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】…

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-LERAIPK’sWHIP
Darvish (2005)5-53.5394.1521.537
Tanaka (2007)11-73.82186.11961.347
Darvish (2006)12-52.89149.21151.283
Tanaka (2008)9-73.49172.21591.303
Darvish (2007)15-51.82207.22100.828
Tanaka (2009)15-62.33189.21711.123
Darvish (2008)16-41.88200.22080.897
Tanaka (2010)11-62.501551191.232
Darvish (2009)15-51.731821670.896
Tanaka (2011)19-51.27226.12410.875
Darvish (2010)12-81.782022221.015
Tanaka (2012)10-41.871731691.035
Darvish (2011)18-61.442322760.828
Tanaka (2013)20-01.241811550.934


* 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.