Tanaka Posted and Open for Bids

After getting Lost in Translation, the message is finally clear:  Japanese RHP Masahiro Tanaka has been posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball and is officially up for grabs.

If you don’t believe it, read it for yourself:

GM会議は“TANAKAミーティング”となりそうだ。 【続きを読む】…
tanaka 2
Now, any Major League Baseball teams willing to file a bid on Tanaka may do so within a $20 million cap; the highest bid, or any teams bidding the allowed maximum of $20 million, will have the right to negotiate with the Amazin’ Asian Pitching Phenom.
If a team is successful in signing Tanaka to a MLB contract, it will pay the amount that is bid to the Rakuten Golden Eagles; the losing bidding teams will get a refund.
The Texas Rangers signed Yu Darvish two years ago;  they paid a record $51.7 million ,just as a posting fee, before agreeing on a six-year, $60 million contract.
The 25 year-old Tanaka posted a 24-0, 1.27 ERA season for Rakuten, which won its World Series.
Tanaka is not reputed to be as good as Darvish now needs to secure an agent for MLB.
While some experts see Tanaka a cut below Darvish, you can decide for yourself on the basis of their stats:
Player (Year) W-L ERA IP K’s WHIP
Darvish (2005) 5-5 3.53 94.1 52 1.537
Tanaka (2007) 11-7 3.82 186.1 196 1.347
Darvish (2006) 12-5 2.89 149.2 115 1.283
Tanaka (2008) 9-7 3.49 172.2 159 1.303
Darvish (2007) 15-5 1.82 207.2 210 0.828
Tanaka (2009) 15-6 2.33 189.2 171 1.123
Darvish (2008) 16-4 1.88 200.2 208 0.897
Tanaka (2010) 11-6 2.50 155 119 1.232
Darvish (2009) 15-5 1.73 182 167 0.896
Tanaka (2011) 19-5 1.27 226.1 241 0.875
Darvish (2010) 12-8 1.78 202 222 1.015
Tanaka (2012) 10-4 1.87 173 169 1.035
Darvish (2011) 18-6 1.44 232 276 0.828
Tanaka (2013) 20-0 1.24 181 155 0.934


* Note: Both players started at the age of 18.

From Bleacher Report:

According to Baseball America’s Ben Badler, Tanaka has cemented himself as the best pitcher in Japan.

At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Tanaka throws a low-90s fastball that can touch 96 mph. Even though Tanaka can reach the mid-90s, his fastball is the pitch that gives some scouts pause because it comes in on a flat plane, making it more hittable than the velocity might suggest. Tanaka has two secondary pitches that have earned grades of 60 or better on the 20-80 scouting scale, including a 70 splitter with late downward action to keep hitters off his fastball. His low- to mid-80s slider is another plus weapon, while he’ll mix in a curveball as well.

The biggest key there is that his fastball is on a flat plane. He may be able to get away with it in Japan, but MLB hitters will blast it all over the place.

His secondary pitches seem to be good, but the fastball could be the pitch that holds teams back from offering him Darvish-like money.

While the Rangers gave Darvish a 6-year, $60 million contract. Tanaka will likely settle for a bit less–maybe a 4-year deal for $36 million.

Current front runners for Tanaka are the Yankees, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks with the smart money leaning toward him signing with the Yankees. who can afford to pay his salary and the Luxury Tax it may incur, thanks to a very lucrative broadcast rights contract.




Tags: Bids Masahiro Tanaka Posted

  • John Bacoeise

    Hi Earl, surprised about the news. I just ran the Japanese to English translator on Google, and this is what came back: “Leading role” is Mr. Ma! Major GM meetings start

    GM meeting is likely to become a “TANAKA meeting”. I [Read More ...] I’m not sure this means he’s posted. Perhaps you could cite a report or Tweet or something more definitive?

  • Michael Macaulay-Birks

    watching hot stove this morning and they said he was asked by his team if he wished to be posted, which he replied “yes”….according to Ken Rosenthal, he hasn’t been posted as yet (11am) EST, but it’s only a matter of time IMO

    • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash
      • Michael Macaulay-Birks

        ah… I can see where the confusion (if there is any) lies…….Rosenthal (several times) referred to the “Release” in Japanese and that it didn’t mean Tanaka had been posted, and that the translation meant something different than it was being reported…the last time I saw and heard him discuss it was @ 11AM this morning….. the link you provided seems to have been submitted and printed at 5:31 PM tonight and I haven’t been online till now

  • Guest

    Japanese Pitcher Tanaka Won’t Be Let Go, Reports Say If Mr. Mikitani posted, it would be concession that Japan is a minor league for MLB— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) December 19, 2013

  • Harry Burnham

    It appears that Tanaka isnt going to be posted.

    Buster Olney tweeeted this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/sports/baseball/japanese-pitcher-wont-be-let-go-reports-say.html?ref=sports&_r=0

    which was swiftly followed by Peter Gammons:

    Japanese Pitcher Tanaka Won’t Be Let Go, Reports Say If Mr. Mikitani posted, it would be concession that Japan is a minor league for MLB— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) December 19, 2013