Wednesday Night Open Thread

Olney: Yankees don't expect to sign any more pricey free agents
Third base option off the board: Logan Forsythe traded to Rays

Wooo Masahiro Tanaka! That was a fun day. The Yankees (finally) got their pitcher, agreeing to a massive seven-year, $155M contract with Tanaka just two days before his signing deadline. The deal is already signed and everything. He’s a Yankee. I was on the Getting Blanked podcast earlier today to talk about Tanaka and the team in general, so check that out. It’s only 15 minutes or so, nothing crazy.

Once you’re done with that, use this as tonight’s open thread. The Knicks are the only local team in action, so talk about that game, Tanaka, or anything else. Have at it.

Olney: Yankees don't expect to sign any more pricey free agents
Third base option off the board: Logan Forsythe traded to Rays
  • pepes pizza

    Love the 95 mph fastball to win the game after throwing 160 Pitches the night before.

  • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

    Finally we can stop constantly checkingfor Tanaka news and go back to checking for the sake of checking.

  • RetroRob

    An interesting read from the NY Times with some behind-the-scenes info on the signing.

    Looks like the Yankees did submit the high offer, although the other two (Dodgers and Cubs) were close.

    • vicki

      “He didn’t want to be eased into anything,” said one of the Yankee executives in the room at the time. “He said he wanted to be the man.”

  • Dalek Jeter

    I was bored so I did a thing:

    Line up:
    CF Ellsbury 3.8 (Oliver projected fWAR)
    LF Gardner 3.5
    DH Beltran 2.4
    1B Teixeira 2.2
    RF Soriano 1.5
    C McCann 4.1
    SS Jeter 1.1
    3B Sizemore 3.8
    2B Roberts 0.4

    INF Johnson 1.1
    INF Anna 2.0
    C Cervelli 2.4
    OF Suzuki 0.0

    Sabathia 3.7
    Kuroda 2.8
    Tanaka 3.0 (fuck I’m just making that one up)
    Nova 2.0
    Phelps 0.5

    CL Robertson 0.9
    SU Kelley 0.5
    RHP Claiborne 0.1
    RHP Betances 0.0 (Steamer, Oliver projection has him as a starter)
    RHP Warren 0.3 (See above)
    LHP Thorton 0.4
    LHP Cabral -0.1

    According to fangraphs, a replacement level team is a 47.7 win team, so with that by my boredom fueled over simplified projection, the Yankees are as presently constituted a 90.1 win team.

    • Dale Mohorcic

      if Scott Sizemore puts up 3.8 fWAR that would be the best move of the offseason.

      • Dalek Jeter

        Seriously, I was amazed it was so high, I originally was putting him on the bench but when I saw that I decided to stick him in the line up. The Steamer projection had him at something more reasonable, like 1.something.

        • Freddy Sez $220 million buys 87 wins

          Yup, that’s not a 3 WAR player. It’s an 87 win club. They need Drew to get them closer. Nothing else matters. Another crappy infielder or bullpen arm doesn’t move the needle.

          • Kevin

            Drew would most definitely fall into the category of crappy infielder considering that he would be playing out of position for the Yanks. He is not the answer.

      • RetroRob

        I’m not buying the Sizemore number! Yet, I also think Ellsbury will exceed 3.8 and Gardner to left will exceed 3.5.

        • Freddy Sez $220 million buys 87 wins

          Not happening for either. Ellsbury is a 4 WAR player. Gardner is a 3 WAR player.

          • Chip

            You must be assuming they get hurt then. Ellsbury is a 6 win player without power and a 9 win player with power. Again, it all depends on his health.

            If Gardner is in left full time, he’ll probably put up around 4 wins. What shocks me is that Steamer has Gardner as a -5.5 defender next season which would be add since he’s been above average to elite in the field since he broke into the league.

            • Dalek Jeter

              That’s really the reason I went with Oliver over Steamer, I couldn’t figure out how/why they all of a sudden assumed that Gardner was going to be not even “average” but “below average” defensively when he’s one of the better defensive outfielders in all of baseball.

              • Chip

                I can understand the argument that he’s merely average in center but he’s never been anything but elite in left, career 36.5 UZR/150, 50 DRS

          • RetroRob

            Actually Ellsbury was just below 6 WAR last year in 130 games, while Gardner produced 11 WAR in his last two years in LF.

      • OldYanksFan

        I doubt he will. Hopefully, half that. And where’s Ryan?

    • Steve_Balboni

      Once it is put all together it actually doesn’t look that bad. I am worried about Tex and Jeter’s health though

    • Chip

      I think Ellsbury, Kuroda and Robertson are probably a tad low while Sizemore, Cervelli and Anna are high. Hopefully that 3 WAR is a bit low for Tanaka. Still would love to see another decent pitcher (Maholm?) added to the rotation.

      • Dalek Jeter

        The thing is fangraphs did projections for Sizemore, Cervelli, and Anna were as full time players which is why I know it’s flawed. I was just bored.

        • Chip

          Ahh, yeah I see that now so that explains it. Steamer projects 1/6th the at bats for Cervelli and gives him .4 WAR and Anna at .5 WAR which is probably closer to what they’ll get in theory out of the spots. Of course, if Brian Roberts hits .232/.298/.340 like Oliver expects, there is absolutely no way he gets 600 at bats so maybe it all evens out.

  • rogue

    With my eyes closed, it’s like listening to Liverpool play Manchester United.

  • pat

    Those matte helmets are awesome.

  • Bo Knows

    I watched that same vid on youtube not even 15 minutes ago. It’s really impressive that Tanaka was able to generate the velocity and the ease of which it seemed to happen just a day after throwing 160 pitches.

    • Chip

      Yeah, even it was a relief outing and his velocity should in theory be higher, he was painting the outside corner at 92-95 mph on what should have been a rest day. That sort of skill set translates to the MLB very well

      • Bo Knows

        Makes you wonder about how his velocity will change. He will pitch on shorter rest, but he will be throwing significantly fewer pitches.

        Hisashi Iwakuma saw an improvement of almost 2 mph from his time in Japan versus now (he average 88 in his 3 seasons prior to coming to the US)

        Darvish also saw a bump though it was not as drastic jump of about .5 mph on his heater

  • pat

    Also, Tanaka’s jaw is too wide for him to be anything other than awesome. Dude looks like a boss.

  • MC

    Odds that Price is traded to the D-Backs or Mariners in the next 72 hours? D-Backs are probably none to happy and its been reported that they are not in any of the remaining free agents, understandably. It was written at the beginning of the offseason that Price and the D-Backs are a perfect match. Could we see it? I think yes at this point.

    • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

      Mariners are rumored to be reluctant to part with their young arms, and D-Backs just traded a few of the arms they had, so I would be mildly surprised.

  • MC

    In other news the Red Sox signed Grady Sizemore and most of the fans on MLBTR are hailing it as a “brilliant low risk, high reward” signing. Those yo-yo’s never cease to amaze me. There isn’t a fan in baseball or professional sports, for that matter, that has anything on the sheer stupidity of a Red Sox fan. I often wonder if their drinking water is tainted with something. I once dated a girl from Boston and she was an idiot also…

    • Freddy Sez $220 million buys 87 wins

      Ummmmm, that’s far better than paying Beltran to be a statue for $45M. This team has no infield, especially with Teixeira likely to show lingering effects, and they have three DHs, one of whom will be the shortstop and the other will be an outfielder every day.

      • jjyank

        And guess what? Beltran is far better at baseball than Sizemore is.

        Go back to OTM.

    • Freddy Sez $220 million buys 87 wins

      P.s. People laughed at Victorino. I wouldn’t be surprised in least to see Sizemore contributing.

      • Scram MFer

        Freddy Sez you’re a Red Sox troll. ESAD.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Meh, I’ve got no problem with people calling it “low risk, high reward” I mean, I’d call it “low risk, medium reward” but you know some would call it a Cashman-esc buy low brilliant move if he had signed here while others would and will continue to bitch and complain about every single move the team makes.

    • I’m One

      According to Sizemore, he chose the Red Sox because of “familiarity with a few members of the Boston staff coupled with the medical game plan that they laid out for him made them the winner.”

      I wonder what that “medical game plan” includes? ;-)

    • RetroRob

      Pointless move is pointless.

      Seven surgeries since 2009.

  • Jag

    If Sizemore does 3.8 AND matches Ellsbury… I’ll eat my hat. He could beat him if Ells is injured.

    Anna and Cervelli seem a bit high too for what their playing times would/should be.

  • Kibbe’n vicks

    I’m sorry… but there is no way on earth Sizemore and Anna are going to give us a 5 WAR this season.

  • Sam

    Anyone read or hear about a press conference date/time? Seems like it would be a fun one to watch.

    • Mike Axisa

      I don’t think there will be one. Cashman did a conference call today and they usually don’t do a press conference plus a call.

  • Avi

    I really wish the yanks signed cano instead of smellsbury. This offense is not as good as most think it is.

    • Chip

      Do you wish the Yankees signed Cano rather than Ellsbury and McCann? That’s the more apt comparison

      • jjyank

        Bingo. Cano got 3 more years and $87 mil more than Ells did. What makes anyone think it would be one or the other?

        I miss Cano as much as anyone, but that’s a stupid contract that I’m glad the Yankees didn’t hand out.

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    Yu Darvish must be pissed.

    • The Troll Monger

      And the opt out. If he opts out it’s a good thing for the Yanks. It would be interesting to see what they’d fetch in the same market at the same time.

      • Chip

        The opt out is going to kill them down the road though because you absolutely know they’re going to sign him to a gigantic deal when he opts out

  • Dalek Jeter

    I love the Tanaka move. My biggest concern is though, his “put out” pitch is his splitter and the ball is a little smaller in Japan. If one pitch is going to be affected by the bigger ball is going to be the split…he seems to be an excellent pitcher though so hopefully he can make the adjustment.

    • Chip

      It’s a concern but other Japanese pitchers who relied on the splitter have seemed to do well. I can think off the top of my head that Iwakuma, Kuroda, Uehara, Nomo, and Okajima all heavily featured the splitter and didn’t seem to be too badly affected by the ball change

      • Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons)

        That’s a fine and mighty list, and sure inspires confidence.

    • Bo Knows

      The Splitter is also a fairly uncommon pitch in the US, but it seems like the guys that do use it fair really well, and its a true elite kind of weapon. Tanaka’s is supposed to have the best splitter in the world and considering many of the guys that have them seem to have had extended success as either SP (all the guys Chip mentioned as well as guys Dan Haren) or RP

  • Nickel

    Is it just me or does he look a little slow to the plate from the stretch? Of course, it could be because the runners are on 2nd and 3rd anyway.

    Don’t mean to be a downer. I love the signing. And hopefully with a fastball like his he won’t have to worry about too many baserunners anyway. :-)

  • Dalek Jeter

    Yankees: Sign best available pitcher
    Rays: Trade for spare part
    Red Sox: Sign a long shot in Grady Sizemore
    Dodgers: Sign Chone Figgins.
    I: didn’t even need to use my AK

    Today was a good day.

    • jjyank

      Ha! Nice reference.

  • mike c

    tanak-nak-naka on heaven’s dohhh-wahhhh

    • Betty Lizard


    • I’m One

      There’s a new handle in there.

  • Farewell Mo

    ESPN has on its ticker how Tanaka has pitched more innings than any pitcher through age 24 expect for King Felix and how he threw 160 pitches and came back in relief the next day last season.

    Can they be any more anti Yankee?

    Had he signed with the Red Sox, it would probably read how he saves baby seals and is close to curing cancer.

    • MikeB.

      I was thinking the same things, Farewell Mo.

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      Yea, it was horseshit.

  • nsalem

    Wasn’t all 8 pitches through in that clip practically at the same velocity?

    • I’m One

      Yeah, as a closer in that game, he was simply airing it out. Mo certainly didn’t have much change in velocity on his pitches. I think he was pretty successful as a closer during his career.

  • SWAG