Jan
16

Yanks keeping expectations low, but they absolutely need Tanaka

By
Pretty sure we've used all the Tanaka images in the Getty archives (Koji Watanabe/Getty)

Pretty sure we’ve used all the Tanaka images in the Getty archives (Koji Watanabe/Getty)

“I believe we need another starter.”

Yankees fans know this, but it still felt good to hear it from ownership. Had the Yankees planned to pick from scrapheap options, Hal Steinbrenner might have said something else. I think our young guys are up to the task, he might have said. Instead he came right out and acknowledged the need for another starter.

By “another starter,” Steinbrenner does not necessarily refer to Tanaka. He could refer to Paul Maholm, Joe Saunders, or even Johan Santana: low-cost guys who could provide the team a few alternatives to in-house candidates.

But after hearing such a proclamation from the owner himself, are fans really going to accept one of those retreads? Chances are fans wouldn’t accept one of those retreads even absent Steinbrenner’s statement. We’ll be even less accepting given his overt praise of Tanaka. “This is a great, young pitcher. I’m sure he’ll come here and do great things with someone.”

So do whatever it takes to sign him.

It is absolutely clear to everyone, from the casual fan who tuned out after the Beltran signing to ownership itself, that the current crop of starters won’t get the Yankees through the 2014 season. Supplementing that crew with a few back-end, at best, pitchers and minor league signings will not change the scenario much. They need Tanaka, Jimenez, Garza, or (shudders) Santana.

Perhaps Steinbrenner is just trying to keep expectations low with his “we’ll see what happens.” It certainly seems as though at least one Yankees official is trying to tamp expectations: “Just because he had great success over there doesn’t mean he’s going to be lights out here. We’ll find out soon enough, but it’s not like he’s a sure-fire thing. I’d like to think so, but I’m not convinced.”

There is a certain necessity in keeping expectations low. Many teams remain interested in Tanaka, so the Yankees are anything but guaranteed to sign him. They’d clearly like to, and if forced to interpret Steinbrenner’s remarks I’d say that they’ll go pretty far in their efforts to obtain his services. But if a team like the Cubs blows them out of the water, they need to cover themselves. And so we get Steinbrenner hedging a bit, and we get anonymous officials trying to lower the bar.

Don’t let this game of expectations confuse the reality, though. The Yankees absolutely need Tanaka. If they don’t land him, they’re almost forced to try for one of the remaining trio. Anything else would, put a serious damper on an otherwise solid off-season, as a rival official said.

“If you don’t get Tanaka, it kind of nullifies some of what you’ve added to the offense.”

Categories : Rants
  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    This.

    I read the Post article just as you did, Joe. Some tampering of expectations from somewhere in the org, but no feeling whatsoever that it meant they were putting on the breaks. Hal’s comments certainly did nothing to dispel that either. He still appears, as Cashman said, ready to rock and roll.

    Hal definitely did NOT sound like a robot there. He was pretty crystal clear they’ll give this their best effort. Let’s see what comes to fruition.

  • lou

    I’m just wondering what everyone is thinking in terms of money when it comes to Tanaka. I personally think that 20 million a season isn’t even going to be close. I’m going to stick around the 25-30 per season range. 8/200 7/182, 7/189 7/210, 6/200, …

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Over 20, perhaps, less than 25. 6/126?

      • OldYanksFan

        That MAY do it if LA isn’t aggressive. Even at that, it’s 6/146 with the fee, or $24m+/yr. I don’t think he’s a 4.5 WIN SP over the life of a 6 year contact.

        Bottom line is if we want this guy, who is probably at best a solid #2, it will end up being a substantial overpay.

        Such is life in FAville.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          Well we know both teams can’t “Sign him at all costs” which means both teams have a limit.

          I don’t know which party will blink first.

          If he signs with NY you’ll have the share of fans who are bitching about the cost; if he signs somewhere else for 30 mil/year you’ll have people saying we should have paid that. Can’t satisfy everyone.

          Personally, I see it ending in the 5-7 year, 20-22 per, range. I hope I’m over-estimating.

    • Darren

      Yankees sign him for 9/$190mm sounds about right.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        That would give me a heart attack. Too many years.

        • Darren

          Just live in the moment and focus on having a good pitcher hopefully. If we end up wtih Dice K Igawa for what will seem like eternity, so be it.

          • chris

            He IS just 25. Plenty of room for adjustment and growth, lots of guys are still in the minors at his age. 9 years isn’t as much as it seems.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              If this guy winds up being a back-end starter, you’re going to love those nine years.

          • Mr. Roth

            If it was up to you, you probably would have signed Omar Infante to an 8 year 200 million dollar deal just to be sure you got your man.

            Thank god it’s not up to you.

    • The Great Gonzo

      I get nervous with anything over $20M AAV… Then again, I shouldn’t give a shit since its not my money..

    • Laz

      I think he falls quite a bit below 30M per. Kershaw who is the best pitcher in the league and only 25 got that, Tanaka may be good, but from what I hear he is far from best pitcher in league type.

  • TWTR

    I agree. He’s a must-sign given their current situation.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Would you give him what Lou just suggested above?

      FWIW, I don’t think it’s going to come to that.

      • TWTR

        I don’t think $200m for 6 is within the realm of the possible.

        As I have mentioned before, what is the lowest contract they thought was a reasonable possibility when the new posting rules took effect?

        Maybe $120-$130m over 6 years?

        If so, assuming they think that Tanaka is the difference between having a realistic chance of winning and being a .500ish team, what is the extra attendance/viewership worth?

        That would guide my decision in answering your question. My guess is that again, if their baseball people have a conviction about Tanaka, it’s worth the extra money.

        And all of that doesn’t factor in any additional revenue that Tanaka’s mere presence on their roster (at least short-term) may produce.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I think 6/120 is closer to the landing point than 6/200. That’s for sure.

          The question, to me, is how many teams assume that and how much higher the price gets driven from there. I think we’re almost at the point where we’re overestimating this.

          Your points are well taken. They also have to consider how much extra risk they want to hold if this doesn’t go as hoped. This is why he is most definitely NOT Clayton kershaw.

          • TWTR

            There is a lot of risk involved, but there would be risk and probably a high cost in almost any alternative option.

            If they pass on him, and is really good, they will take a lot of criticism, and will have to rethink their evaluation process.

            If they sign him and he isn’t good, it’s a big nut to eat, but if they aren’t prepared to eat it, they shouldn’t sign him.

            It makes you wonder why they didn’t pursue Darvish more aggressively because he seemed like a safer bet.

            • chris

              THANK YOU.

              I’ve wondered the same thing and I’d love to hear the real answer. Everyone pretty much knew Darvish was going to be at least a number 4, by which I mean everyone pretty much knew he was MLB quality, just not to what extent. I’d love to hear why they bid just $15MM for him, knowing full well that someone would bid at least in the 20′s, when you consider Dice-K’s bid and that Darvish had better numbers and was younger. It has never made any sense to me, but we may never know the reasoning.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                I don’t think we’re going to know the reasoning.

        • I’m One

          If so, assuming they think that Tanaka is the difference between having a realistic chance of winning and being a .500ish team, what is the extra attendance/viewership worth?

          Most people seem to believe that the contract will be 6 years or longer, yet are speaking in terns of his benefit/contribution for next year only. We have to look at this longer term. Will he add value beyond next season? What other options do the Yankees have or do they have enough in house talent beyond next year? My feeling is that, if he’s a solid #2 starter, he’s worth it regardless of whether or not he makes the Yankees a playoff caliber team this season. There’s no guarantee CC will return to #1 form, Kuroda is likely gone after this season, Pineda, ManBan and other younger Yankee starters are all unkown long-term commodities. No one knows what starters will be available via FA or trade after or during the season. These are the reasons he’s a must sign, not what he will bring to the 2014 season. Having him for 6 or more years (providing he lives up to his potential) will be a critical building block for the team.

          • TWTR

            That’s a fair point, but when the owner has said that they construct their team to be able to win the WS every single year (as uncounterproductive as that can be), it’s reasonable to focus (even myopically) on the short-term view.

            Last season was the perfect opportunity to make moves with a longer-term time horizon in mind, but they declined, even adding a 37 year old Soriano rather than seeking trade established players for younger players.

            But you’re right. As I have mentioned before, the current state of the major and minor league rosters make him a most-sign, assuming they like his talent and makeup (as appears to be the case).

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Yeah, but that pitcher that can come in right now and be lights-out in 2014 doesn’t exist.

              I agree with the idea of Tanaka getting better over time. Doesn’t mean I go nine years on him, though.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    Yeah, don’t sign Joe Saunders

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      …unless he’s wearing a Scranton Rail Riders cap.

      • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

        Even then.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Oh, I’d be just fine with him as AAA depth with a quick opt-out date.

  • rogue

    6/155

  • LK

    Pretty much right on, in that without another starter this team has no realistic chance. Still, I don’t think they can sign Tanaka and be finished. The current team is more than one player away.

  • Anthony

    I have zero faith that the Yankees will sign Tanaka. I feel the same way about him as I felt about Robinson Cano; someone will blow away the Yankees offer and they’ll pass, saying “hey, we tried but what can you do.”

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Is that what happened with Cano?

      • Anthony

        Sure. A team blew the Yankees offer away, they held firm on their offer because they’re was a certain line they didn’t want to cross (years), and Cano became a Mariner.

        That wasn’t necessarily the wrong move on the Yankees part but it’s what happened. And I think the Yanks have a line with Tanaka they’re not willing to cross.

        • Anthony

          *there was

        • hogsmog

          I think their only mistake with Cano was letting everyone know what that line was.

      • LK

        Is there another interpretation of the Cano situation? Not trying to be difficult, I’m just legitimately curious as to how else it could be viewed.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I read a much more negative tone to what Anthony was saying that I read from the explanation he just put up.

          That being said, do you feel the team should have a “do not cross” line with Tanaka?

          • Anthony

            I didn’t mean for it to come off negatively, just kind of how I viewed the entire situation with them and Cano.

            And with Tanaka…and it’s really difficult to say if the Yankees should have a line with him or not. This is someone that is viewed as an essential piece to the puzzle, someone that can be had for only money. It’s hard to swallow that the Yankees would lose out to the Dodgers or, worse, the Cubs because the really, really, really need Tanaka. Losing him most definitely nullifies this entire offseason.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              I’m having a bit of a hard time with the “nullifies the off-season” line. I think it, at best, makes the team break even in terms of overall improvement. You still can’t take away the improvement made at the catcher position, the potential of Ellsbury out there, etc. Those are specific steps forward. It just wouldn’t be an overall step forward unless there’s a whole lot of best-case scenario performances out there.

              I completely understand what you meant the second time out. We just read too many “they didn’t try hard enough” comments on here and just interpreted it that way at first.

              I’d mitigate risk at number of years offered with Tanaka. Darren’s 9/190 gave me heart palpitations. Seven would be the absolute highest, and I still can’t believe I’m saying that aloud.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                I forgot to say that, even if they broke even this year, you’d had to hope that holding firm now meant they were in a better position to finish the job moving forward. Not what anyone wants to hear, of course.

            • Darren

              It was more negative than you portrayed. The Yankees acted like the Mets normally do. Making a token offer and allowing someone else to easily take what they wanted. They didn’t even make a legit offer. Hopefully the do with Tanaka.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                They offered him 25 million dollars a year over seven seasons. There is no planet in this universe where that’s a token offer.

                • LK

                  I would agree that they definitely didn’t make a “token” offer. With that said, in today’s MLB 7/175 isn’t enough for a guy like Cano.

                  I know everyone jumped all over the report that he felt disrespected by the offer, but if you phrase the offer as “we think you’re worth $3M more per season than Jacoby Ellsbury”, it doesn’t sound like they were going all out to keep him. And it certainly could turn out to be the right decision, but it’s really put them behind the 8-ball for 2014.

                  • Havok9120

                    What was the opening offer for Ellsbury’s services? We don’t know, but it is an important question. 7/175 was what was offered when Cano had seemingly no one else seriously interested in his services.

                    Initial offer =/= what anyone expects to sign him for.

                    • LK

                      All the reports suggest that Yanks refused to up their offer from 7/175 even after the Mariners offered substantially more. So you would have a good point, except based on everything we know 7/175 was the final offer, not the opening one.

                    • Havok9120

                      I’m not aware of any reports that have said anything on the matter. I honestly haven’t followed it incredibly closely, but since the timeline of events went:

                      Made huge offer -> Cano tried for more -> Mariners broke off talks -> deal concluded within a day

                      I’m just not sure there was another round of negotiating with the Yankees after the Mariners made that offer. Even if there was, there’s a pretty good chance that round was simply Cano demanding that the Yanks top the M’s offer and the Yankees saying no.

                    • LK

                      Sure, but you’re basically giving the Yanks the benefit of the doubt about every single thing we don’t know. It’s possible you’re right, but that doesn’t seem like the most like scenario to me.

                    • Havok9120

                      I’m not emotionally involved either way. In this set of posts I’m arguing against the idea that it was more or less the Yankees fault so I’m showing that there’s so much grey area that that pronouncement is silly. I’ve had similar arguments where I’ve played the other side.

                      I like Cano. I wanted him back. I did not want to match that offer, let alone top it. The Mariners were likely going to make that offer either way. Cano was most likely going to take the highest offer. We do not know what impact, if any, how the Yankees “treated” him had on the negotiations. Nor, for that matter, do we know how the Yankees actually treated him. I just have trouble getting worked up about it and I don’t think we know enough to be casting blame on either side.

                    • LK

                      OK, sounds good. I’m not really trying to assign fault, because I’m not sure there really is a fault here in need of blame. I just think a lot of people have portrayed this as greedy Cano being ungrateful to the poor Yankees who just wanted to do right by him, and I think that version is complete bullshit. However, I recognize there’s also people who act like the Yankees slapped him across the face, and that’s just as incorrect.

                • Darren

                  RT, I’m surprised you’ve defended the Yankees so much on this move. As LK noted, there’s no way $175mm was going to do it. That was their best offer. If you offer something, knowing that barring a miracle it’s going to be too low, it’s a token offer. Again, I’m not saying Cano DIDN’T just take as much money as he could’ve. And I’m not saying the Yankees were wrong to value him at $175mm. But they knew they were going to lose him and any talk to the contrary was just lip service and/or wishful thinking.

                  • The Great Gonzo

                    Making a SEVEN year offer to a 31 year old infielder (albeit one of the best we’ve ever seen in this generation) while still doling out stupid checks to THE LAST infielder you signed to 3 years too many…

                    That’s not a token offer, dude. Sorry. Its an insanely fair offer that got blown out of the water by the drunk sailors in Seattle.

                    • LK

                      Once again, I don’t consider the Yanks’ offer to be a “token” one, and once again I think it’s entirely possible they made the right decision here.

                      But, in a market where Jacoby Ellsbury is worth 153M, 175M for Cano is not “insanely fair.” It’s less than his market price. In the year 2014, if you want to sign a top-of-the-line MLB FA, you need to be ready to spend like a drunken sailor – it’s as simple as that. And it’s not going to change anytime soon.

                    • Darren

                      Dude, you, and to many other people are getting hung up on “what’s fair” instead of focusing on what it would take to get the job done. Cano was going to go for $200mm, whether or not it was Seattle or someone else. There’s too much money, and not enough superstars, for that NOT to have happened.
                      In that context, $175mm was NEVER going to be enough, so it DOESN’T matter that he’s a 31 year old infielder. He’s the best second baseman in baseball and a Top 5 player. He’s getting $200mm. If you offer $175mm, it’s a fucking token offer, what’s so hard to understand?? Like I said, it’s fine if they saif they don’t want to spend more than that, but let’s not pretend it was a legit shot. It was PR, plain and simple.

                    • Mr. Roth

                      So you wanted the Yankees to go in with a sign him at all costs attitude where they matched and beat any ludicrous offer that was on the table?

                      It’s awfully easy to say they should have signed the guy to a 10 year 275 million contract when you’re not the one that has to pay the bill. I’ll bet you were a big fan of the 2nd A-Rod deal too, right?

                    • LK

                      I’ve always thought the biggest mistake with the 2nd A-Rod contract was that they were bidding against themselves; they could’ve signed him for much less. In Cano’s case, there was definitely another bidder that they would’ve had to beat. $200M also means something very different as far as the MLB economy in 2013 vs. 2007. But they still might have made the right call on Cano.

                    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                      Darren taking the “I’m right and it doesn’t matter what anyone else says and I’ll get mad at anyone who disagrees” approach, I see.

                      Maybe it would help if you defined what a “token” offer means to you, since clearly that’s the word people are getting hung up on.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner

                    If you recall, I absolutely didn’t 100% defend them at the time of the deal. I thought the Ellsbury signing really threw things off-kilter as far as relative worth, and I would have tacked on the 8th year.

                    However, I wouldn’t have gone ten years on Robbie, or even nine, so it’s all a moot point.

              • Mr. Roth

                How on Earth could you possibly say that a deal that would have made Cano one of the highest paid middle infielders in the history of the world was just a non-legit token offer?

                Just because they didn’t make a stupid offer like the Mariners that would most likely hurt the team down the road, doesn’t mean they didn’t make a fair and reasonable offer.

                • LK

                  I think what he’s saying is that just because many people consider an offer to be fair and reasonable doesn’t mean it actually is in today’s MLB. Salaries are exploding. I think if the Red Sox offered Ellsbury $100M, that would also be “fair and reasonable”; it also wouldn’t even be in the ballpark of what it would realistically take to get him signed – they’re not mutually exclusive.

          • mitch

            There has to be a line. The alternative aren’t great, but at some point they make more sense. Would you rather have Tanaka at 7/175 or Garza, Jimenez, Drew and Balfour?

            • Anthony

              I would probably take Tanaka

            • Havok9120

              Even getting two of the other major starters for Tanaka’s money is not a guarantee. More moving parts, and the price of pitching is likely only going to go up as guys come off the board.

  • Mark in VT

    Come on – $20 million a year for 6 years is ridiculous for an unproven pitcher. This is just way too risky. EVERYONE will freak out when he doesn’t live up to that contract. Just because he’s the best available starting pitcher out there does not mean the Yanks have to have him. It would make us feel better for the rest of the offseason, but how are we all going to feel when the season starts and he doesn’t live up to those expectations?

    • Mark in VT

      List of pitcher making $20 mil or more in 2013:

      Cliff Lee $25.5
      Johan Santana 24.6
      CC Sabathia 23.0
      Tim Lincecum 22.25
      Zack Greinke 21.0
      Matt Cain 20.8
      Cole Hamels 20.5
      Justin Verlander 20.1
      Roy Halladay 20.0
      Barry Zito 20.0

      Does he compare closely with any one of those pitchers when they signed that contract initially? How did some of them turn out?
      I’m just saying, maybe $20 mil per IS the line.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        It’s just the perfect storm of a whole lot of crazy right now.

        • lightSABR

          And rising talent prices. If some of those deals were renegotiated today, with the pitcher magically at the same age and performance level they were when the actual deal was negotiated, you’d see some higher numbers there.

          • The Great Gonzo

            Also, the price of pitching is too damn high.

            Scott Kazmir just got $11M AAV. Lincecum just got 2/35M… Can you honestly tell me that makes sense in any universe?

            • lightSABR

              The Lincecum deal makes sense in the same universe where Jeter gets a raise this offseason – the fans love him, so the team overpays.

              The Kazmir deal, well… there you’re on your own.

    • lightSABR

      I look at it this way: No Tanaka = no playoffs. Tanaka doesn’t guarantee us a playoff spot by any means. He might be lousy in the MLB. But without either him or an unexpectedly good year from one of the other starters on the market, we’re not playing ball next October.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        OK…..so it that enough, for you, to not have a limit on him?

        • lightSABR

          No. At some point, I guess you just have to say “we don’t care enough about the playoffs this year to shoot ourselves in the foot through 2020″ and then go finish the rebuild next year when (hopefully) some better deals are available.

          But the Yankees are in a position where overpaying, relative to Tanaka’s expected performance, actually does make some sense. That doesn’t mean 10/$300, but it probably will mean numbers that, in another context, I wouldn’t be comfortable with.

          • chris

            Well see, here’s the thing… the Yankees chose to go this route when they insisted on signing these guys, rather than taking a step back and trying to rebuild. Now they are at a point where they NEED to have Tanaka or another high priced starter. Otherwise, what was the point of signing those 3 high priced free agents? I was saying all along that with the current free agent market, none of these guys makes a return to the postseason certain, so why not rebuild from within? With their money and resources, they could do it far quicker than small market teams. But nope, they chose to not rebuild, in favor of trying to construct a championship team again, so now that they are here, they’re kind of committed to this thing. Which means, you have to sign Tanaka at all costs. If you don’t, you get to choose from 3 pitchers who are HR giving up machines and another guy who hasn’t had a full good season in 3 years. The only way I justify the ridiculousness in my own mind is by reminding myself that since he’s 25, he’s kinda like signing a number 1-10 draft pick in a way.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Your next decision does not need to be entirely based on the decision you just made before.

              • Chris

                Then what was the point of signing those 3 guys for a ton of money?

                • Havok9120

                  They are in a position to improve over multiple years. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing right now.

                  I lean toward the idea that it should be, but the idea that the rest of the offseason must have been a waste if they don’t totally revamp the team into a contender in one year.

                • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                  Because they’re helping us this year, and next? And in the case of McCann and Ellsbury, hopefully for 3-5 years after that?

                  And maybe next year in the offseason we’ll sign a pitcher? Or Banuelos will surprise people, or Pineda will (really) surprise people?

                  There are so many variables that go into every decision. It’s never, never, as black and white as people want to believe.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  To get better. That doesn’t mean all-in-at-all-costs to me in 2014. If the market doesn’t look to their liking, they can look for better pieces during the season, or in 2015. It’s not like McCann or Ellsbury are going anywhere.

            • rogue

              In for a penny, in for a pound.

              or…

              Karate “yes”? Okay.
              Karate “no”? Okay too.
              Karate “guess so”? Squashed in the middle just like grape.

            • lightSABR

              How could they do it quicker than small-market teams? More money doesn’t get them better draft picks or better international signings (anymore). And it doesn’t seem to have gotten them a superior player development staff.

              When we talk about trying to fix the Yankees’ farm system, we’re talking about it being able to fill holes in the big league roster and give us a league average player every once in a while. Most of the Yankees’ stars are always going to come from free agency. The rules don’t let them do it any other way anymore.

            • lightSABR

              Also, if you’re worried about signing one of the best pitchers in Japanese history to a nine-figure contract, but thinking about him as a top-ten draft pick makes you more comfortable, you need to spend some time looking over the careers of top-ten draft picks.

              I think you have this idea that if the Yankees just sucked for a couple years, we’d get another dynasty with home-grown players like Jeter, Pettitte, Posada, and Mo. The truth is, we could suck for a century and not produce another crop like that. Just ask the Padres. Or the Pirates. Or the Astros. Or…

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Agreed.

  • Maris61

    We’re all thinking only in terms of numbers here. This is not necessarily an auction with the best numbers winning the prize.

    Supposedly his wife says she prefers the left coast. How much will that weigh in his decision?

    He may feel the Dodgers are closer to a championship than the Yankee.

    All factors must be taken into account.

    (All fingers and toes are crossed.)

  • Maris61

    Yankees.

  • dasani

    There are reports out of LA this morning that the Dodgers are looking to add another SP, and they are focused on Bronson Arroyo , not Tanaka. If that’s true the Yanks need to strike fast and go in for the kill.

    • The Great Gonzo

      They already have 6 SPs all better than Arroyo…

  • lou

    We well all be saying in about a week “good” “thank god the Yankees didn’t offer more” “Cano 240M thx but see ya”….?

    Either the Yankees are going to land him or we’ll all be like ” good use that money else where” “unproven”

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      The sky will fall, and hard, if he signs somewhere else on here.

      I’m not quite sure how I’d want the money spent without him. That would be where the team would need to be pretty careful.

      • The Great Gonzo

        This is exactly the problem. If the Yankees do not sign Tanaka, everyone is going to want to throw the money elsewhere like they’re at the Gold Club with a stack of 1s. Kinda like they did with Cano…

        Now you have Ellsbury for a few more seasons than you may want, a ear too many on Beltran, and a whole bunch of ‘meh’ infielders to fill the spots of two of the best hitters of our generation.

        So, with Tanaka off the table, would you rather now overpay Jiminez and Garza? YIKES

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I always had a light twinkle in my eye for Garza but, no, it doesn’t mean the team should go five four years to Ubaldo Jimenez because it makes blog commenters feel better for the start of 2014.

  • Jonathan

    I really hope we get him. I dunno what the point where they decide it’s too expensive but it will be super weird if they go to near the Cano range. We’ve had almost a perfect offseason so far except the Mariners going insane. I know ARod/Cano are friends and I wonder if ARod spoke to him at all about how his choices worked out for him. ARod left a very good Mariners team for the most money to go to a terrible team. And they still sucked and they had to trade him and he wanted out after a couple of years, despite historic production on his part. That’s kind of my absolute hope is that the Mariners are horrible but Robbie rakes and they want to trade him in 2 years and will eat some contract and we can get him back on a deal. Totally unrealistic but my hope.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I love(d) Robbie. At this point, I could care less if he ever comes back.

      • Jonathan

        Wait until Roberts goes down in the first week and Kelly Johnson is playing below average defense at 3B and hitting .220. Robbie should have NEVER even been allowed to hit FA. I hope this is a learning lesson for the front office so they stop that garbage policy. Of course it won’t matter if they can’t get anyone worth extending again. They broke that policy once for Robbie and then let him hit FA. It’s a shame.

        • Mr. Roth

          I remember reading that Cano wanted 10 years and $300 million if he was going to sign an extension and not become a free agent.

          Thanks but no thanks.

        • The Great Gonzo

          You think that a guy represented by Boras and then by a new agency hungry to make a splash would have just re-signed in NY without testing the FA waters?

          DOUBT IT

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Not really related to anything I said, but I refer you to the Great Gonzo below.

          I’d like an upgrade over Brian Roberts. That doesn’t mean I’m yearning for Robbie Cano to come back. What’s done is done.

  • pat

    Not my money. Don’t care. Just sign him.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Amen, brother

  • HectorLopez

    So making Cano an offer with a higher AV than the mariners but was three years shorter is not a reasonable offer? Put the crack pipe down, the Cano offer was a good one but the Mariners went insane going 10 years for a player that you will be lucky to get 7 good years out of. Any moron willing to give Tanaka 200 mil for 9 years needs a check up from the neck up!!!! The guy will be lucky to get 100mil for 6 years. You want to make him one of the top ten pitchers in MLB without ever having thrown a pitch in the Majors? Get a grip.

    • Darren

      You are exactly the kind of person that goes on Survivor and is left sitting there at the end of the food auction, starving, with a wad of useless cash in your hand, unwilling to have paid the totally “unfair” price of $300 for a cheeseburger and coke.

      • Mr. Roth

        And you’re exactly the kind of person that goes on survivor, buys several $300 cheeseburgers, eats them all right away, and then spends the rest of your time starving with no money left.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          …..with Greg Maddux inside him.

          • Mr. Roth

            Or vice versa

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          Darren Failed.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            So played out.

  • Anthony

    therealarieber: The Cubs are said to be hot after Tanaka. Their owner Tom Ricketts just declined to comment at the owners meetings. Sprinted away, actually.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Doesn’t seem like a guy who is a serious contender for Tanaka would sprint away like a teenaged girl starting her period at the school dance…

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        This sounds like a difficult memory for you. What was her name?

  • Reggie C.

    Tanaka and Matt Garza probably finish with comparable numbers next season. That said, i’ll sign up for Tanaka’s next 6 years over Garza’s. At 25, and a whole world of marketing opportunities ahead, Tanaka can become a superstar before he’s actually an ace.

    114MM /6 years starting offer. Be prepared to go up to 154MM/7. Include an opt-out after year 5 if you must.

    • Farewell Mo

      I’d lay money that Tanaka has better numbers than Garza last year. He seems to be breaking down to me.

  • The Troll Monger

    If Tanaka takes the “easy way” out and signs in Chicago or Los Angeles just roll with…

    1. CC Sabathia
    2. Hiro Kuroda
    3. Ivan Nova
    4. Big Mike Pineda
    5. Vidal Nuno/David Phelps/Manny B

    That leaves Warren in the mix, but that’s seven starters for five spots with one of the above also being the swing man. Outside of maybe Garza, if he’ll take a 50/5 deal or something that could keep them under 189, I don’t touch the other remaining options. That’s also relying on a bunch of youngsters but you don’t know until they get a shot. I sign Santana and maybe another scrap heap on the cheap. Has Sweaty Freddy signed yet?

    Or better yet sign Tanaka, blow up 189 and set sights on destroying the Dodgers in the World Series.

    • The Great Gonzo

      2 of the 4 names mentioned in there for your rotation have major health questions, namely not having pitched a meaningful game between the two of them since having two major arm surgeries.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      The margin for error with that rotation is razor thin.

  • Mike

    We will offer him 160/8 we will get him. I’m almost positive about that.

    • Mike

      *If we offer him 160/8 we will get him

      *edit

  • Anthony

    GDubCub: Renteria: “I thought it was a good presentation. He’s got a decision to make”

    GDubCub: Theo, Jed, Renteria were Cubs reps meeting Tanaka and “several reps” of his, including 2 translators, in LA last week.

    GDubCub: Renteria says club’s selling point to Tanaka is Cubs are team on rise.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      That’s what Ernie Banks said to my father-in-law back in 1959.

  • pc

    i’m beginning to hope the yanks don’t get tanaka after all.

    take that 120 mil or more and upgrade the club and if need be have a couple of non champ years and gear up for the future with known talent.

    if tanaka is not a #1 then he will be overpaid and not worth the money, those long term deals usually are not worth the dollars involved.

    • Havok9120

      “And upgrade the club?” How?

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Leather clubhouse cubbies.

    • Kenny

      Who comprise this “known talent” to which you refer? No sign of that in the Yankees’ farm system.

      • Mike

        You are underestimating our system.

  • Anthony

    From David Kaplan’s (Cubs reporter) newest article regarding Tanaka:

    A highly-placed MLB source told me this morning the Cubs “are sitting at the table with the game’s heavyweights” and are prepared to spend an insane amount of money for Tanaka. However, that same source believes that it won’t come down to the last dollar for Tanaka. Instead, he believes that it will come down to which situation feels the most comfortable for Tanaka and his family.

    [MORE: Cubs banking on a breakthrough year for Jorge Soler]

    “Look, wherever he goes he is going to get crazy money. Remember, this guy has never thrown one pitch in the big leagues,” the source told me. “It just comes down to how crazy it gets and how much he wants to pitch in a particular situation. The Yankees feel that they have to have him. The Dodgers would like to have him. That’s a big difference. The Cubs know that they need him because they have to find top-end starting pitching as they continue this massive rebuilding process. He also helps to fix their image, which is taking a big hit due to all of the losing.

    “The Angels, Diamondbacks, Mariners and Red Sox are all viable options as well, so the chances of a team that is not ready to contend landing him are definitely slim. But, Theo is as connected a guy as there is in the game and he has money to spend. I wouldn’t count him out, but again, it will be tough to beat teams that are ready to win.”

  • bobmac

    Stay under the cap.

  • Kenny

    If he goes to the Cubs, who cares? But if he goes to LA, after a head-to-head with NYY, it will be a sign that LA is now the Alpha Dog in MLB, when it comes to money power. The Yanks will whimper off, tail twixt legs and settle for Arroyo or whoever’s left out there. What writer recently called the currently constituted Yanks an 80-win team? Sounds about right with that staff. If they can’t do better than 50-50, even more seats will be left empty, even more tv games will see declining viewers. And the idea of spending smartly within their means (or some such lower-middle-class piece of advice) is becoming more and more comical, given the attempts to level the field, etc.

    The time for dramatic improvements was in the year or two following the WS win of 2009.

    They better win this competition and act again like aristocrats rather than timid members of the petit bourgeoisie. It’s just money–unless, of course, they have less of it than we think.

  • Farewell Mo

    Whatever it takes!!!

    It’s only money so Cash-man, DO NOT FAIL!!!!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0Y5fdOva3U touchless trash Can

    Thanks for finally talking about > Yanks keeping expectations low,
    but they absolutely need Tanaka – River Avenue Blues < Loved it!