The TANAKA Thread

Discussion in 'Los Angeles DODGERS' started by irish, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    [​IMG]
    Let’s Get To Know Masahiro Tanaka
    by Mike Petriello | Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness -- October 24, 2013

    [​IMG]

    Ever since the new ownership group took over, the Dodgers have turned their focus back to the sorely neglected international market, with great success. Yasiel Puig & Hyun-jin Ryu were huge pieces of the 2013 team, and we hope we can say the same about Alexander Guerrero next year and Julio Urias at some point after that. It makes all the sense in the world, really. With teams locking up young players to extensions more than ever and the new CBA tightening restrictions on how much teams can spend on imports like Puig (even though he barely beat the deadline for the new rules), rich teams have to find new ways to identify talent and spend money.

    Which brings us to Masahiro Tanaka, the 24-year-old Japanese righty who will follow Ryu from last year and Yu Darvish from the previous winter as the Asian pitching import of choice. The Dodgers will have at least one opening in the rotation (we’ll cover that tomorrow) if not two, and had been connected to Tanaka back in September before Ned Colletti admitted that they’d scouted him again just last weekend, so it’s time to get to know him.

    The 6’2″ Tanaka went 24-0 (!) with a 1.24 ERA for the Rakuten Eagles, and the fact that I’m even bothering to quote a win-loss record should tell you just how hilarious 24-0 is. He hasn’t lost since August… of 2012. In seven seasons, starting when he was 18, he has a 8.5 K/9 and a 1.9 BB/9, allowing just ten homers over the last two seasons with what appears to be an excellent splitter and a fastball that touches 95.

    The scouting reports here have been pretty good, as you’d expect. Ben Badler thinks he’s better than Jose Abreu, who just signed for $68m with the White Sox (without the requirement of a posting fee, of course), and at least one scout compares him favorably to Darvish, though most seem to see him as a step below:

    "He is better than Darvish because he is a strike thrower," the scout said. "Overall, Darvish's stuff might be a little bit better, but this guy knows how to pitch. He is like Kuroda, he has a lot of guts. He throws four pitches but when it gets to [stone]-cutting time, it's fastball and splitter."

    Another praised his arsenal, while a Japanese GM concurred:

    "He has good velocity, command and a great demeanor," said a major league scout whose team has been one of several watching Tanaka closely. "He has a great splitter, which would make a difference in the majors."

    The scout says Tanaka's determination is what resonates with many.

    "He can strike out batters when he needs to," he stated. "He really knows how to bear down. His slider is his secondary pitcher. We project him as a No. 2 starter for most MLB clubs."

    The NPB team GM agrees that Tanaka's split-finger pitch is what makes him special: "He can throw five pitches — splitter, fastball, slider, changeup, curve — with good command. But the splitter just disappears. That's why batters can't hit it."

    Here's a highlight reel video, for your pleasure:



    As you'd also expect, a ton of teams are interested aside from the Dodgers, including the Mets, Blue Jays, Rangers, Angels, Twins, Yankees, Red Sox, and certainly more, and so the cost here is anyone’s guess. Darvish’s posting fee was $51.7m, but with the game flush in cash and fewer avenues to spend it, it’s not difficult to see this pushing $60m even if he’s not as good. (It’s important to note as well that the posting fee does not count towards luxury cap penalties, which encourages teams to spend freely.) Ryu got $25.7m, and Tanaka is surely seen as being better than him.

    Also important to remember, the posting system may be in the midst of a change, reports Badler…

    According to sources, one of the changes could include a system in which the posting fee would be capped, which in theory would give more money to the player rather than the Japanese team and allow MLB to count more money against the luxury tax. In turn, multiple teams could then be allowed to win the posting rights and compete for the player, but that system could also drive up costs for owners. Nobody seems certain what the future of the system will bring.

    "We're just operating under the idea that everything’s going to be the same way it was last year," said one international director. "That's the same as everyone else I talked to."

    Which makes it even more difficult to project a cost, because we’re not even sure what the system will be. My best guess is that the total outlay, between posting fee and contract, either comes close to or caps $100m, and that means only a few teams can really be involved. I imagine the Yankees will be in on Tanaka hard, simply because they have zero pitching right now — their 2014 rotation at the moment is CC Sabathia & Ivan Nova — and because the fact that the posting fee won’t hit their cap is huge to them, as they attempt to stay under $189m.

    I’m sure the Dodgers will be on this too, as well they should. Imagine a rotation with Tanaka as the third starter, behind Clayton Kershaw & Zack Greinke and ahead of Ryu? It’s almost unfair, though obviously locking up Kershaw takes priority this winter, and it should be remembered that Tanaka could easily be more Kei Igawa than Ryu or Darvish. It remains to be seen if other teams have more interest, but because Tanaka is expected to be both good and pricy, you can bet they’ll be involved.

    __
     
  2. LAFord

    LAFord DSP Legend

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    Great stuff...TJ surgery waiting to happen.
     
  3. IBleedBlue15

    IBleedBlue15 DSP Stud

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    Plus, who knows about their PED testing over there...
     
  4. 4everblue

    4everblue DSP Regular

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    racist...

    although a "sushi elbow" sounds hilarious...
     
  5. 4everblue

    4everblue DSP Regular

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    they arent latin, so they dont use PED...
     
  6. IBleedBlue15

    IBleedBlue15 DSP Stud

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    I don't like this guy though. He doesn't play the game the right way. Celebrating on the mound after striking a batter out? What an animal.
     
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  7. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    :facepalm:
     
  8. LAFord

    LAFord DSP Legend

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    I was about to mention that.
    "He doesn't know. He doesn't know where he's playing" ~Carlos Beltran.
     
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  9. 4everblue

    4everblue DSP Regular

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    I heard the Dodgers will start giving away GPS systems to their players to fix that issue...
     
  10. 4everblue

    4everblue DSP Regular

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    he's not scrappy enough... not a gamer...
     
  11. Doughty8

    Doughty8 DSP Legend

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    You have to take the celebrations into context, since the clips are from Japanese baseball we don't know if the games in which he reacted were play off games or not. The Japanese as a rule are not into showing up others. I have a unique perspective because I was born there so don't fuck with this opinion!!!!!!!!! ;):D:p
     
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  12. 4everblue

    4everblue DSP Regular

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    are you saying he plays with no passion??? I dont want him then...
     
  13. chris

    chris Guest

    I'm down for this guy. Can never have enough pitching. If Ryu/Greinke breaks we'll be in some trouble

    Heard we were in on Ellsbury... How the hell is that gonna work? We'd have to trade two of Kemp/Craw/Dre and that will be almost impossible with their contracts and injury risks. Wouldn't touch Kemp with a ten foot pole if I was another GM. Man I'd love to be a fly on the Ned's office. Someone have wire tap connections?
     
  14. 4everblue

    4everblue DSP Regular

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    its called "Boras client"... he will try to make it sound like the Dodgers are on all of his clients to create leverage... unluckily for him, Magic will have a daily press conference saying all the players we are in and out of...
     
  15. IBleedBlue15

    IBleedBlue15 DSP Stud

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    Where'd you hear that??

    Now that's a guy who "plays the game the right way".
     
  16. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    lotta flies in there, cuz there's a lotta :shit:
     
  17. Doughty8

    Doughty8 DSP Legend

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    In Japan there is a certain etiquette in which they play baseball but once he hits the states with the Dodgers :pray:, I'm sure we will see that emotion he showed in the clips.
     
  18. IBleedBlue15

    IBleedBlue15 DSP Stud

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    Unless he's American, his emotion is annoying and unnecessary.
     
  19. ColoradoKidWitGame

    ColoradoKidWitGame DSP Legend Administrator

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    I would also like to know where you heard this, doesn't seem likely unless the team thinks very highly of Joc and they believe they can sell high on Carl(as well as find a taker for Dre, just don't see how the team could sell Kemp at his lowest value). This is a tough year to get great value back for OF's with Ellsbury, Granderson, Beltran, Choo, Cruz and to a lesser extent Morse and Dejesus all being on the market. I guess we could also just sign Ellsbury and keep the others since he has his own issues of going on the DL for long periods of time.
     
  20. chris

    chris Guest

    Fuckin Heyman said it on MLBN the other day, but he might have been just throwing our name out there because we have the money.
     

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