Surprise! Tanaka sells more tickets than any other starter in MLB

The incremental upgrade that isn't a trade
Game 106: Tex Returns

From the obvious news department: ticket sales receive the highest bump in games started by Masahiro Tanaka than any other pitcher in baseball, according to Brian Costa. Data released by StubHub says sales on the secondary market increase 73% when Tanaka is on the mound. Justin Verlander (69%) is second and Jeff Samardzija (68%) is third. The drop-off to the fourth place pitcher is pretty big — Chris Sale is at 29%.

When the Yankees signed Tanaka over the winter, it was obvious his appeal extended beyond his on-field impact. The Yankees know firsthand how marketable and profitable international players can be, especially Japanese players after having megastars like Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki spent time in the Bronx. Just how much extra cash they make due to these players is unknown but I’m sure it’s substantial. That 73% bump in ticket sales is just a piece of the revenue-generating Tanaka pie.

The incremental upgrade that isn't a trade
Game 106: Tex Returns
  • RetroRob

    That will be good news for 2016 when he returns.

    Bracing myself.

  • Ivan

    I can understand pitchers like Tanaka and (even off year) Verlander are considered box office attractions but Jeff Samardzija at #3?!?!?!?! Idk which is more shocking, Jeff Samardzija being in the top 3 or Kershaw not in being the top 3.

    • Chip

      Maybe because Samardzija was the only starter with name value in the Cubs rotation? Kershaw probably has to compete with Greinke who is a fairly decent draw and the fact that have actual good players like Puig on a nightly basis.

      • RetroRob

        I was trying to figure that out, too. Maybe there is less secondary market for the Dodgers as their fans are showing up to see Kershaw.

        Does the secondary market include both home and away games?

  • Boats and Joes
  • Mike

    One thing to consider with these numbers is that the overall effect on attendance most likely isn’t as large. Some people that would have gone to game regardless just decide to go to a Tanaka game.

  • journey

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  • derp

    ya and how many more fucking tickets is he going to sell this year mikey?


    thanks for the reminder, dick.

  • Thomas

    Mmmmmm . . . Tanaka pie