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MLB News and Notes: The Tanaka sweepstakes begin

MLB News and Notes: The Tanaka sweepstakes begin
December 27, 2013
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With the offseason now in full spring, news will continue to become more and more frequent. In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.

With no major signings or trades occurring on Thursday, there are no "Top Stories." Instead, I will give a rundown of all of the day's news and notes.

Here are the stories from Thursday, December 26th.

News and Notes

  • By now, baseball followers know that on Christmas day, the Rakuten Golden Eagles decided that they will indeed post star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The posting began on Thursday morning and can run up to 30 days, until January 24th. Tanaka must sign with a team by that date. During this time, teams can bid on Tanaka and the highest bid(s) will have the right to try to sign the pitcher.
  • In a poll done on, readers voted the Yankees as an overwhelming favorite to land Tanaka.
  • Drew Stubbs told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that he had a feeling the Indians may trade him this offseason. Stubbs said that once the Rockies traded Dexter Fowler, he thought Colorado could be a potential trade fit.
  • Lookout Landing's Scott Weber believes the Mariners should make a push for Tanaka. Weber also says that if not Tanaka, Seattle should take advantage of the slow developing market for Ubaldo Jimenez.
  • Buster Olney of ESPN wrote an article in which he ranked the top-10 lineups in baseball as of today. In his opinion, the Indians ranked seventh. Olney mentioned Cleveland as a sleeper team that could break out offensively. His top ten looked like this:
  1. Texas
  2. Boston
  3. Detroit
  4. St. Louis
  5. Los Angeles (AL)
  6. Oakland
  7. Cleveland
  8. Colorado
  9. Kansas City
  10. New York (AL)

User Comments

December 28, 2013 - 8:16 AM EST
If I understand correctly, the $20 million doesn't get you Tanaka. It's just compensation to his Japanese team for signing him. The money Tanaka gets is over and above that.

So who in their right mind thinks the Indians might pay $20 million, and then outbid the Yankees and the rest of MLB for this guy?

I don't remember Ichiro or Dice-K signing with Cleveland, for the same reason. We don't play in that league, financially.
December 27, 2013 - 7:39 PM EST
A team won't have to give up a 1st rd pk, to get Tanaka, but a $20 M posting fee is substantial. Tanaka's mkt undeniably can effect Jimenez's. Lets say the Yankees fail to land Tanaka, then they may jump in on Jimenez. Tanaka's mkt has largely held up the mkt for the 'premier' SP (Garza, Santana, Jimenez). Wherever Tanaka lands means one less potential spot for Jimenez.

Chris McGuinness -1b / OF the Tribes 2012 rule 5 draft pick from the Rangers has been DFA. Not sure if the Tribe has interest in McGuinness after signing David Cooper and Adams, but the Tribe could take a flier on him.
December 27, 2013 - 6:38 PM EST
I don't understand why some sites completely attach Jimenez's future to Tanaka. I assume that Tanaka won't cost a team a first round choice, so Jimenez will still be somewhat a fruit of the poison tree after Tanaka is signed.
December 27, 2013 - 1:48 PM EST
I would love to see Ubaldo Resigned, allowing us to trade Masterson and Bourn for a controllable ML ready 3rd baseman (think a poor man's Wil Myers at third). Our payroll would actually decrease and our entire team outside of Axford and Cabrera would be under control for a long time.

BTW Underwood's wife is very attractive, Galeti's story seems unlikely.
December 27, 2013 - 12:40 PM EST
Rankings are always a bit dubious - unless ones goal is to start a Bar fi9ght - yet it's notable that Olney not only lists the Tribe but list them two spots ahead of Kansas City.

Yet again this year, just has it's been for the past two, most baseball talking heads are picking KC, not Cleveland, as Detroit's stalking horse to surprise in the American Central.

I also have a hard time buying the Rockies are better than either the Dodgers or even the Diamondbacks in the NL West.

Guess Olney has found a upper crust Medical Mary J Dispensory with a helacious Humidor and a Hot Tub Time Machine!
Herb Score
December 27, 2013 - 11:04 AM EST
"you ladies ever been to souvenir city"

- matt "worst HR call ever, even worse than hawk harrelson" underwood.
Charles Galeti, Jr.
December 27, 2013 - 11:01 AM EST
I saw Matt Underwood drunk at a bar in Ashland two days ago, and in between him on spitting game at these three fat chicks from BGSU, he said he made a prediction that if Tanaka comes to MLB that Ubaldo would be back in Cleveland. I told him, "but that'd mean that Justin Masterson is gone after this year" and he said that nobody with the Indians expects him to re-sign. I wanted to talk more about it but then he started buying shots for these fat college girls. Some portions of this story may or may not be true
December 27, 2013 - 8:26 AM EST
Rest assured that the Indians will be aggressively pursuing Masahiro Tanaka.

I'll be spending the weekend with Keri Russell.

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