated MLB for three months in the last three and a half season.

      • Fat Kitty Toad says:

        3.5 seasons?

        His 2010 was a 161 ERA+
        Even his first 2/3rds in 2011 was a 102 ERA+.

        We’re strictly talking about his transition away from Colorado and into the AL. In the latter half of 2011 and 2012. I think there’s a real argument he adjusted in 2013.

        At least he’s shown the talent is there. And the K and HR rates are still very good.

        If Ubaldo ends up costing less than half of Tanaka, I don’t think there’s any argument – Ubaldo is the better value.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Ubaldo had a 2.20 ERA in the first half of 2010 and a 3.80 ERA in the second half. A 3.80 ERA isn’t dominating anything.

          From the 2010 All-Star break through the 2013 All-Star break, he had a 4.74 ERA in 558.1 innings. That’s three full seasons. The other half is the second half of 2013, when he dominated.

          And transitioning from Coors Field to Cleveland requires that much of an adjustment? lol

          • Fat Kitty Toad says:

            “A 3.80 ERA isn’t dominating anything.”

            That’s the Yankee ace right there.

            Can you name the pitchers who have:
            a) Been successful in Coors
            b) Had a long career after transitioning out of Coors

            That’s not a long list. Breaking balls don’t break the same way in Denver.

            Not sure why you’re against Ubaldo. You know that seasons aren’t broken into pre- and post-All-Star breaks. He’s had one bad season in his career. He’s plenty good enough for this team, especially if the price is reasonable.

            And yes, it all comes down to price.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              That’s the Yankee ace right there.

              What does this have to do with anything?

              Can you name the pitchers who have:
              a) Been successful in Coors
              b) Had a long career after transitioning out of Coors

              How many left when they were 26? Also, Mike Hampton had a 112 ERA+ in his first year out of Coors and threw another 626 innings after leaving.

              Breaking balls don’t break the same way in Denver.

              I guess they don’t break the same way in Cleveland either?

              He’s had one bad season in his career.

              The 82 ERA+ from 2011-12 says otherwise.

              I just don’t see how you can sit there an act like Ubaldo is a known quantity while Tanaka is some great mystery. Jimenez is AJ Burnett with less consistency and a cooler name.

              • Fat Kitty Toad says:

                Tanaka has been pitching in a league where Wladimir Balentien is a superstar. That itself is a great mystery! Lol.

                What does this have to do with anything?

                You’re criticizing a 3.80 ERA as non-dominant. For this Yankee team it would be. All relative.

                How many left when they were 26? Also, Mike Hampton had a 112 ERA+ in his first year out of Coors and threw another 626 innings after leaving.

                Any one else? Colorado has trouble developing pitchers for a reason – the environment.

                I guess they don’t break the same way in Cleveland either?

                You and I both know Ubaldo isn’t a control guy. But he’s still young. He wouldn’t be the first to find control later in his career.

                The 82 ERA+ from 2011-12 says otherwise.

                2011 – 93 ERA+
                2012 – 77 ERA+

                He still had positive value in 2011.

                Jimenez is AJ Burnett with less consistency and a cooler name.

                That’s an insult to Ubaldo. He was far better, far younger than Burnett ever was. You’re the WARGraphs guys. What does Ubaldo to Burnett look like?

                This is your home. Feel free to have the last word here.

                • Bo Knows says:

                  Ubaldo walks guys at a higher rate than AJ ever has.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                  Hold on. Bad MLB players go to Japan and have success?!?! I’ve never heard that before! Wait…..where did Orestes Destrade go? He was standing right here next to me!

                  Of course, how someone is scouted takes into account much more than quality of opposition, but you wouldn’t know that in your muh winnings world.

                  • Mr. Roth says:

                    Actually the bad player went to Japan and was bad his first year there.

                    His last year in MLB he hit .234/.305/.385
                    His first year in Japan he hit .228/.314/.469

        • I'm One says:

          His 2010 was a 161 ERA+

          OK, so 3 seasons.

          Even his first 2/3rds in 2011 was a 102 ERA+.

          102 ERA+ is very slightly above average, not dominating.

          He’s not as young as Tanaka and will cost a draft pick (I think). I’d still take the risk with Tanaka.

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      Wait…you’d rather take Santana? As in Ervin Santana? As in the dude who prior to an admittedly excellent 2013 was the worst qualified starter in the major leagues according to fWAR in 2012?

    • Mr. Roth says:

      I would much rather make a run at Ubaldo. At least he’s shown the ability to dominate MLB.

      He’s also shown the ability to be dominated by MLB.

  12. Naka Time says:

    What’s the best 1 2 in the league? Cc/tanaka, kershaw/greinke, verlander/scherzer? Any others?

    • Dalek Jeter says:


      As much potential as CC/Tanaka have to be really, really great…I can not put them even in the top 10 probably right now.

      • Naka Time says:

        I wonder if iwakuma is really that good. We will see next season I guess

        • chris says:

          Yeah I know what you mean. I never thought he’d be that good here when I first heard about him coming to the US. I don’t think he keeps it up. But then, maybe he just needed a transition period, who knows.

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        Since I’m bored at work and I said I couldn’t put them in the top 10, I feel obligated to list 7 more:

        Price/Moore (granted he doesn’t get traded)
        Parker/Griffin(or Gray)

        okay, I can’t think of another…so I guess I can put them at 10.

        • CashmanNinja says:

          Yeah, that’s a pretty good list (as well as the others listed before it). I love CC and I also *LOVE* the potential of Tanaka, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Tanaka could be amazing, but he’s still yet to throw a major league pitch while some of those guys have pitched in a LOT of games — and many of them in big pressure situations (i.e. Verlander, Wainwright, Cain, etc).

        • The Great Gonzo says:

          It pains me to add Lester/Bucholtz to this list.

        • OldYanksFan says:

          I’d take Lester/Laptops over CC/Tanaka.

  13. Bobby d says:

    I agree the yanks need Tanaka and another starting pitcher and someone for the bullpen to compete for a playoff spot. You have to figure withe injuries the team will need at least seven starters. Also the bullpen must have someone in case d-rob can’t cut it as closer

  14. nope says:

    I’m telling you guys, Tanaka is going to end up in Seattle, they’re going to screw us again. 7/$150m.

  15. Brian Cashman & Hal Steinbrenner to Casey Close:

    Here is a blank check, write any amount on it and we will pay it.

  16. jason says:

    Last night on MLB, we got this analysis from Mitch Williams: Yankees should sign Grant Balfour rather than Tanaka. “What good is Tanaka throwing 8 innings of 1-run ball, if they’ve can’t close it out [i.e., with a ProvenCloser]?”

  17. At least $17M a year for Tanaka is crazy…though I think he’s pretty much worth it. That being said, I really think the Yanks have some sort of idea that ARod is getting a full season ban. The plan all along has been 189, and I don’t think they’ll blow that up.

    I do have one issue/question with this post though. The ‘Ichiro will be gone soon’ part…is this based on fact? Rumors (aside for very early in FA, I haven’t heard his name talked about)? Or is it just a general hatred for the guy?

    • RkyMtnYank says:

      No actual fact, just a logical choice given his contract and the now full 40 man roster and outfield. Wish it could be Wells though!

  18. TWTR says:

    Jeter needs to make an exception here. He can call it something else if he wants, but he still needs to be involved.

  19. OldYanksFan says:

    When talking about Tanaka, let’s not forget about the $20m posting fee. Mike’s scenario is $22m/yr. That’s a lot for a good #3.

  20. Nathan says:

    I think if you’re arguably the face of baseball and the most identifiable player on the team, even just a small reach-out call would do wonders. It doesn’t have to be Jeter going out and taking the player out to lunch (that might sell them though) but just a quick call of “Hey, I think you’d love New York and we have a great team that you’d be great on” would probably be a huge plus.

    I really like Jeter but damn is he a stuborn SOB.

  21. 42isNotMortal says:

    I don’t buy the recruiting pitch aside. Maybe Matsui and his rock star personality and WS MVP could help, but remember he was Golden Eagle teammates with Iwakuma of the Mariners and works out in the off-season with Darvish. It seems Matsui, Kuroda and Ichiro are merely Japanese superstars and his closer contacts represent different organizations.

  22. stan says:

    A Dodger high ranking official expects Tanaka to sign with the Yankees.

  23. GOING GOING GONE says:

    I’ve negotiated some contracts albeit smaller of course. This is how I see the negotiations going down; would like to know what others think.

    1. Cashman calls Close and after some cordial small talk reiterates the Yankees want Tanaka and tells him due to the relationship he will not make an initial low-ball offer, but a serious one to start. He’ll call him in a few days with offer.

    2. Cashman offers six years and $108 million with a $5 million signing bonus for a total deal value of $113 million.

    3. Close tells Cashman he will run it by Tanaka and they will be going through the process with other teams and he will get back to him. Close says that before a deal is made he will give all teams a last look to see if they want to match what’s on the table.

    4. Close tells all interested teams their is an offer on the table for $113 million. Some teams will fold and others may match or up their bid to stay in. So it goes for the month.

    5. Process finishes by January 24th and at the end Close will get an offer from Cashman of six years and $114 million with an $8 million signing bonus for a total deal value of $122 million. Includes a seventh year option, no trade clause and an opt out after four years. This gets Tanaka to agree and sign with the Yankees.

    Potential Dealbreaker: Tanaka who is an unknown pulls a Cliff Lee and for whatever reason, wife, family, etc., decides he doesn’t want to play in New York City and he prefers the shorter flight and Japanese communities that the West Coast teams can offer. (Dodgers, Giants, Seattle)

    Unlikely Nightmare Scenario: Ben Cherington with owners support outbid and outsell the Yankees and Tanaka signs with the Sox.

  24. qwerty says:

    I can’t believe that people are criticizing Jeter for not making recruiting calls. Complain about him not offering to give up that SS position despite being the worst SS in baseball, but not for this.

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