Jan
22

Details of the Yankees’ contract agreement with Masahiro Tanaka

By
It was his destiny.

It was his destiny. (source)

After weeks and months of waiting, the Yankees finally got their man. The team agreed to a seven-year contract worth $155M with right-hander Masahiro Tanaka on Wednesday morning, a deal that includes an opt-out after the fourth year. Add in the $20M release fee the team must pay the Rakuten Golden Eagles and the total investment is potentially $175M. The release fee will be paid out in installments.

Pretty much everything we know about Tanaka the pitcher is in this post. Now that he’s come to an agreement, some details about the contract itself and the Yankees’ pursuit have come to light. Here’s a roundup, courtesy of Joel Sherman, Ken Rosenthal, Buster Olney, Dan Barbarisi, Ronald Blum, Jeff PassanBryan Hoch, Jon Heyman, and Anthony McCarron.

Pursuing Tanaka
The Yankees sent an eight-person crew to Los Angeles to meet with Tanaka face-to-face a few weeks ago, when he was essentially interviewing teams. Those eight people: team president Randy Levine, GM Brian Cashman, assistant GMs Jean Afterman and Billy Eppler, manager Joe Girardi, pitching coach Larry Rothschild, player development staffer Trey Hillman, and translator George Rose. Hillman just rejoined the organization and spent four years managing in Japan not too long ago. Hideki Matsui made a recruiting call at some point as well.

After listening to each team’s pitch and mulling over the offers, the two sides haggled a bit and Tanaka’s camp informed the Yankees they had to offer the seventh year to get a deal done, so they did. He may have turned down more money from another team, reportedly. I’m guessing the Cubs were the top bidder if another team did make a better offer, but that’s just a guess. The Yankees were informed Tanaka accepted their offer at 1am ET this morning, 3pm local time in Japan. I guess all the reporters were sleeping because the news didn’t break for another nine hours or so.

Hal Speaks
“I have been saying for well over a year now that it makes sense to meet [the $189 million threshold], but not at the expense of a championship-caliber team,” said Hal Steinbrenner following the signing. “I felt we needed another starter. We were not where we needed to be, in my opinion. So this should not be a surprise because [Tanaka] was the best free-agent pitcher available. He is one of the greatest players Japan has ever produced. He is tough. He has thrived under pressure. He will fit in well to New York.

“Market value is what one or more teams are willing to pay today. He is one of the best players Japan has produced and he has played well on the big stage in big games. I think he will be great for our organization and will do very, very well. But, honestly, I don’t feel that [we'd spend whatever it takes] for any player, as we showed earlier this offseason [with Robinson Cano]. That is not good for the family, our partners or the organization. There was a limit of what we were willing to do, but, yes, I felt it was important to get him.”

Hank Speaks
“We’re going to do what we’ve got to do to win. We had to make sure we had enough pitching to go together with our new lineup,” said Hank Steinbrenner following the signing. “There has been criticism of myself and my brother the last couple years that, gee, if our dad was still in charge, we’d be spending this and spending that and doing whatever it takes to win. He didn’t have revenue sharing, at least for most of his time. That’s what these people in the sports media don’t seem to get. If it wasn’t for revenue sharing, we’d have a payroll of $300M a year if we wanted to. So we’re doing this despite having to pay all that revenue sharing.”

No Physical
The Yankees will not have Tanaka take a second physical. He was examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache when he was in Los Angeles a few weeks ago as a way to facilitate the process, so the team reviewed the test results and are comfortable with them. It’s exactly what they did with Hiroki Kuroda two years ago. ElAttrache is the Dodgers’ team doctor who also consults for NFL, NBA, and NHL teams as well as PGA golfers. He’s not some quack like Dr. Nick. It’s surprising the Yankees aren’t having their doctors look at Tanaka but it’s not like they’re signing him sight unseen either.

Contract Details
The contract is very straight forward: Tanaka will earn $22M in each of the first six years and $23M in the seventh year. The average annual value is $22.14M for luxury tax purposes. Agent Casey Close insisted on the opt-out clause, which is the new trend in baseball. Close also secured opt-outs for Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw recently, plus the Yankees gave one to CC Sabathia a few years ago. A.J. Burnett opted out of his contract with the Blue Jays before signing with New York. They’re the cost of doing business these days.

Tanaka just turned 25 in November, so the four guaranteed years of his contract will cover his age 25-28 seasons. That’s really awesome, those should be his best years, at least in theory. The opt-out allows Tanaka to test free agency at age 29, when he could land another huge payday. That second contract, the one he signs at 29, will be the real scary one. We can consider this a four-year, $88M deal with a three-year, $67M player option for all intents and purposes, but there is some luxury tax calculation difference between an opt-out and a player option. It’s complicated.

The Yankees are going to have to make a 40-man roster move to accommodate Tanaka sometime before 5pm ET on Friday. He has to physically sign the contract by the deadline. David Huff seems most likely to get the roster axe but Ramon Flores is another option. The team could also work out a small trade to clear a spot. Either way, it’ll have to be done relatively soon.

Perks!
These deals always contain some fun perks. In addition to the huge salary, Tanaka also receives a $35k moving allowance, a $100k annual housing allowance to be used in New York or near the team’s Spring Training complex in Tampa, and $85k to hire an interpreter of his choice. The Yankees are also giving him four first class round trip plane tickets from New York and Japan. Oh, and he gets a full no-trade clause.

Historical Perspective
In terms of total dollars, the $155M guarantee is fifth largest pitching contract in history, behind Kershaw ($215M), Justin Verlander ($180M), Felix Hernandez ($175M), and CC Sabathia ($161M). It is the ninth largest pitching contract in history in terms of average annual value, behind Kershaw ($30.7M), Verlander ($25.7M), Felix ($25M), Greinke ($24.5M), Sabathia ($24.4M), Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee (both $24M), and Johan Santana ($22.9M). It is the 18th largest contract in baseball history overall and by frickin’ far the largest ever given to an international player. The six-year, $68M deal the White Sox gave Jose Abreu earlier this winter was the previous record.

After seeing ratings and attendance (and revenue) plummet last year, the Yankees went all-out this winter to improve their team. They still have holes, yes, but they’re also much improved. Tanaka was their top pitching target all along and now he’s in pinstripes.

Categories : Transactions
  • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

    $300mm payroll FTW!

  • Havok9120

    Hank’s comment is gold. Exactly the in-your-face type of thing I would expect from him.

    And exactly the reason I prefer Hal as the guy making most of the decisions.

    • The Great Gonzo

      I am struggling to decide if Hank is an egomaiac or just a dolt. But loves him!

      • RetroRob

        Perhaps he’s the Billy Carter of the Steinbrenner clan.

        • Farewell Mo

          I think of him as Fredo Steinbrenner. That actually wouldn’t be a bad handle.

          • Dale Mohorcic

            Or Frodo Steinbrenner.

          • I’m One

            We’ve already got one Steinbrenner in here (Jorge), not sure there’s room for another. We may have to take you out fishing if you use that handle.

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

              Luca Steinbrenner

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Loved his comments. They’re exactly what most of us have been trying to tell the naysayers since 189 became a naughty word.

    • Get Phelps Up

      A giant middle finger to all the Dan Gens of the world.

  • JGYank

    You mean we actually sent Levine to make a good impression on him? And it worked?

    Anyway I’m surprised at the total amount he got. I thought 140 might be enough to get it done. Also surprised they are allowing him to skip the 2nd physical especially with all the innings he has thrown. The no trade and opt out clauses aren’t surprising but the opt out could make us pay more for him later or even lose a great pitcher if he lives up to the hype and leaves and it allows him to hit the market when he’s 29, I think. If he is close to Darvish he’ll be worth it his contract but if he is a 2 win pitcher or less he will be way overpaid. Love the signing and going over 189 even if it’s a huge risk. I’m glad he turned down the highest offer, it shows he wanted to be here. I’m really curious if it was the Cubs or maybe Dodgers that offered him that. Probably the Cubs. I think we are a RP, an infielder, and a healthy season away from having a really good playoff team. Hope we will see some more signings now. Really excited about the signing and this year.

    Welcome to NY Tanaka!

    • Dale Mohorcic

      After seeing “American Hustle,” I now picture Randy Levine at home at night with tiny curlers in his hair like Bradley Cooper.

    • Chris H

      What higher offer was out there? Last I read the Yankees were the highest offer.

      • Gonzo

        Sorry, see below. Passan tweeted, “Yanks blew away.” Hoch tweeted that Yanks may not have had the highest offer. We’ll find out, but I have my doubts that team went higher unless we are talking about one of those 10 year/$180mm deals agents use to get higher bids.

    • Gonzo

      I think the 7/155 did the heavy lifting.

    • JGYank

      Meant to say if there was a higher offer…

  • Farewell Mo

    Interesting to hear all the “George would have signed _____” talk has gotten under Hank’s skin and that he’d address it publicly.

    • TWTR

      He makes a fair point, but if they want to be more circumspect about spending money, then don’t spend it stupidly as they recently have on Wells, Youkilis, and Ichiro.

      • Farewell Mo

        His revenue sharing point is legit. I’m just surprised he would publicly show he’s sensitive to that kind of talk.

        Maybe all the criticism some of us have dolled out on RAB encouraged this signing!

        • Havok9120

          It’s good PR. “We’re listening to your frustration, fans. Here’s our side, and the proof we aren’t BSing you about wanting to win.”

          • Farewell Mo

            Good point

            Coming from Hal, I can see a calculated statement like that but I think Hank just shoots from the hip.

      • nyyankfan

        Because George spent money wisely? Kevin Brown

        • steve (different one)

          Hindsight.

          It is easy to forget how awesome Kevin Brown was.

        • TWTR

          George’s record is mixed and he certainly lacked patience, BUT he continued to try to outspend his mistakes, which is the point.

          • vicki

            over decades, his heart was in the right place but his head was up his ass.

            • TWTR

              I can recall Gene Michael being interviewed a few years back, and the interviewer observed that Torre had done a good job of handling George.
              Stick replied that George wasn’t the same guy in the ’90s that he once was, meaning he had really mellowed, and, of course, he had.

              The George of the ’70s and early ’80s was nuts. That guy may well have traded Jeter, Bernie, Mo, etc. when they were still prospects.

              • vicki

                without a doubt.

                then again, even a mellowing george wanted to trade a 27 year-old andy.

                “…to George Steinbrenner in 1999, Pettitte is not coming through and the Boss has made it known that Andy Pettitte is on the trading block.”

                http://riveraveblues.com/2008/.....itte-1983/

        • RetroRob

          His overall spending turned his $10M investment (and in reality he only put about 150K of his own money into the purchase) into a multi-billion-dollar empire. Unlike most owners who made their fortune outside of baseball, George eventually made Forbes’ list of richest Americans because of the Yankees.

          So some of the individual expenditures can be questioned, but the overall spending can not.

  • Chris H

    I’m hoping Jimenez is next, that gives you a 1-5 of CC, Kuroda, Jimenez, Tanaka, and Nova. It allows one of Phelps/Warren to go to the pen while the other joins Pineda in AAA as insurance. You turn pitching from an all around weakness to a deep strength.

    • Farewell Mo

      Spending another $70-80 million on a starting pitcher would seem a little like gluttony, no.

      I’d be happy with another more proven arm for the pen though

      • Chris H

        Not when the other option is David Phelps or Pineda, neither one of which will be allowed anywhere near 200 innings pitched this season.

        Besides I’ve never really been a Tanaka fan, I’ve wanted Jimenez from the start I just figured they wouldn’t put themselves over 189 for Jimenez alone.

        • Farewell Mo

          What don’t you like about Tanaka? Also doesn’t it concern you that out of the last 3 years, Jimenez had really one good half season which was the 2nd half of last year?

          • Chris H

            I don’t think he’s going to be awful I just don’t see an ace when I look at his pure stuff. The split is nasty no doubt but according to Yahoo tracking pitches he averaged 90.8 MPH last year and 90.6 MPH career, which makes the split easier to layoff. He also throws his 2-seam up in the zone and not down, not uncommon in Japan but isn’t the best strategy in the states with the extra abundance of power. I also think his slider is decent but it’s a bit too loopy to be a dominant pitch here, I think he ends up as a solid number 3 but the hype has gone way past that.

          • Chris H

            Jimenez FIP: 2008- 3.83. 2009- 3.36, 2010- 3.10, 2011- 3.67, 2012- 5.06, 2013- 3.43. You could say that Jimenez has only ever had one bad season and he did that while learning to adjust to a 3 MPH drop off in velocity, something he’s adjusted to just fine. He also has the highest upside of any of the free agent pitchers, of which I’m including Tanka, since he misses more bats and has the history of putting a team on his back for entire halves of the season. He’s a bit inconsistent in his release point but the “he’s only had half of one good season” or the “he’s only had two good halves in his career” stuff simply doesn’t fly according to the numbers.

            • Farewell Mo

              This from Keith Law”s free agent rankings.

              “From his first start with Cleveland in 2011 through the 2013 All-Star break, Ubaldo Jimenez was kind of terrible: He posted a 5.10 ERA in 340 2/3 innings, walking 175, allowing 45 homers, and striking out 299.”

              He does rank him 4th just behind Tanaka and goes on to say ” his lack of track record is terrifying, but a 30-year-old with this kind of stuff and his newfound control has to get four years, if not more, in this kind of market, likely for $14 million to $15 million a year.”

              Definitely a risk to see if you’re getting 2nd half 2013 Jimenez or the one from the prior 340 innings.

              • Chris H

                I’m not a fan of Keith Law personally, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out Jimenez isn’t going to be the 1.82 ERA/2.17 FIP pitcher he was in the second half of 2013. I do however believe he can easily be the 3.30 ERA, 3.43 FIP, 3.62 xFIP pitcher he was as a whole in 2013. I mean it’s not hard to understand why he struggled at the start with Cleveland, he had lost 2 MPH off his fastball and was traded to the AL mid season. It clearly took him a while to adjust to the new stuff and the new league, however I believe he’s done that. He’s has a rare combination of youth (for a free agent), stuff (even after he lost 95 average), and proven production in his career that’s hard to pass on. I can’t say he won’t have bad seasons or be a bad signing, no one can say that about any pitcher, but I’d bet on Jimenez over Garza, Santana, Masterson, or Bailey, in Yankee Stadium over the next 4-5 years. So to me it’s worth the gamble, especially when he’s not who you’re going over 189M for.

              • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                Keith Law should know better than to site a timeframe that vague though.

                His peripherals improved DRASTICALLY after 2011.

          • Bobalo

            1300++ innings pitched through age 24. That is 6+ years of an average of 200 innings per year from age 19 through 24 and then some. We’ll see.

      • Havok9120

        My thinking is that pushing Phelps and Warren into the pen is one of the better things we can do to improve it at this point.

        • mitch

          Agreed. Plus you have to factor in the concerns about the rest of the rotation. The 6th starter is probably going to see a lot of action. Bringing in another arm would be nice. If not Jimenez, i’d still look to add a guy like Capuano or Maholm.

      • mitch

        I wouldn’t go 70-80 mil with Jimenez, but if teams are scared off by the draft pick and his best offer is 3/45 i’d definitely swoop in. Same with Drew.

        • Farewell Mo

          That I’d definitely agree with. Big upside and not a huge commitment in years or dollars.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          I think anyone who sees a 3/45 in Jimenez’s future hasn’t been paying attention to the market this offseason.

          • mitch

            not saying it’s going to happen, but every off season there are a couple stragglers that end up getting signed at a discount. Another starter is definitely a luxury, but if the right guy falls in their lap they should make the move

          • Chris H

            This. The last report on Jimenez had him looking for 14 per year, I’d go 4/56 easily to match that, or 5/65 (13 AAV) if he needed the extra security of the 5th year. I wouldn’t go 6 years just because I don’t like 6 years for any pitcher not named Kershaw.

          • steve (different one)

            Yeah, I think it’s $75M/5 to the Blue Jays.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              Could easily see that happening.

    • Havok9120

      I’m right there with you. I’d love that.

    • JGYank

      I don’t think that’s necessary. We have plenty of options for the #5 spot and someone could also step up and become a part of our future plans. Hopefully one of Phelps Nuno Pineda or Warren. It’s the #5 spot we’re talking about here, not #3 so we can rely on what we have I think. Signing someone like Jimenez or Garza would just further limit our financial flexibility and the SPs on the market right now aren’t great and we don’t know how they would perform in NY. I would like to improve the pen and infield however since we have clear holes there.

      • Chris H

        You wouldn’t be signing Jimenez to be the 5th starter, you’d be signing him to be the 3rd or 4th starter this year and the third starter next year behind CC and Tanaka after Kuroda retires or leaves for Japan. Plus it moves Nova to the 5th spot this year and limits the damage (or magnifies his upside) he could do if he turns back into 2012 Nova. The Yankees just obliterated 189 for at least the next year and probably closer to the next 3, financial flexibility thy name is Yankees. There is no reason to pinch pennies after this signing.

        • JGYank

          I agree we shouldn’t penny pinch, but we’re going to need a LF, 2B, RP, and most likely a SS and 3B after this year. That would be a lot of money already locked in the rotation with CC Tanaka and Jimenez plus Arod Tex Ellsbury McCann and Beltran. It would be very risky to sign an expensive starter that might be a bust and is extremely inconsistent like Jimenez after already signing Tanaka.

          • Chris H

            They are going to have to sign a starter for big money next year if they don’t sign one now. Kuroda is gone after 2014, that leaves CC yet another year older, Tanka, Nova, Phelps, and Pineda as the penciled in starter for 2015. Even if Ramirez, Banuelos, or someone else from the farm is ready they will have massive innings caps on them. Personally I’d rather have Jimenez now than wait for Masterson or Homer Bailey.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    just got home from work, turned on my PC and BOOM: Yanks sign Tanaka. Sure, it’s a massive deal but I like it anyway. Just awesome!

    https://ip.bitcointalk.org/?u=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-vpE6uMJ37dk%2FUOScrne47aI%2FAAAAAAAAEL4%2FKi-4IWO-SoY%2Fs1600%2Fron-paul.gif&t=536&c=PYgx-NqXFcLJWw

  • Paco Dooley

    The sad part is that he won’t be as good as Darvish – they really blew it on that great couple of years of IFAs. with Puig, Darvish and Cespedes out there. That would be a a couple of great outfield corners and a solid #1 starter, all together for the cost of one top paid player

    • hogsmog

      That’s not entirely true. No NPB ace had come over and succeeded the way Darvish has done for two straight seasons (with good peripherals). We have that information now; we have a better idea what a ~1.50 NPB ERA will mean in the MLB because we’ve seen Darvish do it. Even though Darvish and Tanaka are different pitchers, there wasn’t such a precedent when Yu was being signed, and so he was a higher risk, I think. That being said, I wanted them to go all out for Darvish and was mad they didn’t. His price tag would have been worth it even if he pitched like a solid #3-4, and now it looks like we may have missed the boat on low-AAV NPB contracts.

    • Grit for Brains

      That may be a sad part but I think I’d argue that the real sad part is all the holes the team still has even after this signing.

    • gageagainstthemachine

      Puig might be “Fernando-mania II” in L.A. If he can’t rein in his off-field issues, he could be a star that burns bright but burns out fast. Professional sports requires a level of restraint on fame in order to be a long term success. As for Cespedes, I’m not sure that he will be a long term star in the league. I have a feeling pitchers will find his weaknesses and exploit them and he may burn out as well. Darvish is a different factor. He has proven he can both pitch and power passed batters. I think he will be a long term stud in MLB. Not to say the Yankees couldn’t have used the youth and excitement of Puig and Cespedes, but I think in the long run players like Tanaka and Darvish (heavily scouted in comparison to other Japanese pitchers…trying not to mention Igawa here, but it must be noted) are the much better investment. At least we got one of them (and won’t they be able to possibly make a run at the other in FA too?). Also, my arm-chair GM’ing scouting sucks, but it’s still my gut feelings on all four players. Most of all, I’m just excited to see what Tanaka brings to the table. I think he’ll be really, really fun to watch.

      • gageagainstthemachine

        also, MLBTR already has Huff listed as a DFA, so that part of the Tanaka post is already answered…

    • pat

      Lets let Puig have his second go round through the league before we anoint him as a “great miss”. Cespedes looked all world his first year too and finished 2013 at .240/.294/.442

      • gageagainstthemachine

        glad someone else feels the same way I do :)

  • http://riveravenueblues Mississippi doc

    They will not sign Jiminez. He will cost too much. Tanaka’s contract will push up the price for the remaining FA SP’s. They need another good relief pitcher and an infielder, since Roberts will be this years Youkilis. I am a little worried about the news about Texiera’s wrist. If it is this much time after his surgery and he is still having problems, then, as it is said, we have a problem Houston.

    • Chris H

      It’s “Houston, we have a problem”…

      As far as infielders and relief pitchers go the market is barren unless you want to over pay for Fernando Rodney or trade for someone, which doesn’t make sense with our system. I’d much rather spend 60-80 for Jimenez and patch together a pen and IF on MiLB deals than spend big on Rodney or give up valuable pieces for a relief pitcher or bench player.

  • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

    And I can finally put this new screen name to use.

    Well I could have used it in the last thread but it was already over 300 comments.

    • Havok9120

      Hey, you finally found one.

      • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

        Yeah there really ain’t much good and relevant alliterating or rhyming screen names left in my mind. Kinda bored of my old screen name a while back but this one lit a bulb in my head.

        The other option was Masa-hiro and some kind of pun on both their last names. Which is rather difficult because Ta and Da in Japanese (or at least in their names) seems to be the same thing.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          I considered Waka Waka Tanaka! to go along with The Great Gonzo.

          But it wasn’t funny.

    • Farewell Mo

      Nice

  • Kenny

    Is it a one-time opt-out opportunity or does he have the chance to opt out after year 4, 5, and 6?

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      Only at the 4th year is my understanding.

  • Vinny Bag-a-donuts

    Great work as always Mike. Wanted to know your thoughts on the deal? Would you have rather saved the money for Russell Martin?

    • vicki

      do you think you sound smart? we could’ve had russ on an affordable one-year deal last year instead of the worst catcher in baseball.

      • Vinny Bag-a-donuts

        I thought I did, guess not. I was just teasing Mike, but I do agree that we could have used Russ.

        • vicki

          okay, if it was good-natured.

          tender spot for me, obviously.

  • vicki

    so the doctors who examined pineda pre-trade won’t have a chance to see tanaka before the contract signing. i’m fine with that.

    • Farewell Mo

      Can us imagine the despair if Tanaka shows up to ST throwing 85?

  • bkight13

    I think they should trade one of their young Catchers for a 3b/1b and sign Balfour. Not sure if any team lines up well, but it’s one position of strength they have in the minors. Throw in one of the OFers if needed.

    • Chris H

      Why do that when you can just sign Baker to his lefties and play every position but P and C?

  • MC

    The most entertaining comments on MLBTR were those of the Red Sox fans. Very bizarre and their typical classy way of looking at things.

    Firstly, there is no comparison to the Yanks and Red Sox. The Yanks rotation, as it is now, is vastly superior to the Red Sox. They have a collection of #’3 and #’4. Everything broke right for them last season. Mark my words, I’d be willing to put $100k on it, that doesn’t happen again, not even close. Lester has flashes of greatness and then not. Buchholz has yet to make it through one entire season being healthy. It’s just never going to happen for him. It’s his frame and delivery that will not allow that to happen. The rest; Lackey, Dubront, Dempster, and even Peavy at this stage, are 4′s at best.

    Looking forward;
    http://insider.espn.go.com/blo.....st?id=8674
    This is very relevant. I’m sorry, but Scherzer receiving $200mm, Lester $150mm, Masterson and Bailey over $100mm? Don’t think for a second, that the Tanaka isn’t good. It’s massively superior to any of these deals looking forward. None of the pitchers, other than Lester, at a minimum, have shown any real consistency. Scherzer has one lights out (Cy Young) season and not he’s the next $200mm pitcher? Please, his arm will be flamed out in 2 years, mark my words.

    All in all, it’s a risk the Yanks are taking, but very well calculated. I’d much rather Tanaka than any other free agent signing that’s currently on the table or will be in the table in the next year or two.

    And CC is going to kick ass this year. Mark it down. Let’s remember the guy was a consensus top 10 pitcher for a decade and had one shitty season. Let’s cut him some slack.

    • Chris H

      Right now I think I’d still take Lester, Buccholz, Peavy, Lackey, and Doubront/Dempster. CC, Nova, and Tanka, are all complete question marks coming into the season with an enormous range of production each one could fall in. It’s possible they’ll be better than the Sox rotation but I wouldn’t put an amount of money that mattered to me on it.

      • MC

        You can’t possibly be serious, right?

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          I’d say both rotations have the potential to be very good, but both rotations carry huge question marks.

          • RetroRob

            Exactly. Heading into 2013 the Red Sox had pretty much all question marks. They all came through with Lester rebounding, Laptop Stealer turning his entire game around, and then there was Lackey, who I don’t talk about!

            Fans understandably worry about the negative, and we can ll abuild a scenario where every pitcher in the Yankees rotation will underperform. Then again, we can build just the opposite. CC’s fall still makes no sense and he looks like a prime rebound candidate. Kuroda is about as consistent a pitcher as there is in the game the last three years. Tanaka receives top praise from scouts and was the top free agent pitcher on teh market. Nova has been a plus two of his last three years and and could be primed for a big season.

            Will all those things go right? Probably not, but then again, when more things go right that’s how a team wins a championship as happened with the Red Sox last year.

      • MC

        Lester is very hot and cold and goes through stretches where there is no consistency. Buccholz, again, like clock work, every season misses 2-3 months. You don’t know what you’re going to get with CC and Nova you say? Sure, possibly, but what you no for damn sure, there’s nothing more certain in life, that Buccholz will be DL’d for an extended period of time this season. I read a fascinating article on this in the Boston Globe about 2 years ago. He will NEVER have the consistency/health you expect to match his stuff. His frame and body can’t withstand it.

        As for the Lackey and Dempster, you’re delusional to think they are a step up from a Burnett for example.

        They’ve got Peavy, who about as proven as they come for their rotation.

        • FANBOY

          I’d bet that if the Sox rotation belonged to the Yankees and, visa-versa, your ranting would intensify x2.

          At this point Lester and Lackey’s numbers can be penned in, Buchholz and Peavy are injury concerns, but very good if healthy, and Doubront is young. The only guarantee on the Yankees side is that Kuroda will be very good for spring baseball. CC is a serious question because, unlike others, injury didn’t cause his ’13. Tanaka is also very much a question mark. I think you’re kinda nuts.

  • Gonzo

    Jeff Passan tweeted that, “…Other teams were in. Yanks blew away.” I know Hoch is reporting that the Yankees may not have had the best offer, but I think time will bring the truth on this one.

    • RetroRob

      Will we? I think there are only two people who know for sure what all the offers were. Close and Tanaka.

      • Gonzo

        Judging from history, I would say there is a very good chance we know the offers. If you take a hard line against it being truthful, then you probably have an issue with Mike posting the info he did.

  • vicki

    hideki matsui made a recruiting call at some point as well.

    go, go, godzilla!

  • Klemy

    So, we are 3.5 years out from hearing an announcement that Tanaka has dropped Close to sign with ROC Nation?

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

    We have to combine post counts from these 3 threads to check the over/under.

  • Anthony

    Really excited for TANAK

  • Bill

    Call Washington. Find out what they want for Drew Storen, Zachary Walters and Tyler Moore. Ask if they will take Nunez, Romine, Betances, Flores and a non-roster player. After this trade, go to Spring Training and see what happens. Try to trade Suzuki by end of ST to address a minor need or just to get a little salary relief.

  • Pasqua

    Within those linked reports / tweets is one that says the Yankees’ offer “blew everyone else away,” and one that says their offer wasn’t the biggest but that Tanaka “wanted to be a Yankee.”

    New era journalism is such a pain in the ass sometimes. Don’t be right. Be first.