Update: Dodgers “won’t spend wildly” to sign Masahiro Tanaka


3:42pm: Now Nightengale says the Dodgers “won’t spend wildly” on Tanaka. So, yeah. Your guess is as good as mine. Meanwhile, John Shea hears Tanaka prefers to play in New York, Los Angeles, or Boston.

3:00pm: Via Bob Nightengale: The Dodgers have let it be known they “plan to go all-out” to sign Masahiro Tanaka and claim they will not allow themselves to be out-bid. That could just be posturing or, given how Los Angeles has spent these last two years, completely sincere. The Yankees are interested in Tanaka but it is unclear exactly how far they’re willing to go to sign him. The signing deadline for Tanaka is two weeks from today.


  1. CountryClub says:

    Well that sucks. For someone like Kershaw I would say the Yanks should have no ceiling in a bidding war. But I just can’t say that for an unknown like Tanaka.

    • Chris Z. says:

      Neither team has a “ceiling” only what would be stupid money.

      I’d say the Dodgers see this as insurance against Kershaw leaving? After all going all in on a guy at 140-150 is easier than 200+ Spending money to save money.

      • Chris Z. says:

        In addition to driving up the price on someone else who is in the market for a big time pitcher it likely takes them out of the running for Kershaw in the first place. So its a win win if the price is high. They either get the player and potentially trade Kershaw for a ransom or you don’t get Tanaka and the team that did overpaid and now can’t afford Kershaw. Reducing his leverage.

      • The Great Gonzo says:

        False: They’re doing this because Kershaw/Tanaka/Greinke/Ryu/Billingsly may be the best rotation we could see in our lifetimes. That is a rotation that wins pennants.

        • LK says:

          You’re going to take that over Halladay/Lee/Hamels/Oswalt? When Tanaka’s never thrown a pitch in MLB and Ryu has one year under his belt? It would be an awesome rotation, but best in our lifetimes is a bit much.

  2. C-Med21 says:

    Don’t buy they go “all out” for a second. They’re gonna have to give guys like Kershaw and Ranirez big contracts, plus there will be a point where the bids get so rediculous that what he’s being offered is a joke (see Robinson Cano contract).

    • John says:

      I don’t buy it either. However, I see this as a good thing. The Dodgers saying “why not” and drive the price up makes the bidding come down to Dodgers and Yanks. None of the other contending will be able hang in there with the 2 money teams.

      Yanks can forget $189. Just go for it!

  3. Theonewhoknocks says:

    The Yankees usually have their number and don’t exceed it(unless ownership goes over cashmans head like with Arod, Jeter, Soriano)
    All along I’ve suspected they will offer him 6/120 and if someone else wants to do a 7th year, or higher AAV, they would let him go and pursue other options.

    I think the dodgers are exactly the kind of team that will push past the Yankees comfort levels and do whatever it takes to land him.

    The Yankees should be calling Ubaldo and garza right now and trying to strike a deal quickly, before other teams like dbacks and mariners lose the tanaka sweepstakes and come knocking for them

    • Kvothe says:

      The agents for Ubaldo and Garza are probably/hopefully smart enough to wait out the Tanaka sweepstakes to increase their leverage.

      • Theonewhoknocks says:

        I’m sure that’s their plan, however the reason they have waited it out is because no team has come close to their demands. Because they are all waiting out Tanaka themselves.

        If someone were to pursue garza or Ubaldo right now and come close to their demands, I’m sure they’d listen. I think there is a potential ninja opportunity here.

  4. Dr TJ Eckleberg says:

    Good thing the player has a say in where he goes. Maybe after a certain amount of money he just wants to play in a certain place.

  5. Anthony says:

    Major bummer

  6. NeilT says:

    I’ll get the ball rolling by bidding $8 (that I have in my pocket right now), a Cisco mug (on my desk), and two rolls of duct tape (I’ll pick them up on the way home).

    I’ll worry about the $20m release fee later.

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      I have $10 in my pocket… I will then trade Tanaka to the Yankees for $30M cash and 6 Legends Seats season tickets for 10 years. WIN WIN.

      Your move, Cashman.

    • I'm One says:

      I’ll up the bid by heading to the nearest ATM and getting $20 (+ the 7 I have in my pocket) and add in the 8 or so awards the agency I work for has given me as well as the platic Yankees batting helmet in my cube, my Yankees clock and my 2014 Yankees wall calendar.

      • The Great Gonzo says:

        At the risk of colluding, if you two bow out of your bids I can probably slide over some of those tickets for weekday games. Jus sayin

      • Betty Lizard says:

        You’re a trooper.

        With your sacrifice as an example I’ll put up the $20 cash I had allocated to snow shoveling and my 2009 World Series sweatshirt.

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

          I haven’t made payroll yet, so I’m the current leader with $2500 in cash.

          Oh, and half a dozen ******-the-****-off contractors, whatever they’re worth.

          And a BA-NA-NA.

  7. Dan says:

    Who cares? If the Yankees are signing Tanaka it means abandoning $189m. It doesn’t matter if they abandon it by going $5m over if the Dodgers aren’t in the bidding, or $10m over if they are. If the Yankees want this guy bad enough no one can outbid them.

  8. jim p says:

    Okay, stop messing around. Provide Tanaka with the Fukushima radiation water/air flow graphics on the West Coast of California up through Canada. The West Coast is simply not an option.

  9. Tom says:

    I’m sure I’m in the minority, but I think this might be a good thing. If the Yankees sign Tanaka at ~20mil, it will mean ~145mil tied up in just 7 players through 2016. Assuming an ~200mil payroll that would leave ~60mil for 18 players.

    That’s an awful lot of Brian Roberts types over the next few years. Next year they will once again need the majority of an infield, a starting OF’r, a starting pitcher and pretty much a brand new bullpen (including a decision on re-signing Robertson). And there is not a lot of upper level talent that will fill those holes from within (maybe ManBan? maybe an OF’r if someone has a breakout in AA this year?)

    Living year to year with scrap heap pickups is not a sustainable model. At some point the Yankees need to start shopping in the 2nd tier FA district (guys more than a few mil but less than 15mil) and not go only after the big names. At least until the farm starts producing some cheap talent.

    • Words says:

      So they should split up the 20 million for a 25 year old Tanaka to 2 or 3 mid level FAs likely in their 30′s? How Red Sox of you.

      • Tom says:

        No… the Red Sox signed a number of 13-15 mil guys and are also pushing up against the luxury tax threshold, despite this romanticized perception of all the “little deals” and signing cheap mid level guys. This is a lazy and incorrect characterization of what they did.

        I’m saying the Yankees should start looking harder at the level even below that – Infante, Feldman, Benoit types. Yeah these guys aren’t perfect and all have some flaws but the Yankees have a bunch of holes to fill over the next few years.

        • Martin says:

          They have been doing that. They were interested in Infante and take a look at the roster over the past couple of years. Lots of those types of guys.

          • Tom says:

            By “lots of these guys” do you mean:


            Who else have they signed in free agency in the last 3 years in the 6-10mil range? (I guess you could technically say Mo and Kuroda’s 1st deal which were both 10mil)

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      You assume they will give a shit about $200M. they have been steady at $230M for years now. And with other teams going up, I will assume so will they

      • Tom says:

        Yankees payroll the last 4 years (from Cot’s):

        213, 208, 210, 228 (and this was in anticipation of plan 189mil)

        How exactly is this steady at 230 mil “for years now”?

        • The Great Gonzo says:

          Didn’t research before I spoke. Sorry.

          Over $200M regardless, and have not been under $200M since 2008. Point still stands, how can you assume they will give a single solitary shit about $200M going forward when teams are paying role players like starters and starters like stars?

          • Tom says:

            How can you assume they will change? Until last year (where they clearly had a strategy of overpsending on 1 year deals to clear money for 2014) they’ve been running ~210mil.

            I arbitrarily added ~60mil to 145 mil which is ~205mil. Want to bump that up to 215 mil? Want to bump it to 225mil?

            That doesn’t change the picture all that much, you have a 18 players and 3-4mil on average for them; it means a lot of scrap heap pickups until the farm starts producing some productive league min guys.

  10. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    So let’s tea leaf read the other way. Tanaka doesn’t want teams blabbing about intentions. Here we have a claim from Nightengale that the Dodgers are blabbing. That’s certainly not dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s.

    In other words, we still have no clue.

  11. C-Med21 says:

    So where should be the limit for Tanaka? I want him as much as any Yankees fan, but if it starts getting to Greinke and Sabathia money I would start looking at other options.

  12. Fernando says:

    I don’t buy that. More likely a comment from Tanaka’s reps than the Dodgers. How many starting pitchers are they going to get? They already have an issue in the OF with 4 big contracts, which they will have to eat part of one to make a trade.
    If the Yankees lose out on Tanaka, the heck with Garza and Jimenez. Save that money for next year’s pitchers – Kershaw, Scherzer, Bailey, Shields, Masterson and Lester.

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      4 of which will probably never sniff the open market. Better off signing someone now rather than later.

      Also, would you rather spend the $120M on Tanaka today or $120M on Bailey next year? He soulds GREAT as the back end of the free agent class in 2015, but not as THE GUY in 2015 when Kershaw/Lester/Scherzer/Shields are all locked up by May. See ‘Jminez/Garza 2014′. Or: ‘Dempster 2013′

  13. Words says:

    Haha, I hope Tanaka is a more consistent pitcher than the reports surrounding him have been since all this madness began.

  14. Dick M says:

    We’re in “no man’s land” right now.

    Spending like drunken sailors and we still don’t have a team that can win. Adding Tanaka ain’t enough.

    What a freakin mess.

    The real issue, a total lack of player development, goes unaddressed with the same knuckleheads in charge and a free pass for all.

  15. RetroRob says:

    The Dodgers are the Yankees of the NL now, and they may be more similar to the George Steinbrenner Yankees. Hopefully the Yankees are all-in on Tanaka, but there is a line, even if it’s a bit gray, that once crossed they should be willing to let Tanaka go.

  16. Craig says:

    Yeah…I am of the belief that this is either the Dodgers going after Tanaka because they know they aren’t going to be able to resign Kershaw or they are trying to drive up the price for Tanaka to take some money away from the competition for Kershaw.

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      I think its more like 7 years ago when you’d hear “The Yankees are in on Free Agent X” and you’d believe it, because… They’re the Yankees.

      Er, Dodgers…

  17. The Great Gonzo says:

    New York, Los Angeles or Boston, huh…

    Those goddam Mets are gonna screw with us here… I can feel it

  18. forensic says:

    Ah, the annoyingness of twitter.

    Writers in such a hurry to get things out, that a different story comes out soon after with a different conclusion.

    Usually, it’s two different writers, but this time one writer changes his own conclusions within 45 minutes.

    So aggravating…

  19. TWTR says:

    So they may go all out or they may not…

    • forensic says:

      It’s almost as useful as those reporters who think they break news by saying so and so ‘could be announced as soon as this afternoon’ or ‘as soon as tomorrow’.

      Oh really? You think? You sure it won’t be announced yesterday???

  20. mike says:

    Ironic how – once again – Arod is the center of the baseball world, as his suspension is likely the biggest influence on the contract Tanaka can get, as well as the trickle-down to Garza and Ubaldo……

    • forensic says:

      I don’t think A-Rod’s suspension has much, if any, effect on what Tanaka can get, and thus has even less effect on Garza and Jimenez.

      • Giambi Juice says:

        I agree. You don’t wait for money to be freed up so you can spend on a necessity. His suspension hinges two things: his replacements and whether or not the 189 plan is even remotely feasible.

  21. King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

    CBA re-write makes all of our prognosticating mental masturbation.

  22. Derek Holland out till mid-season, ouch.

  23. tommy cassella says:

    when it comes to pitching, you do not go toe to toe with the dodgers, because they will always win.

  24. Mike says:

    If it comes down to the us or LA and the money is equal, I think Tanaka will choose us because we have the best chance to win it all.

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