The Yankees shattered the silence of a lazy, snowy morning with a big move, signing Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million deal. Obviously, Twitter exploded with the news, though sadly @AROD has yet to comment on the matter or welcome Tanaka to the team. He must be the devil. There's no doubt in my mind that Randy Levine sent Tanaka a welcoming e-mail with many emoticons.
How's the owner of the Rakuten Golden Eagles feeling today? This contract tells me Yanks would have gone $70-80M in posting fee.— CJ Nitkowski (@CJNitkowski) January 22, 2014
Former Yankees reliever-turned-analyst C.J. Nitkowski noted that Rakuten's owners probably aren't feeling too peachy about the lost revenue that they would have had under the old posting system. He makes a good point; considering the size of the Yankees' offer to Tanaka, how much would they have paid for exclusive rights to him to get him at a lower cost? Alas.
Yanks determined 2 return 2 playoffs. Deals w Tanaka, Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran, Kuroda, Jeter, Thornton, Roberts, Johnson, Ryan cost $503M.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) January 22, 2014
via Business Insider
Man, Godzilla is just the best, isn't he? The Yankees couldn't ask Hideki Matsui to contribute to their franchise's success much more than he already has after all the revenue brought in from Japanese media during his seven years in pinstripes and his World Series MVP performance in the Yankees' 27th title, but he's just the gift that keeps on giving.
Lofty praise on Tanaka's rookie status from the former editor-in-chief at Baseball America.
Tanaka will have 8th-highest AAV among active pitchers, trailing Kershaw, Verlander, Felix, Greinke, Hamels, Lee & CC.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) January 22, 2014
Jayson Stark remarked upon how Tanaka's contract stacks up with other big-money deals for pitchers out there. There's no doubt that the Yankees will have high expectations for Tanaka, but the good thing is that he's only 25 and not over 30, like the non-Kershaw/Felix pitchers on that list.
Not surprising to see the Dodgers and Cubs listed as serious contenders (though Tanaka would have reportedly left money on the table to go to L.A.), but wow, the White Sox and Astros? That would have been a stunner to see Tanaka end up there. Good for those two franchises to make efforts and prove to their fans that they are willing to spend money, especially the Astros. They apparently offered Tanaka $100 million. Maybe it was just due diligence to put on a charade of competition, but still.
How serious were Cubs about Tanaka? Deadly serious. Haven't confirmed this but the word is they went to $150 million. Likely runner-up.— Phil Rogers (@philgrogers) January 22, 2014
Just in case you were worried that the Yankees were too concerned about the Tanaka competition, MLB.com columnist Phil Rogers discovered that the Cubbies put in a pretty lofty bid on Tanaka, too. The Yankees' foes for Tanaka were legitimate.
The Yankees may have not had the highest bid for Tanaka. Chose NYY anyway. Source says "I think he really decided he wanted to be a Yankee."— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) January 22, 2014
This doesn't exactly jibe with the report on the Cubs' offer, but it's interesting regardless.
Tanak-knock. Who's there? A better starting rotation!— Long Time Listener (@ltl27) January 22, 2014
I GET IT!!!!
If you have a Jayson Nix jersey, you might be in luck. Tanaka wore No. 18, Kuroda's number, in Japan, but he sported No. 17 in WBC.— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) January 22, 2014
Number 18 is frequently the ace's number in Japan, but it's unclear if Tanaka will end up with that number since Hiroki Kuroda already wears it. Not a bad theory by Marchand though. Of course, I thought Nix was a lock for number retirement.
Larry Rothschild scouting Tanaka: "He's fastball, slider, split, throws a cutter and shows arm strength. He showed tenacity on the mound."— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) January 22, 2014
But did he show grit?? Seriously though, nice quick report from Rothschild on Tanaka.
Why People Resent Yankees Fans: a play in two tweets. http://t.co/nks9xcoh7W— Ben Lindbergh (@ben_lindbergh) January 22, 2014
Don't be that guy, Yankees fans. What did the community think of the Tanaka signing?
"@pinstripealley: What do you think of the Yankees signing Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million deal?" | not my money so I love it!— lance (@bucksabound) January 22, 2014
@pinstripealley I think the money is a little much, but it's going to be worth the risk. It will also draw people to the ballpark— Katharine Clark (@katharineclarkk) January 22, 2014
There's definitely a strong chance the Yankees draw more people than they did last year. A playoff berth would of course help.
7/155 is an over-payment but the Yankees needed to take a risk on a young talent.— Yankeesource (@YankeeSource) January 22, 2014
The final word goes to Pacific Rim scout David P., who has been a big promoter of Tanaka to the Yankees for at least a year and a half now. They did take big risk by signing a guy with no previous MLB experience to this deal, but for talent like that, you have to pay up. Here's to a successful seven years with Tanaka.
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