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Dodgers to “go all out” to get Masahiro Tanaka

Jan 10, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT

masahiro tanaka getty Getty Images

Bob Nightengale reports that the Dodgers have “let it be known they plan to go all-out” in their attempt to sign Masahiro Tanaka. Nightengale reports that the Dodgers are saying they “certainly won’t be out-bid.”

The things you can do with a multi-billion dollar TV deal and a front office who has the freedom to do whatever it wants.

Of course Tanaka has to want to come to Los Angeles. Which, hey, it’s hard to argue that Los Angeles is a bad destination for anyone wanting to win, be famous and all of those things.  But the one thing we haven’t had much reporting on since Tanaka has been posted is what he wants and where he wants to be, assuming the money is good. Is he a highest-bidder guy? Has he always wanted to be a Yankee? Or a Mariner? Or something else?  There’s still some mystery to all of this in light of those sorts of questions.

But the big money is in L.A., which means the smart money is on L.A.

UPDATE: Well, this doesn’t hurt the Dodgers chances either:


  1. anxovies - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    If the Angels step up and get in the bidding I say let him go to them. That automatically means that he’s going to be a bad signing.

    • zacksdad - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      Angels should get into the bidding to force the Dodgers to overpay for him. Let them get way over the luxury tax and eventually kill them.

      • losanginsight - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        The Jalos are a joke. I’m surprised they didn’t sign Cano who would have been a better signing than Puljos and crack smoking Hamilton. Jerry dipoto was an assistant to the assistant gm in AZ that has no clue on what he’s doing. Trout will look good in Dodger Blue in a few years too.

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        “Trout will look good in Dodger Blue in a few years too.”

        Sounds like you’ve been hanging out with “crack-smoking” Josh Hamilton too much.

  2. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    I was holding out a sliver of hope the Orioles would make a bid and make an actual move this off-season. Hey, I can hope and dream right?

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      Aw c’mon – you guys signed Grant Balfour, right?


      • paperlions - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        That is just mean. I feel badly for Orioles fans, even the ones that defend Angelos as a good owner. He won’t spend the money to win that way, and he won’t give his baseball people the necessary freedom to make smart moves either…heck, he won’t even fire his incompetent buddies in the front office (the reason that he wasn’t able to attract a decent GM candidate).

        No need to kick them when they are down.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        Aw c’mon, I was just foolin around. I’m Irish, ballbusting is how we express affection. I didn’t even mention Sidney Ponson.

      • paperlions - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        As long as you are buying him a drink by way of recompense…it’s all good.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM


      • paperlions - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        As long as I got you here….do you have any irish whisky recommendations? I love the stuff (except for Tullemore Dew, that stuff is horrible), and usually drink 15 yr Jamesom or Redbreast. Any other good stuff that is regularly available in the states?

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        OK, all of this iPhone tomfoolery is over. I had to get out the laptop.

        Next time I make it to Camden Yards, beers are on me, scoutsay.

        Irish Whiskey – I am partial to Bushmills. The BlackBush is my favorite whiskey that costs less than $100 a bottle, but regular Bushmills is tremendous as well. The regular Bushmills is smooth without being too sweet. The BlackBush is mellowed by being aged in sherry casks for a unique flavor, smoother yet.

      • paperlions - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        Thanks. I’ll see if I can get BlackBush here (CT is weird about booze distribution). In previous conversations with Irish friends, most said not to bother getting the super expensive stuff because, while better, the difference wasn’t enough (in their opinion) to justify the difference in cost and that the stuff you could get for about $50-60/bottle was a good compromise of quality per dollar.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        Blackbush is widely available in CT (I live near Hartford) and so is regular Bushmills. Both are so good that I just drink them in a scotch glass, neat. They should go for around $20/$40 respectively.

      • paperlions - Jan 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        Cool. I really enjoy the 15 yr Jameson and the Redbreast. I am too old to mess around with something that isn’t good enough to drink straight.

    • spliff219 - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      I know Im not a Os fan but they got some beasts in that linup. I was hoping they were gonna add some pitching and some depth. IDK

  3. tcostant - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Why don’t we have a list of the teams that bid the $20M posting fee? My understanding that yesterday was the day they were all due in.

    Arod looks like he is getting off with 50 to 100 games, so that hurts the Yankees chances, a little.

    • dodger88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      Teams don’t have to submit a payment to negotiate; they simply must be prepared to make such a payment should they secure a contract with Tanaka. Even then, it has been reported that they will make 2 payments – $13 million in 2014 and then $7 million in 2015.

      As such, there is no formal list of which teams are negotiating, much like with any free agent.

    • tcostant - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      Very strange. Figured they would still be a bidding process with a $20M max. What if a lesser player is posted (like when the Brewers got Norichika Aoki) and no one is willing to go to $20M.

      I’m confused by this new system.

      • Kevin S. - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:24 PM

        This is what happens when you change the rules on the fly to screw the Yankees.

      • drewzducks - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        Yeah, it’s all about the Yankees. Seems like they’ve been doing a good enough job of screwing themselves without any outside help.

      • Kevin S. - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:25 PM

        When Dice-BB was posted, it was heavily reported that teams would bid high, hold down the player’s actually salary and save on the luxury tax. When Darvish was posted, it was heavily reported that teams would bid high, hold down the player’s actually salary and save on the luxury tax. This is not a new issue. If MLB really had a problem with this practice, it would have been working on a solution long ago. It wasn’t until it was heavily reported that the Yankees were planning a crazy posting in an effort to add a premium player while still giving themselves at least a theoretical shot at hitting Project 189 that MLB slapped together an agreement amending the posting system. I don’t disagree with the notion that the Yankees have screwed themselves plenty, but that doesn’t change the fact that MLB rushed a bad system just to prevent the Yankees from exploiting the same gap in the system other teams had been exploiting for years.

      • davidpom50 - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Perhaps under the new system, the team is allowed to negotiate with the player in advance of bidding so that they may determine what their max posting bid will be? With Tanaka it’s easy – you need to bid $20mil, period. In the example of a lesser player, perhapsa team determines their max budget for aquiring the player is 15 million. After negotiating, they determine that if they win the bidding, they’ll need to pay the player $10mil, and can bid $5 mil for posting. If that gets beat, then they don’t sign the player.

      • paperlions - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        Me too. Perhaps the team can set the price (up to $20M) that teams must be willing to meet if they sign the player. For Tanaka, it is a formality as the fee will be $20M. For most players, the fee would be much less.

  4. losanginsight - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    The Dodgers have deeeeeeeeeep pockets. He will be a good #3 behind KKKKKERSHAW and ZG. Thanks Guggenheim. Let’s Go Dodgers!

    • gibbyfan - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      Well put !! The way the game is today it’s more about rooting for wealth than competitive expertise in building winning teams. It’s not about being better than the other guy in building a team –it’s just about buying a team. The only positive I can see us that it makes it all the sweeter when the little guy wins. I was always anti yankees because I felt that’s in large part how they racked up so many championships—but now, I guess there must be 3-4 teams in that category. Not good for the game IMO, but unless there is a NFL like cap it’s not going to change anytime soon…….Gotta love the Rays, As and Bucs

      • Kevin S. - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:49 PM

        You know, it’s funny – but MLB and the NFL have just as much team diversity in terms of playoff participants and champions, despite the NFL’s hard cap and other factors one would think would lead to more competitive balance.

      • clemente2 - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:02 PM

        Why screw the players? All a cap does is leave money in the hands of the owners. There could be alot of ways owners share revenue (see NFL), but they do not. Please do not sympathize with the owners over the players.

      • davidpom50 - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:43 PM

        Guggenheim has said since the day they bought the team that the plan is to spend like crazy to try to win immediately, but also invest heavily in the farm for long-term growth. In just 2 years, they’ve gone from 1 consensus top 100 prospect (Zach Lee and he just barely made it) to 4 (Seager, Pederson, Lee, Urias), including a guy who should be in quite a few top 20s. They’ve poached the best talent evaluation executives from other teams, and started investing heavily in international scouting markets. McCourt sucked the system dry, and it will take time to rebuild it.

  5. ichiroreport - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    You are missing one important factor… where does Tanaka’s wife want to live? No man can pitch well with an unhappy wife. Japanese media report that Mrs. Tanaka wants to live close to a well-established Japanese community, which leads me to believe that “Ma-kun” will end up in NYY or LAD.

    • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Or Seattle, or San Francisco, or plenty of other cities.

      • Old Gator - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        Or Lima, Peru….

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        Think they will be added to the AL East? Or are there rumors in Macondo about McScrooge moving the Marlins there?

      • asimonetti88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        Amusing that a guy named IchiroReport would overlook Seattle.

  6. uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    I wonder if this is in some small way is an indication that the Dodgers have some trepidation about being able to re-signing Kershaw. I realize the Dodgers have the money but if the Dodgers do go all in on Tanaka and say he cost them $20MM per +/- and then they were to re-sign Kershaw for say $30MM they would have a 2015 payroll committed for just 8 players of $165MM. Those 8 players would be: Kershaw/Tanaka/Greinke/Gonzo/Kemp/Ethier/Uribe and Crawford. That’s a boatload of money for just 8 players. By contrast the Yankees as of today have 8 players under contract for 2015 for $125MM and that seems like a high number, the Dodgers if they follow through would dwarf the Yankees number.

    Again I’m not saying the Dodgers can’t or won’t do it only pointing out the payroll situation in general.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      UYF I believe the Dodgers are now in the business of printing money. They are in a position to pay infinite amounts of both salary and luxury tax and they still don’t have to stop lighting Cuban cigars with $1,000 dollar bills.

      You only root for the second-richest team now.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        “You only root for the second-richest team now.” But the one with the most Championships.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        That’s true. I guess I’ll just have to settle for rooting for the team with the most Championships in the past 10 years. 😉

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        It will have to be because if you go back 18 years you still would come up 2 Championships wins shy and 4 appearances in the World Series shy.

        But hey I give the Sox credit over these past 10 years it has either been feast or famine for the most part win the World Series 3 times and miss the postseason entirely 4 times.

        Just so you know if the Sox don’t win the World Series in 2014 you will have to “cherry pick” 11 years to still make your claim to 3 World Series Titles.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        Hey UYF – do ya like apples?

        Waiving that kid Vernon Wells brought the Yankees’ average age higher. How do ya like dem apples?

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        By the way unclemosesgreen don’t you think the smiley face at the end of your previous comment is a little childish. That’s a rhetorical question.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        I think it’s meant to let you know I’m just giving you a hard time. Cuz I like you, UYF. And I respect you as a non-fairweather Yankees fan. In that regard you’re as rare as a blue lobster.

        When every single Yankees fan except Unclean Harold abandoned ship on the message board last year you hung in to very nearly the bitter end.
        😉 😉 ;p

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        unclemosesgreen, my friend have a good day. Since apparently only one of us (and it isn’t you) is interested in having an intelligent conversation I will end our discussion by giving you a chance to make the last post. Until the next time when you have grown up.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:10 PM

        UYF, you will no doubt be sad to know that I’m firmly ensconced in middle age and moving towards ever advanced stages of physical decrepitude.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        @ unclemosesgree, I was referring to your mental age not your chronological age. Now by all means you can have the last word. I’m done here.

      • clemente2 - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        I was about to note uyf had made a readable and sensible point at 2:35, but then he gets into the reading comprehension-challenged dialogue with unclemoses, and my head dipped in prayer for the continued downward spiral of man….

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:32 PM

        I ought to have my head examined but I can’t stop poking him. He really is a true blue fan though, that was a true statement.

  7. dirtyharry1971 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    in other news the Toronto bluejays announced that they have zero plans on making a bid on Tanaka, as a matter of fact they are denying his existence all together…

    • Old Gator - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      That’s not “other” news. That’s the same boring old news you keep dragging out and flogging like roadkill every time you defecate into this blog because there’s nothing else in your head. If not for your imbecilic obsession with Toronto, I suspect that atmospheric pressure would collapse that waste of a skull of yours like a grease bubble.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        remember what I said…repetition

      • Old Gator - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        All I need to remember is the first post you smeared across this blog. Every other one since then has been the same.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        you love me…you hate me….but you will never forget me!!!

  8. bearwithjetpack - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    West Coast Yankees are detrimental to the Show with their massive payroll.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:24 PM

      Right. Because 3 million in attendance at home and away isn’t the way baseball wants its teams to establish themselves.

      Must be why everyone in MLB was fighting so hard to keep Frankie Baby McCourt steering the ship.

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        If the Dodgers received the bulk of their cash from attendance that might be a meaningful statement.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:59 PM

        All teams make money in that scenario. Road teams to Dodger Stadium get their cut, just like home teams when the Dodgers visit make their share.

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:51 PM

        Which does absolutely nothing to contribute to the conversation.

  9. realitypolice - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    I could be wrong, but I still think the only real question here is how much will other teams’ interest in him drive up what the Yankees eventually end up paying him?

  10. shaggylocks - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    A friend who used to live in Japan told me that Ichiro made a whole generation of Japanese kids into die-hard Mariner fans, and Tanaka is the right age to be a part of that generation. If you were putting money down, Seattle might have shorter odds than most people think.

  11. yordo - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Awfully sneaky of them to wait this long. You’re telling me Beckett isn’t guaranteed a rotation spot?!

  12. dodger88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    While I hope the report is true there have been numerous reports of the Dodgers placing a low to medium priority when it comes to signing Tanaka. Of course that could simply be a negotiating ploy.

  13. jayquintana - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    To be in a bidding war between the Yankees and the Dodgers… wow. You talk about being in a good place. Whatever his market value really is, he’s probably going to get $30 million more than that.

  14. aphillieated - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    If the Yankees or Dodgers sign Tanaka, then I hope he ends up being a bust. Hope he never haves an era under 4.00

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Wait a second, what’s that I hear? It can’t be! They’re playing Hideki Irabu’s music!!

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        How’d Dice-K work out for you guys again?

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        Better than Irabu, but I’d settle for Tanaka following in Dice-K’s footsteps.

        Fun thought exercise – Dice-K’s posting fee was $50 million. If they don’t cap postings at $20, then what would Tanaka’s have been? 75? 100?? Posting fee doesn’t count towards luxury tax despite being a primo luxury item ….

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      If you can’t beat ’em, root for career ending injuries.

      You really deserve sympathy.

  15. uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    According to NEW reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today is now saying ” the Dodgers won’t spend wildly on Masahiro Tanaka”. Here is an excerpt of the piece:
    It contradicts his earlier report that stated the Dodgers would “go all-out” to sign the right-hander, as it appears Nightengale has now received some better information. The Dodgers definitely have interest in Tanaka, but they’re also cognizant of the fact that they’re going to have to buck up for Clayton Kershaw soon.

    This is from Rotoworld that they are crediting to Nightengale via Twitter..

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      Yeah, and remember this one from Cashman:

      “At this moment, Bubba Crosby is our starting center fielder”

      • Kevin S. - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        That was a true statement.

      • clemente2 - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:11 PM

        Sadly, it was true.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:37 PM

      Which would you rather have Crosby as your CF’er or Ben Francisco as your DH clean up hitter which he was on more then one occasion.

  16. larrymahnken - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    More accurate report: “Dodgers to not allow arbitrary budget constraints affect their bid for Tanaka.”

  17. kvt7280 - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    If I were the Dodgers, I’d worry about signing Kershaw to a long term contract first and that will cost anywhere from $200-$300 million with a huge signing bonus and guaranteed money. Kershaw’s agent knows the Dodgers have deep pockets so whoever his agent is, they’ll ask for the max. When they finish that, then move on to Tanaka but it will cost over $100+ million for him + $20 million which is peanuts.

  18. jpm557 - Jan 10, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    The Dark Horse Mets!!

  19. cackalackyank - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Yankees vs Dodgers…in a duel to fiscal oblivion. Sounds like fun.

  20. djshnooks - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    No, whomever said teams don’t have to pay to negotiate is wrong.

    To get in the bidding, you must post $20 million…if you do not sign him, you get that $20 million back.

    Pretty simple…and explained 1,000 times.

  21. braxtonrob - Jan 11, 2014 at 6:23 AM

    If he signs with the Dodgers, season is already over.

    Los Angeles Dodgers – 2014 World Champions

  22. jamesweltyms - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Will the Angels be wasting their “Trout Years” if they don’t sign a Tanaka? A consensus building here ( is that Trout will cost 10 years and $310MM+. That’s a lot of coin and no postseason.

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