Thursday Night Open Thread

Tanaka Speaks: "I’m going there to win the World Series"
Bullpen option off the board: Balfour goes back to Tampa

The Yankees signed Masahiro Tanaka to help them win games on the field, but there is more to the signing than the on-field aspect. The team also wants to him to help improve ratings and attendance and all sorts of other stuff as well. Last night’s Yankees Hot Stove show on YES was the highest rated of the winter by a decent margin, and that was only day one of Tanakamania. Revenue generated by international players tends to be overstated — it was for Hideki Matsui, at least — but the team will make money off him globally. No doubt about it.

This is the nightly open thread. Both the Rangers and Islanders are playing, so talk about those games or whatever else right here. Enjoy the evening.

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Tanaka Speaks: "I’m going there to win the World Series"
Bullpen option off the board: Balfour goes back to Tampa
  • Anthony

    So Jon Heyman says the Yankees “are now considering” Stephen Drew:
    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/w.....ly-at-drew

    I think we can all agree he would really help that infield.

    • Farewell Mo

      Cool.

      Make sure you keep us updated.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Unless it’s a Chicago beat reporter, I don’t buy it.

      • Anthony

        Apparently the Cubs won’t be outbid for Drew. Damn.

        :p

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Straight from Tom Loxas’s mouth.

          • Anthony

            And Julie DiCaro, Phil Rogers, David Kapplan, and Patrick Mooney!

    • mustang

      Anthony ” the inter-voice of RAB and Yankees rumor mill”

      A legend is born.

      :)

    • TWTR

      He’s Boras’ client, so I am a little skeptical.

      • BamBamMusings

        Agreed. Leverage against Boston.

      • The Great Gonzo

        In fairness, this is the time of year where Boras clients, by and large, can be relative discounts.

        Look at Damon, he signed for 1/8 in Feb 2010 after turning down 2/16 8 weeks earlier. Sure, Prince Fielder didn’t come cheaper, but still.

    • CSYanke

      He was a red sox player last year i say don’t sign him!

  • Farewell Mo

    Good stuff from Keith Law.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/blo.....st?id=1769

    For those without insider, the headline reads:

    Tanaka will be elite from day one

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

      Since KLaw can be an utter boob, this has me concerned.

    • Dirty Water

      Keith Law said Victorino was easily the worst free agent signing of last year. How’d that prediction turn out?

  • vicki

    oh, great. apparently, jon lester is a class act for announcing he’ll take a hometown discount to stay in boston.

    • RetroRob

      Saying it and doing it are two different things. He knows he has to pitch in Boston next year so that’s what he should say.

      He should also take note of the market inflation for pitchers. His idea of a discount may not be what the Red Sox think!

      • vicki

        who knows, after the deal the gnome took. it’s all just so gross.

        • dkidd

          forget it, jake…

          we got tanaka!!!

          • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

            I’m not sure how I feel about that.

        • RetroRob

          I know. It really was a dumb move on his part. I certainly would understand if Pedroia wants to stay in Boston. He can even give a discount. Yet he massively unsold himself. He should have just taken it up to the wire.

          • The Great Gonzo

            In fairness, a discount for him might be to take $18.5 instead of the $22M Tanaka got. Boston’s idea of a discount could be $11.5M…

  • JGYank

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweets.....-rotations

    ESPN ranked the top 10 rotations. Yanks ranked 5th and Tanaka was included in their rotation. They were ranked ahead of the Dodgers and Rays. Interesting.

    • RetroRob

      Interesting. My first reaction was “no way,” but then when I started looking at the other rotations it didn’t seem out of line. Have a hard time ranking them ahead of the Dodgers led by Kershaw and Greinke.

      Yet, it’s not hard to see the Yankees having a very strong rotation next year if the pieces fall together, led by CC rebounding to some degree. On the other hand, it’s also not hard to envision the opposite. That said, they same can be said for most of the other rotations.

      • JGYank

        Yeah I was definitely surprised by the 5th spot and who we were ahead of especially with the lack of quality depth considering they looked at the top 7 starters and we don’t know what we’re getting from #5 spot or depth guys. I thought we would be around 10 or so. But when you look our rotation (and assume everyone’s healthy) there is a TON of potential. CC can be an ace, Kuroda has been great for 2 years and had an incredible 1st half of last year, Nova looked great at the end of last year and is young, Tanaka is also young and could be very good plus he hasn’t been seen by MLB hitters, and there are several options for the #5 spot including Pineda who had a solid rookie year in 2011. There is also a lot that could go wrong like you said. When I looked at the slash line from last year, the Yanks just didn’t match up with the rest of the list but the WAR total did. But I love the upside and adding Tanaka really hides any flaws in the rotation.

    • JGYank

      http://espn.go.com/blog/sweets.....iro-tanaka

      There’s also these Tanaka polls on ESPN. I doubt he wins the CY (and I wouldn’t bet on it) or finishes under a 3.20 ERA (I’d guess around 3.75) but I think he gets over 14.5 wins with our offense as long as he gets close to 200 IP.

    • qwerty

      I’d rather have CC than Clayton Kershaw. Who’s with me?!

    • nycsportzfan

      I got a question. Better offseason, this yr or 2009??

      Texiera, CC, AJ Burnett, Nick Swisher,
      VS

      McCann, Ellsbury, Tanaka, K.Johnson, Thornton, Roberts, Beltran

      For me, it has to be this yr. What a offseason!

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I’d say 2009. We didn’t lose a major piece and CC and Tex were at the top of their game.

        • forensic

          I agree and I think it’s pretty easily the better one, too. I’m optimistic on Tanaka, but CC then is still almost certainly better than what Tanaka will be now. Teixeira at that point was a far better hitter than anyone they signed this offseason. AJ ws coming off a great year and though Swisher was coming off a poor season, he had two great ones in a row before that.

          McCann is coming off a few seasons where he wasn’t out there as much as you’d like (and the injuries affected his production). We all know how much time Ellsbury has missed wih injuries and how far out of line 2011 was vs. the rest of his career. Beltran helps some, but Johnson, Thornton, and Roberts likely won’t end up being major additions either because production ability, role, or injuries. And, as you mentioned, they lost Cano which takes a big bite out of the offseason too.

          • nycsportzfan

            Beltran helps more then “some”. Hes still a big run producer and switch hitter with the ability to flat out “hit”, not just send some balls over the fence. Roberts,Thornton, and Johnson all seem like perfect yankee additons, almost like there old wiley additons of the late 90’s. Guys like Knoblauch, Curtis, and Brosius come to mind. Thornton is kinda Mike Stanton like.. Add in McCann, whos one of the top handful of Catchers in baseball and can defend, and Ellsbury is one of the top catalysts in baseball, capable of hitting the ball out of the yard, hit for avg, and steal 50bases.

            As much as i loved the 09 FA class, i can’t say it was better then this one.

  • Finn

    If Cano was a class act maybe he’d still be here instead of squeezing every penny he could. Do yanks ever take a hometown discount?

  • dkidd

    the cashman interview makes me curious about george rose

  • #TANAKtober (Formerly MelkyMesaWaysa)

    There needs to be a Tanaka narrative. Right now we just gave him money. All winning teams have narratives. What is ours?

    • dkidd

      some combination of top gun & paradise lost

      • Betty Lizard

        Works for me.

  • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

    Bieber got arrested today. My faith in human kind outside of baseball is restored.

    • dkidd

      celebrity apprentice in five, four, three…

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

      Jail time or my faith is still in the balance.

  • D23

    Yanks should only focus on getting a veteran 3B for now and perhaps sign Johan or Tomko to minor league contract. Wait until the season to make a decent pickup because by then hopefully our prospects will be more marketable. Got a feeling we will get Cliff Lee sometime in June.

  • forensic

    Yay Tanaka!!!

    Can’t believe I’ve been too damn busy the last couple days to even be able to get to a computer just to post that comment…

    Anyway, it’s certainly more money than I thought it’d get up to, but at least he’s on the right side of the age curve and it’s a risk they absolutely had to take (even with the opt-out, which is unfortunate but expected).

    • RetroRob

      I felt there was a voice missing from the conversation.

      Can’t let work interfere with the important things in life.

      • forensic

        I’m sure you feel much better now with that invaluable contribution from me, too. :-)

        • I’m One

          *Group hug*

  • RetroRob

    Shifting topics for the moment, I was surprised by Greg Maddux’s decision not to go into the HOF with a Braves cap. For one, why does he even get a say? I though the Hall eliminated that and they made the choice unless the player had a substantial issue. In Maddux’s case he simply couldn’t make a choice, so why not then let the Hall make the choice? Related, why wasn’t Gary Carter offered the option of no cap? He was forced to go in as an Expo even though he wanted to go in as Met.

    Generally, I think the whole cap selection is the product of a time when HOFers basically stayed with one team. The Hall may want to update it so there is no logo’d cap and maybe the plaque has the logos of the main teams the guy played for. Yet, that said, I’d be kind of pissed if I was a Braves fan.

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/0.....nta-brave/

    • Farewell Mo

      ESPN article made it sound like it isn’t solely up to the player to decide which team he goes in under anymore but a collaboration between the player and the hall.

  • nycsportzfan

    Wow, just seen Garza signed for 4yrs 52million. I’d of liked the yanks to get in on that. That seems like a bargain, no? The Brewers got em by the way.

  • Farewell Mo

    So Greg Maddux is going into the HOF without a team logo on his plaque since he played extensively for the Cubs and Braves

    For those wondering which logo would be on Mike Mussina’s plaque if he gets in, I’d have to think we have our answer.

  • OldYanksFan

    Overall Success and Failure Rates for BA Top 100 Prospects 1990-2006
    http://camdendepot.blogspot.co.....nneys.html

    • RetroRob

      Interesting. I’m a bit surprised by the high bust rate (near 50%) of the 1-20 prospects, since they should be the elite. When they sort it 1-10 bust rate drops, although still higher than you’d think. I would be interested in one other cut (which they didn’t provide) which is the top five. Those are the true elite and there is obviously quite a bit of difference between #1 and #20.

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

        So…Cashman failed, amiright?