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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


The piece that fits too well to ignore

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 26, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Masahiro TanakaThe Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes begins today.

According to Mark Feinsand, the Tanaka posting begins this morning. With that, the 30-day negotiation window is open. It will close on January 24 (though I have to assume most teams — if not all teams — will know well before that date whether they’re still in the hunt).

Not to become overly dramatic about what this means for the Yankees, but it really could define their offseason.

So far, the Yankees have thrown a ton of money at big-name free agents. They’ve signed Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran to be new cornerstones of their lineup, and they’ve found some relatively high-profile role players in Kelly Johnson, Brendan Ryan, Brian Roberts and Matt Thronton. The Yankees have been aggressive — even in an offseason when they’ve lost Robinson Cano — but they’ve also acknowledged that there’s still work to be done. A lot of that work can be completed with this one player.

What Tanaka represents is a chance to do three things:

1. Address a weak and uncertain rotation.

2. Add some youth to an aging roster.

3. Show absolute financial might.

And there’s a reason I put the rotation issue at the top of the list.

True, by signing Tanaka, the Yankees would make good on their vow that getting below the luxury tax threshold would not come at the expense of fielding a strong team. That’s important, if only because of the signal it sends to the fan base and the rest of the league. Also, Tanaka presents an opportunity to bring in a high-potential starter who’s still in his mid-20s. That kind of pitcher rarely reaches the free agent market these days, and another one might not hit the market for quite a while.

But the rotation is the real prize here, because it’s the spot on the roster most in need of a boost.

Right now, the back of the Yankees’ rotation is as inexperienced as their bullpen, and the front of the Yankees’ rotation has the same sort of uncertainty as their infield. That’s basically two types of roster concerns wrapped into one. Plus, rotations are difficult to fix on the fly. It’s hard to piece them together mid-season (like a bullpen), and it’s hard to patch them together with piggybacks and spot starters (like an infield platoon). Team’s can’t really fake a rotation, and Tanaka presents a chance to solidify the Yankees’ in both the short-term and the long-term.

There are obvious risks — starting with the fact Tanaka has no track record in the U.S. — but given the other options, and given the current needs, Tanaka could be a make-or-break opportunity. The Yankees have spent lavishly this winter. But they might have to spend a little more.

Associated Press photo

 
 

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183 Responses to “The piece that fits too well to ignore”

  1. 4TrainNorth December 26th, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I ordered a sled for my daughter for Christmas from Rakuten.com. Still hasn’t arrived. The way I see it, in order for balance to be restored, Tanaka has to become a Yankee.

  2. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Yup Chad.

    We shall see the determination level.

    We also have no real idea what Tanaka’s preferences are other than the obvious.

    A boatload of money and a chance to test himself against a higher level of competition.

  3. Yankee Dog December 26th, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Now all we need to start the new year on a good note is the formal announcement that ‘Mr. Rodbod’ will be suspended for all of 2014 and beyond :)

  4. Cashmoney December 26th, 2013 at 9:11 am

    The Boston Red Sox are the 2013 World Series champions, and if you think they’re going to repeat, you should probably find a way to place a wager. They have some decent odds.

    Via RJ Bell of pregame.com, here are the Vegas odds for the 2014 World Series champion:

    Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1

    Detroit Tigers 8-1

    Washington Nationals 9-1

    St. Louis Cardinals 10-1

    Boston Red Sox 12-1

    Cincinnati Reds 15-1

    Los Angeles Angels 15-1

    Oakland Athletics 15-1

    New York Yankees 16-1

    Texas Rangers 16-1

  5. 86w183 December 26th, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Good morning All —

    Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas…. mine was half Merry because only one of my two daughters came home.

    I think everyone has a good feeling about Tanaka and my guess is we get him at something like six years @ $ 17 M per. Then, after A-Rod’s verdict react accordingly to strengthen 2B or 3B. I don’t think it’s necessary to do both. I could live with Roberts/Nunez at 2B and/or Johnson/Baker or Johnson/Reynolds at 3B

    Also, adding Balfour wouldn’t suck.

  6. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Now all we need to start the new year on a good note is the formal announcement that ‘Mr. Rodbod’ will be suspended for all of 2014 and beyond
    =================
    On the same day we sign Tanaka.
    Spirits would be high at that presser.

  7. 86w183 December 26th, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I bet the Yankees odds get a lot shorter if they add Tanaka and Balfour or Rodney.

  8. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I always believe in having a sound plan B.

    Just in case.

    ;)

  9. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 9:15 am

    ARod will be back before you know it…the guy is just a bad dream

  10. Cashmoney December 26th, 2013 at 9:15 am

    86, I think they will jump to 12-1 or 10-1, which is not a bad gamble to take.

  11. blake December 26th, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Hope everyone had a merry Christmas yesterday. Pretty wild day for me…..

    Tanaka, Drew, Balfour, and Baker makes the Yanks the best team in baseball……Get R done Cash

  12. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Balfour or Crain/Tanaka…

  13. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I’m gonna send in my micro drone to listen in on Hal and Cashman.

    :)

  14. Yankee Dog December 26th, 2013 at 9:17 am

    3. Show absolute financial might

    ===========

    Has this ever been a question ? I think not.

  15. 4TrainNorth December 26th, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I can deal with whatever they piece together at 2nd, but 3rd base scares me. Mostly, the thought of Reynolds getting a good number of ABs keeps me up at night.

  16. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 9:20 am

    no to Rodney …I don’t think I could watch him with that hat on the side of his head

  17. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 9:21 am

    no to the K machine

  18. austinmac December 26th, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Blake,

    Glad you survived Christmas. I remember the days. now, it’s quieter but the presents cost more.

    I support your proposed additions.

    Chad is absolutely correct that signing him will end fan upset about the cap.

  19. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:22 am

    The boost in Asian viewership, merchandise sales, etc. from Tanaka will be enormous.

    Imagine the coverage for the 1st Darvish-Tanaka showdown.

    Levine. You know you love this.

    ;)

  20. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:22 am

    They need a BU1B so Michael Young in a 3B platoon with Johnson and Baker with Roberts at 2B would make sense.

  21. ac1 December 26th, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Yanks said if they go over they are going all the way. So Tanaka should also include Balfour. He gives the pen some depth and he can also close when Robertson needs a spell…

  22. blake December 26th, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Mac,
    I wouldn’t trade it but I’m worn out…..part of it I guess. I got some BBQ stuff for Christmas and a weedeater

  23. 86w183 December 26th, 2013 at 9:23 am

    no to Rodney …I don’t think I could watch him with that hat on the side of his head

    ********************************************************************

    CC Sabathia does pretty much the same thing.

    And I like the arrow thing… way cooler than Rafael Soriano pulling his shirt out of his pants.

  24. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Not much is going to happen until Tanaka and A-Roid are settled.

  25. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 9:25 am

    can they really bring in Young & Baker not know what is up with ARod..I think not

  26. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:25 am

    The hat and the arrow thing would have to go with Rodney.
    Does he have facial hair?

  27. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Young and Baker will still be around when the arod verdict is in.
    They need a BU1B.

  28. ac1 December 26th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Rodney has a triangle goatee

  29. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    86w183 December 26th, 2013 at 9:23 am
    no to Rodney …I don’t think I could watch him with that hat on the side of his head

    ********************************************************************

    CC Sabathia does pretty much the same thing.
    ———————————————————————
    not even close…CC is at 12:30 Rodney is at 2:30

  30. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Is Jesse Crain healthy now ?

  31. Yankee Dog December 26th, 2013 at 9:27 am

    86w183 December 26th, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Rodney ? He is a clown.

    NYY can do better than that

    CC doesn’t do the sideways hat thing nearly as bad as Rodney

  32. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Reynolds plays a respectable 1b.

  33. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:25 am
    The hat and the arrow thing would have to go with Rodney.
    Does he have facial hair?
    ———————————————————–
    last photo of him was a full beard….

  34. ac1 December 26th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    They will likely have to go after young or Reynolds if no other reason, they don’t have anyone behind tex. those other options can cover 2b, ss and 3b.

  35. blake December 26th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    We need a wild man Australian….get Balfour

  36. 86w183 December 26th, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Balfour wouldn’t sign with the Yankees without assurances that he’s the closer.

    Kind of the same reason Stephen Drew isn’t going to sign with the Yankees for the thrill of learning to be a very expensive utility infielder at age 31.

    mick…. how do you propose to fit Baker AND Young onto the 25-man roster? nine pitchers? any planned back up at 1B should be a LH hitter to protect them from Teixeira continuing to regress from that side of the plate. Right now the best option is probably Beltran.

  37. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:30 am

    What is Hal’s true budget limit ?

    Does he have a # ?

    How far is he willing to go ?

    Inquiring minds want to know how burned the 189 toast can get.

    :)

  38. Yankee Dog December 26th, 2013 at 9:30 am

    ‘Rodney has a triangle goatee’

    =========

    The O’s will love him.

    Just think, Rodney and Buck

  39. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 9:31 am

    MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:28 am
    Reynolds plays a respectable 1b.
    —————————————————–
    the guy just can’t hit or get on base……not many MLB players have more lifetime K’s that hits + walks…

  40. blake December 26th, 2013 at 9:31 am

    “Kind of the same reason Stephen Drew isn’t going to sign with the Yankees for the thrill of learning to be a very expensive utility infielder at age 31.”

    Drew will sign with whoever pays him the most IMO…..he’s at the stage in his career where he need to just get paid

  41. 4TrainNorth December 26th, 2013 at 9:31 am

    What would also have to go with Rodney, in addition to the facial hair, are the sub-par numbers he posted last year.

  42. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Joeman-

    I am totally focused on the pitching at the moment.

    I have my priorities.

    ;)

  43. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:32 am

    86

    Wells and Ichiro would have to go.
    Young is more versatile than Reynolds, doesn’t strike out, can play any IF position.
    Baker can play the OF.

  44. blake December 26th, 2013 at 9:33 am

    What is Hal’s true budget limit ?”

    I would say last years payroll is the upper limit (without counting Arod) and it just so happens that Tanaka, Drew, Balfour , and baker would take them righ around there

  45. 4TrainNorth December 26th, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Graeme Llyod is still around — and only 46.

  46. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:33 am

    You need to be in it to win it or don’t play the game.

    Nobody remembers who finishes 2nd.

    ;)

  47. ac1 December 26th, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Teach Nunez first base. Less opportunity to throw the ball away if you are already playing first base…

  48. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 9:34 am

    MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:32 am
    Joeman-

    I am totally focused on the pitching at the moment.

    I have my priorities.
    ———————————————
    and as usual they are in the right place…….it’s all about SPing right now

  49. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Blake-

    If we snag Mr. T good chance we find out.

    ;)

  50. 86w183 December 26th, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Rodney was the best closer in baseball in 2012….. he was almost that good after June 15th last year… allowing runs in just four of his final 39 appearances (1.88 ERA).

    He was lousy the first part of last season, but to call him a clown competitively is absurd.

    Yeah, his hat tilt is more pronounced than CC, but deciding on a closer based on that is silly.

  51. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Joeman-

    The other stuff is background noise right now.

  52. ac1 December 26th, 2013 at 9:37 am

    I’ll still take Balfour over Rodney

  53. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Yankee fans will boo Rodney till his hat falls off if he is no good.
    They were brutal on Soriano till he proved himself.
    No way they are going for him unless he changed his act.
    Wilson wouldn’t.

  54. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I’ll still take Bailey and/or Tanaka over everyone else.

    :)

  55. Madrugador December 26th, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I must be the only guy who doesn’t want to see Drew on the Yankees. Maybe it was the way JD treated the Phillies but I have never liked the guy.

  56. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Young can still hit. He had 145 hits last year.
    Would rather have him over Reynolds.

  57. Yankee Dog December 26th, 2013 at 9:40 am

    mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Wouldn’t you prefer Balfour to Rodney ?

  58. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Much rather have Balfour, like his fire.
    If he’s smart he comes here, will be a big hit.

  59. 86w183 December 26th, 2013 at 9:41 am

    If they are using Ichiro to help attract Tanaka it would be pretty tacky to cut him. Plus they’d be eating $ 6.5 M.

    While Wells is “free” in terms of luxury tax, he does “cost” the Yanks $ 2.5 M this year.

    I agree, Young is a better choice than Reynolds.

  60. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Mags-

    I’m not a big Drew fan but I do recognize that the left side of our IF is in need of shoring up.

    Send Jeter out w a Ring Hal.

    Make up for AP and Mo.

    ;)

  61. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 9:42 am

    MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:38 am
    I’ll still take Bailey and/or Tanaka over everyone else.
    —————-
    +1

  62. 86w183 December 26th, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I’d take Balfour over Rodney too… but I’d take Rodney over Robertson.

  63. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 9:43 am

    im bored to death of seeing tanaka’s picture and discussing ‘how big’ hal will go.

  64. pkyankfan69 December 26th, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I’d much rather have Balfour than Rodney…. Rodney’s BB total more this than doubled this past year from his career year in 2012 in less IP (much more in line with his career #’s.) Rodney will never come close to his 2012 ever again.

    Plus I never want to see Rodney do that stupid bow and arrow thing in a Yankee uniform.

  65. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:45 am

    And I’m finding a way to steal Kershaw and Puig from the Dodgers next year.

    Teach those suckers a lesson.

    They’ve gotten to big for their britches already. Time for a slap down.

    :)

  66. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Ichiro could be dealt, I wouldn’t cut him.
    Young and Jeter are good friends and if they don’t get Baker, Young could play 2nd if Roberts isn’t hitting leftys.
    Nunez could spell Johnson at 3rd vs leftys.
    Arod should be back in June.

  67. 4TrainNorth December 26th, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I’m also saying no to Drew. Talk about boring.

  68. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Y’s-

    Better get used to it.

    That will be the only real topic other than A-Roid till it’s done.

    Maybe go to Tahiti. I can call you when it’s decided if you like.

    :)

  69. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Tanaka is the straw that stirs the drink.

  70. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 9:47 am

    closers are overrated and overpaid. everybody seems to think the orioles were crazy in dealing with bailey, but what if they’re right and he’s just looking for a contract so he can get paid whlle rehabbing from surgery. it does happen alot.

    id’ rather spend less on a couple of experienced bp arms than throw a bunch of money at an established closer. i think drob will get the job done.

  71. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:50 am

    “For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse the rider was lost.
    For want of a rider the message was lost.
    For want of a message the battle was lost.
    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
    And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”

    Don’t miss out on that all important nail Hal.

    ;)

  72. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Drob will get his chance. The Dodgers are crazy getting 3-4 potential closers. What will that do to Jansens confidence.
    You get a Balfour , if he can set-up for awhile,but he will want closer money like Soriano.

  73. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:52 am

    189 must be toast.

    or there will be no Tanaka.

    ;)

  74. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Young and Balfour are both in the leader mold as they have been acquiring in McCann, Ellsbury and Beltran.
    And Roberts.

  75. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 9:55 am

    i said from the beginning that the yankees would only go over 189 if they got cano or tanaka.
    everything they’ve done so far conforms to that plan.

  76. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I would bring Balfour in to close & keep DRob right where he is

  77. mick December 26th, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Hal needs to be thinking World Series to get that 189 pus out of his system.

  78. Yankee Dog December 26th, 2013 at 9:59 am

    MTU December 26th, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I’ll still take Bailey and/or Tanaka over everyone else.
    —————-

    +2

  79. mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Drob has found his niche as a set up man and is too inefficient to close but deserves another shot at it.

  80. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I believe in bludgeoning my opponents to death.

    Running away w the division.

    Putting the Sux in their rightful place.

    And in being the Team that everyone loves to hate.

    Flip ‘em the Bird Hal.

    Your Stadium will be packed to the gills.

    Everyone loves a winner.

    :)

  81. Yankee Dog December 26th, 2013 at 10:05 am

    DRob needs to get his shot, he has been a good soldier in waiting

    Nothing wrong with having 2 guys who can close (Balfour)

  82. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 10:06 am

    mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:00 am
    Drob has found his niche as a set up man and is too inefficient to close but deserves another shot at it.
    ———————————————
    but if they bring in a Balfour it’s going to be with closer money and I would just slot him in there because he’s done it before, DRob is one of the best in BB as a 8th inning guy with limited closer’s experience

  83. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:06 am

    This year Tanaka.

    Next year Bailey.

    The following year Harper.

    And so on.

    :)

  84. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 10:06 am

    robertson has lower whip than bailey balfour and rodney last year

    robertson has lower h/9 than balfour and rodney last year, tied with bailey

    roberttson had less walks/9 than all 3 of them

  85. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:07 am

    How do you get to be a closer if you don’t get a chance ?

  86. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:09 am

    The Yankees will such a great SP staff they won’t even need any relievers.

    Well. Almost.

    :)

  87. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 10:11 am

    MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:07 am
    How do you get to be a closer if you don’t get a chance ?
    ———————————–
    well I guess there’s no need to bring in a Balfour or a Rodney or any other closer that is a FA….so lets go with DRob and get a 8 inning guy then ….I would find it hard to believe that any closer would sign here to pitch in the 8th inning

  88. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    get me 2 loogy’s

  89. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Joeman-

    I just thought the issue begged the question.

    ;)

  90. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 10:14 am

    if Crain is healthy then bring him in and let DRob close & hope he can do the job

  91. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Steal Kimbrel from the Braves.

    :)

  92. mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:15 am

    This year Tanaka.

    Next year Bailey.

    The following year Harper.

    And so on.
    ====================
    MTU

    I said it last year when we were struggling, we were in transition.
    They obviously had a plan and it involved doing what they are now doing.
    They are in transition. Letting Cano go was a bold move but premeditated.
    What you say is true, they will continue to build year to year, getting younger and forming a core.

  93. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:16 am

    They’ll figure the Pen out.

    Keep your eyes on the prize.

    ;)

  94. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 10:06 am
    robertson has lower whip than bailey balfour and rodney last year

    robertson has lower h/9 than balfour and rodney last year, tied with bailey

    roberttson had less walks/9 than all 3 of them
    ———————————————-
    all as a 8th inning guy…closer is a new gig

  95. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 10:18 am

    yeah, should be easy to steal kimbrell. guys with sub 1 whips, 13+ k/9 and 320 era+ ratings are all over the place and can be gotten for next to nothing.

    probly could get him for wells.

  96. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Almost everyone is talking like Tanaka has Already achieved some degree of success at the MLB Level. That’s simply Not the case. Thinking the Yankees signing of Tanaka will solidify the back end of the rotation, when the guy has No track record what-so-ever, is Pure folly. I’m All for signing him because it is Not my $$$. But I am not fool hardy enough to believe it guarantees Anything for the Yankees. We have seen these Chucker Imports crash-and-burn before. It’s a Guess, but at Best, I see Tanaka pitching at the level of free agent Santana, which is where the Safe $$$ should go. We can only hope Tanaka = Darvish, but even Darvish is showing signs of going Dice K. If it was My $$$, and I had decided to spend it, I would go the Safe-Short Term route and spend it on Santana.

  97. mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:19 am

    All the other talk was bunk.
    They were too old, the farm didn’t produce…
    They got unlucky in 13.
    Arod’s number.
    Jeter, Tex, Grandy and we had no one to back them up. The horror.
    No other team would have either.

  98. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Mick-

    I reject the idea that the FA market will be completely devoid of building blocks.

    The Yankees look 2-3 years ahead if not more.

    And I am confident that the Farm will produce at least 1 or 2 good pieces in that timeframe.

    And plenty of good trade pieces as well.

    Cuba and Japan will continue to supply quality IFA’s.

    See. I’ve got a plan too.

    ;)

  99. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 10:20 am

    hitters dont try harder in the 9th inning than the 8th.

    this is the classic case of overlooking our guy and overrating other team’s closers.

    we have an excellent closer ready to take over, he’s one of ours and its his turn.

  100. mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Whether we get Tanaka or not, this team will be better than last years.
    If we don’t stay healthy none of it will matter.
    And if they don’t make it next year, they will compete and get better the year after.
    If not Tanaka, they will get a major league pitcher for less money and that might even be Hal’s plan.

  101. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 10:20 am
    hitters dont try harder in the 9th inning than the 8th.

    this is the classic case of overlooking our guy and overrating other team’s closers.

    we have an excellent closer ready to take over, he’s one of ours and its his turn.
    —————————————–
    yep

  102. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 10:27 am

    When you talk Tanaka, you’re talking someone to fill the 4 Slot. What is FAR more Important to the Yankees is getting an Ace. CC needs to regain his form, or all this Tanaka hoopla is absolute BS.

  103. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Banuelos, J-Ram, etc. represent hope.

    Heathcott, Flores, Austin, Williams, Judge represent hope.

    Sanchez represents hope.

    Gigolo represents hope.

    Whitley, Claiborne, Mongomery, Burawa represent hope.

    Clarkin, DePaula, Mitchell, represent hope.

    Katoh represents hope.

    That’s a lot of hope.

    :)

  104. Jerkface December 26th, 2013 at 10:28 am

    We can only hope Tanaka = Darvish, but even Darvish is showing signs of going Dice K.

    What? Citations needed on this statement. Both Garza and Ervin Santana have serious red flags, and neither are a very good fit for Yankee stadium.

  105. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Wrongo DB.

    Tanaka’s floor is about that.

    His ceiling is a 1 or 2.

  106. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Darvish at the end of the season was mediocre.

  107. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:32 am

    If I can’t get Tanaka I move on Bailey.

  108. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Someone in the higher levels of our system will breakout this year.

  109. blake December 26th, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Darvish was a CY young candidate last year ….he’s real good

  110. mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Most of the Japanese pitchers do burn out.
    Maybe they throw too much or not enough against inferior hitters till they get here.
    Whatever the reason, to base what Tanaka did last year and call him the savior, is questionable.
    Nova and CC have to be their best selves, Kuroda has to show he is not done.
    Tanaka won’t mean a thing if they don’t produce.

  111. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Bailey is Proven, Tanaka is Not. If I could get Bailey in a Gardner deal, I would do that Immediately and forget Tanaka.

  112. Jerkface December 26th, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Darvish at the end of the season was mediocre.

    Hm. Nope.

    2.88 ERA in the last 2 months of the season with 30 more K’s than innings pitched. 3.34 ERA in September, but his last 5 starts 2.40 ERA. More K’s than IP. Less hits than inning pitched. Velocity still good. Lost 2 games in September where he went 7 and gave up 1 run (lost both games 1-0). Still K’d people like crazy and had a .200 average against.

    I wish our pitchers could be that mediocre?

    Both Santana and Garza were worse so I don’t know why you’d want either of them in this scenario.

  113. blake December 26th, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Darvish had a 2.59 era in the 2nd half last season ….in that ballpark.

    Really the only difference in him and Scherzer was wins

  114. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Mick-

    Each quality piece added reduces the overall risk.

    That is why I am so stuck on a solid mid-rotation type.

  115. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I do Not know how much of Darvish you saw, but in Sept the guy was a crap-shoot.

  116. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:39 am

    DB-

    correct.

    Truth be told I’d go that route.

    But I think Tanaka is easier and more likely.

    We get Homer as a FA next year if we need him.

  117. blake December 26th, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Darvish had a 3.34 era in September Donnie. He gave up 5 ERs in his first start in September and then no more than 2 in the other 5……maybe you watched that 1 start and drew a conclusion?

  118. Jerkface December 26th, 2013 at 10:40 am

    but in Sept the guy was a crap-shoot.

    He had 6 starts in September. The first one he gave up 5 runs. The others he gave up 1,1,2,2,2. 3 of the starts he struck out 8 or more. All of the starts he gave up 5 or less hits. Thats not a crapshoot.

  119. Kelvin December 26th, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Good article on Tanaka’s projection. If this was posted before, my apologies.

    http://www.azsnakepit.com/2013.....projection

  120. mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:40 am

    If CC Nova and Kuroda don’t produce than Tanaka will have to be the Ace.
    We have no idea who he will be.
    Mid rotation might be better for him but if he has to be a 1 or 2, he still will have to prove himself.
    Big money and these questions might be Hal’s Achilles.

  121. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 10:41 am

    june 6th darvish gave up 5 er. he then went till september 4th giving up 3 or less er per game.

    on sept 4th he gave up 5 er again, then gave up 2 or 1 er in his last 6 games.

    ‘going dice k’ in your mind only.

  122. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Japanese pitchers are not used to the American workload.

    It’s smart to bring them along a little more slowly for that reason.

    If Tanaka were immediately expected to assume Ace status that would be a huge burden, and one not all that likely to succeed IMO.

    In our rotation he sits in the middle or even lower. He should be able to meet or exceed that expectation.

  123. Kelvin December 26th, 2013 at 10:43 am

    “he should easily be a front of the line pitcher… He is a safe bet to be around a 4 win pitcher, with potential for more. He has the potential to come in and be the ace of a staff.” He pegs Tanaka for a 3.59 ERA, FIP of 3.03, with a K-rate of 8.9, walk rate of 2.9 and home-run rate at 0.7, which doesn’t seem too implausible. ”

    If that’s what he projects to be in the first season, with potential to be better.. Sign me up for his service, asap. ;)

  124. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 10:43 am

    We are looking at filling the 4 Slot. Santana can do that. As for Darvish, the league is catching up to him. We went through this same thing when I sent out the warning about Halladay. I got the same numbers and corresponding treatment thrown at me back then. “2nd Verse same as the 1st”.

  125. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 10:44 am

    “Even those who don’t think Tanaka is quite as good as Darvish are hardly dissing the man. Connor Jennings, whose site is dedicated to projecting Japanese players’ performance in the majors, says, “While Tanaka has good strikeout stuff, and excellent control, I don’t think he will be quite as good as Darvish. However, he should easily be a front of the line pitcher… He is a safe bet to be around a 4 win pitcher, with potential for more. He has the potential to come in and be the ace of a staff.” He pegs Tanaka for a 3.59 ERA, FIP of 3.03, with a K-rate of 8.9, walk rate of 2.9 and home-run rate at 0.7, which doesn’t seem too implausible.”

  126. mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:44 am

    In our rotation he sits in the middle or even lower. He should be able to meet or exceed that expectation.
    ================
    He will be expected to be a 1 or 2 eventually.
    If not this year, in the future.
    Hal is not spending big bucks for a mid rotation guy. Maybe this year or part of it but not on a long term deal.

  127. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Mick-

    That is Nova’s job before Tanaka’s.

    To move up if needed.

    He’s certainly capable.

  128. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 10:45 am

    donny the stats on darvish say the opposite of what you’ve indicatyed twice now.

    do you want to try to back up your accusation or just keep ignoring those who have shown you to be wrong on that?

  129. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Yes mick.

    But that allows for an adjustment period.

    His cieling is certainly that and that’s what they would be paying for so hopefully he’d get there.

  130. mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Japanese pitchers are not used to the American workload.
    ======================
    What about the hitters here?
    Do they even have a power hitter in Japan not named Andruw Jones?
    He better not be a Dice K throwing footballs across the field thinking he can throw forever.

  131. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I’m out.

    Be back later.

    And now a brief word from our sponsor.

    :)

  132. mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Sorry to rain on your parade MTU.
    Just being realistic.

  133. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Mick-

    Last thing before I go.

    Kuroda should be of enormous help to Tanaka adjust to things.

  134. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 10:52 am

    batters his .194 off darvish in both the first and second half last season.

  135. mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:52 am

    MTU

    Just trying to put myself in Hal’s shoes.
    You know how he can be with money ;)

  136. BIG AL December 26th, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Is it permitted to ask Kuroda to contact Tanaka and tell him it would be a good move signing with the Yankees.

    The big problem, as I see it, is Kurada wears #18, and Tanaka will not sign with a team if he can’t be promised #18, the symbol of the pitching ace in Japan. The interviews I’ve read all say how important wearing #18 is to Tanaka, as I’m sure it is to Kuroda as well.

    Would Kuroda make the jesture to Tanaka, if you sign with the Yankees I’ll give up #18 for you to wear?

  137. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 10:54 am

    As I said, I received the same ridicule with my appraisal of Halladay 2yrs ago. Darvish is certainly Not a bum, but it’s where he is headed that has My attention. Some of you concentrate on stats, spread sheets, and what Super Scout Joe Schmuckburger says about a prospect. I tell you what I see with my own Baby Blues. Of course, I’m Not always right, but I do like my batting avg.

  138. Yankee Dog December 26th, 2013 at 10:54 am

    DONNYBROOK …………..

    You been in the ‘sauce’ this morning ? Or is it a continuation of yesterday ?

  139. mick December 26th, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I think Kuroda is man enough to give up #18 to Tanaka.
    In fact, it just might be the closer to this deal.

  140. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I prefer egg nog.

  141. BIG AL December 26th, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Let’s hope Hal has given the green light to not only signing Tanaka, but the funds needed to fill all spots with quality players, not of the dumpster type material.

  142. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 10:58 am

    If I was Kuroda I would give Tanaka Nothing. Let the rookie Prove a thing or 5.

  143. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 10:59 am

    american players call each other during negotiations all the time.

    i can never tell what japanese players consider taboo though, there’s so much superstition and deference and honor and bs that goes into everything.

    but by american standards, any player is free to contact and recruit other FA’s.

  144. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I agree. Signing Tanaka, and then dumpster-diving = counter productive.

  145. Jerkface December 26th, 2013 at 11:01 am

    “I said something before, so now believe what I’m saying now” isn’t a valid argument. You certainly weren’t arguing about Halladay being on the road to bustville in 2011 when he had his last very great season. If you were doing so in 2012, then what exactly is the similarity between Darvish and Halladay there? Darvish improved in every facet of his game in 2013. Halladay declined in all of them in 2012.

  146. BIG AL December 26th, 2013 at 11:01 am

    My guess, if we get Tanaka, he and Kuroda will be at the top of the rotation before the AS break. I don’t see CC coming back to be what he was 2 & 3 years ago, he’s peaked, and is now on the down side of the mountain, imo.

  147. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I believe having Kuroda and Ichiro on the Yankees helps the Yanks pursuit of Tanaka.

  148. Eric in the ATL December 26th, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Tanaka, Balfour and Baker and we’re set. Don’t want Rodney!!!

  149. bbb51 December 26th, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Kuroda is the senior pitcher, Tanaka should defer to him.

  150. BIG AL December 26th, 2013 at 11:04 am

    DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 10:58 am
    If I was Kuroda I would give Tanaka Nothing. Let the rookie Prove a thing or 5.
    *******************************************
    Glad you’re not making those decisions!

  151. Eric in the ATL December 26th, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Think Kuroda and Ichiro could def help, but I read that Tanaka and Darvish are friends and workout partners. Hopefully, the Shoo signing took the Rangers out of the mix.

  152. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 11:06 am

    if they bring a Balfour or Rodney or any closer in they aren’t coming in to pitch the 8th inning not with the money they are going to have to pay them

  153. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 11:08 am

    - Jerky -

    My appraisal of Halladay was after his 1st start in 2012 and it was right here on this Blog. And to say that a track record “isn’t a valid argument” flies in the face of the stats that you choose to rely on. Anyway, I have an opinion based on what I am Seeing, you have an opinion based on numbers. I’m giving you a Direction\Forecast I see Darvish headed, and your giving me where he has been.

  154. Ys Guy December 26th, 2013 at 11:10 am

    id rather see us go after another loogy than another closer.

  155. DONNYBROOK December 26th, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I kinda like Balfour and that attitude of his. It fits NY

  156. Russell Munson December 26th, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Darvish’s last five starts, 30 IP, 37 K, 2.40 ERA. Dice-K indeed.

  157. Yankee Dog December 26th, 2013 at 11:16 am

    DONNYBROOK …………..

    Did you have a nice Christmas ? ?

  158. Howe Farr December 26th, 2013 at 11:17 am

    I have an opinion based on what I am Seeing, you have an opinion based on numbers. I’m giving you a Direction\Forecast I see Darvish headed, and your giving me where he has been.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++==

    Do you realize that these folks also have an opinion on what they are seeing, and they are backing it up with stats. You also have an opinion, but have been unable to back it up with anything.

  159. BIG AL December 26th, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Tanaka, $180/10, sign him before New Years Day.

    Next …………

    Offer Balfour the same as the O’s did, sign him before New Years Day.

    Next …………

  160. Eric in the ATL December 26th, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I hope we don’t have to go to 10 years on Tanaka. I’d like to get him signed for 7/$112M — I think that should be enough. Otherwise, maybe a Gardner – Bailey trade makes more sense.

    Agree about Balfour’s fiery attitude. Would be a fan favorite and add some needed personality.

  161. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Mick-

    I understand the risk that Tanaka represents.

    But one has to consider the needs and the alternatives.

    My preference would actually be a proven commodity like Bailey.

    Garza might work.

    There are options.

    I leave that to Hal, etc. to sort out.

    I prefer not to see a band aid applied to a serious wound.

  162. Kelvin December 26th, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I think Tanaka will get from 18-21M. I would do $140 over 7. $20M is solid, if they need to go higher they would. Don’t think everyone knows, but these international signings pay for themselves.

    All the sponsorship, marketing, and retail money they would get is insane.

  163. 86w183 December 26th, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Well if we’re going to get greedy …..

    Tanaka + Balfour and THEN a Gardner/Bailey trade!

    IF Pineda, Banuelos, PHelps, Warren et al are strong in the spring we suddenly have some serious trade chips for say a young corner OF?? 3B ??

  164. 86w183 December 26th, 2013 at 11:51 am

    off to do more family stuffs….

    Have a Day All !!!!

  165. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 11:51 am

    The options:

    1) Get a proven guy like Bailey if he’s available

    2) Get Tanaka if you think he’s worth the money

    3) Get another proven FA like Garza, etc.

    4) Get a 2nd tier FA like Arroyo, Malholm, etc.

    5) Do nothing. Use Phelps, etc. to fillout # 4/5

  166. MTU December 26th, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Off to run a few errands.

    back later.

  167. Eric in the ATL December 26th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Kelvin – Good point about the sponsorships and marketing. His first several starts would probably draw 40,000 plus, too.

    Matsui was certainly worth every Penny.

  168. Jerkface December 26th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t want anything to do with Garza or Santana. Both are righties with huge HR rates. Garza barely pitched the last 2 years. Santana’s periphs are more like Phil Hughes and he is inconsistent.

    If you have to end up with an AJ Burnett like deal, I’d rather it be with the guy who is more likely to retire and go back to the NPB than someone who will sit around on your roster for the back end sucking. Both guys are in their 30s as well, so just get the 25 year old pls.

  169. DaSaint007 December 26th, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Good afternoon all.

    Going full force after Tanaka is an obvious. I’m sure Cashman & Co. will place a significant offer on the table. The market will remain stalled, however, until he’s signed by someone. At that time, remaining FA and trades will fly off the shelves.

    Signing a Balfour would be a great complement, as would signing Young.

    Just my opinions…

  170. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    if they sign Balfour he’s coming in to close

  171. Kelvin December 26th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I used to do security in the press box for them, At least an additional 30 media members just for Tanaka. It’s a huge draw for international players, aside from all the extra deals they work out with Rakuten or other Japanese Firms.

  172. BoJo December 26th, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    While I am not a fan of signing pitchers with so many innings before they reach 25 (due to high rate of break down by 27), I have come to believe that the Yankees will never get far in post-season play without at least one dominant pitcher who pitches well in cold weather. CC isn’t that pitcher, so I would be willing to roll the dice with Hal’s money and sign the Tankster.

  173. luis December 26th, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Good afternoon,

    Great post Chad… Very thoughtful and well written…My only comment would be that I don´t see the rotation as shaky as you do… I expect a bounce back from CC ( he won´t be 0.3 WAR pitcher like last season ). Nova will continue to improve. If given enough rest, I think Kuroda will have a good year as well. And we have plenty of depth to handle the back end of the rotation. Granted, it wouldn´t be the Yankee way of late, and it has a lot of room for improvement. But you can go to war with it… Having said the above, I believe Tanaka is a must sign for both the present and the future.

    Another thing you mention is that one of the objectives is to add youth to a very old roster, which is a very good point.. I agree, but I think they need it more of the offensive side of things ideally… We won´t have a single position player under 30 I believe.

    /////////

    Yes to Tanaka…. No to Garza and Santana… Too old, too expensive in relation to what they are going to bring production wise, Garza has a considerable health risk that would be added to an already injury prone roster and Santana is to homer prone for NYS.

  174. luis December 26th, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    JF,

    Just an observation… Igawa didn´t retire and spent all the length of his contract in the minors… I don´t think Tanaka would either, so there is a substancial risk attached… I don´t think he will be a bust (his peripherals are very good), but I don´t think he will retire and leave money on the table either

  175. Jerkface December 26th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Tanaka has as many IP to age 25 as CC Sabathia, and Sabathia pitched 1600 more innings with a 3.3 ERA. You’d have to be signing all late bloomers to avoid something like that kind of folk logic. We’d be out on Kershaw and David Price.

    A lot of the best pitchers are good and good early. If a guy doesn’t have a lot of innings by 25 there is likely a reason for it: injury, not being very good, etc.

  176. Jerkface December 26th, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I don’t think its especially likely, luis, just that it is more of a possibility because he has somewhere to fall back to. Ervin Santana and Matt Garza have no where to go if they stink.

  177. joeman December 26th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    talk about a SPer with miles on him at only 32 years old….at 26 years old he already had 1400 + innings on his arm in MLB…at 32 years old has 2775 IP on the arm..

  178. luis December 26th, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    JF,

    Understood… Garza and Santana would be horrible choices

  179. mick December 26th, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I see an iffy ro tation with possible help down below even with Tanaka.
    I see Johan with a ST invite.
    I want more hitting so that if the pitching is iffy we get more runs.
    Aye, aye sir…

  180. BoJo December 26th, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    JF–I’ll try to find the article and post it, but there has been a lot of research done on the correlation of innings pitched before full physical maturity (at approximately age 25) and the breakdown of pitchers. I’m not citing folk logic–but actual research that has been the basis for teams like the Yankees changing their approach to innings count for young pitchers.

    Now one could argue that such an approach hurts the development of young pitchers, but nonetheless, it has been accepted fact in the MLB among people with access to the data.

  181. BoJo December 26th, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    BTW–there are always exceptions to the rule. CC and Felix may be exceptions but there are dozens (or more) for each exception that do follow the rule.

  182. Jerkface December 26th, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    The rule that the Yankees adhered to was the jump in innings before age 25. Tanaka does not break that rule.

  183. blake December 26th, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    We need fly ball pitchers with our current infield D


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