Wednesday Night Open Thread


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.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. pepes pizza says:

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

  2. Tanuki Tanaka (Formerly Bob Buttons) says:

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

  3. RetroRob says:

    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 says:

      “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.”

  4. Dalek Jeter says:

    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 says:

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

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

        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 says:

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

          • Chip says:

            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 says:

              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 says:

                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 says:

            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 says:

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

    • Steve_Balboni says:

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

    • Chip says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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.

  5. rogue says:

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

  6. pat says:

    Those matte helmets are awesome.

  7. Bo Knows says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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

  8. pat says:

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

  9. MC says:

    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) says:

      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.

  10. MC says:

    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 says:

      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.

    • Freddy Sez $220 million buys 87 wins says:

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

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

      Pointless move is pointless.

      Seven surgeries since 2009.

  11. Jag says:

    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.

  12. Kibbe'n vicks says:

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

  13. Sam says:

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

  14. Avi says:

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

    • Chip says:

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

      • jjyank says:

        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.

  15. Steinbrenner's Ghost says:

    Yu Darvish must be pissed.

    • The Troll Monger says:

      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 says:

        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

  16. Dalek Jeter says:

    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 says:

      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

    • Bo Knows says:

      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

  17. Nickel says:

    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. :-)

  18. Dalek Jeter says:

    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.

  19. mike c says:

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

  20. Farewell Mo says:

    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.

  21. nsalem says:

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

    • I'm One says:

      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.

  22. SWAG says:



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