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Astros made $100 million offer to Masahiro Tanaka

Jan 22, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT

masahiro tanaka getty Getty Images

Gonna be a whole lot of “Team X made a big offer to Masahiro Tanaka” stories coming out in the next few days now that he’s signed with the Yankees, but here’s an interesting one from Brian McTaggart of MLB.com:

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Wednesday the club made an offer for Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka, who reached an agreement with the Yankees on Wednesday for seven years and $155 million. … Luhnow wouldn’t say how much the Astros offered Tanaka, but a source told MLB.com it was more than $100 million.

I guess technically when someone signs for $155 million a $100 million offer wasn’t particularly competitive, but the Astros offering anyone $100 million seems noteworthy.

  1. stex52 - Jan 22, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    I thought it was about a year early in the rebuilding for the Astros to go out on a deal that size, but I’m not totally stunned. They hinted around it at, but I thought it was more pro forma. Although I guess 100 MM$ in that auction did turn out to be pretty much pro forma.

    I think management is starting to feel some heat from fans running out of patience.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      what Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow really waned to say,
      ” I would have sheet my pants if we would have won that bid, my
      owner is more interested in flipping this team in a few years then
      winning”.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      Damn report button, sorry stex

      A Tanaka signing would have made sense. A rotation of Tanaka, Appel, Rodon (2014 1/1 pick) and Cozart would look really good in a year or two.

      • stex52 - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:42 PM

        Did you turn me in?????????? No biggie. I’ll go do something to deserve it.

        They have pretty much said that they will pull the trigger when the time is right. Houston is hurting now, but they are not a small market town.

        I just didn’t expect a real push this soon. They still have a whole team to build.

      • jeffa43 - Jan 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Lord Knows… and Stex knows…. I have wanted to hit the report button on him… but there are so few of us Astro fans, I could not do it either.

        Group.. or, all 4 or 5 of us…. Lets not forget about Foltyanevich (All spell his name right by mid-season) David (Daw-veed), Peacock….

        and maybe our most promising starting pitcher Obey one, Olberholtzer. Our starting pitching is looking very promising. (Rodon is closer to Strausberg than most think).

        Baby steps…. pass the Halos this year, compete for it all in 15.

      • stex52 - Jan 22, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Hey Jeff! If they could read my mind, everyone would report me.

        Like I said, I think this was a year early, but it’s kind of nice to know they will put their bids in when it is time. At least, that’s how I read it.

        Assuming Cozart continues to improve, Appel up this year, Folty and Oberholtzer continue to develop, and maybe McCullers next year. Add Rodon and you probably get at least three starters in the mix, but a couple probably not until 2016.

        Now your outfield should go from horrible to marginal this year. Singleton needs to put up or shut up at first and Dominguez bumps up his OBP at 3rd.

        That’s a lot to go right, but if it does a medium to big free agent move starts to make sense next winter. Right now there are too many moving parts. But hey, it’s January. We’re all optimists now.

    • paperlions - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      The quote actually says “MORE than $100M”, which, could have been $101M, but also could have been more competitive than that….in any case, a formal offer of > $100M is more than just kicking the tires.

  2. chacochicken - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Please ignore the above rambling.

    On a side note, bidding $100 million sure looks good to potential free agents knowing they are willing to spend even if they don’t get their man. Call risk free public relations assuming they knew they would be outbid.

    • stex52 - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Could be, chaco. They used to be a preferred destination for free agents about ten years back. That is another piece Luhnow will want to rebuild.

    • cackalackyank - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      Just like that old saying ‘Nothing ventured, nothing ventured’…oh wait.

  3. losanginsight - Jan 22, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    So you’re telling me that the soon to be 4th place Astros made an offer of $100 mil and the soon to be 5th place Jalos didn’t even make an offer? The Santa Ana Jalos are only interested in 32+ yr old past their prime FA.

    • dylanthom2013 - Jan 22, 2014 at 6:57 PM

      The Jalos landed solid early-20′s starters Hector Santiago and Skaggs for the backend of the rotation in one trade in which all they had to give up was Trumbo, or didn’t you get the memo? Even a non-Angels Rangers fan like me knows about this. Great move on their part.

  4. villanyc - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    I wonder how big of a difference there is between $155 million and $100 million when you take into account the state and local taxes in NYC and the massive cost of living difference between the 2 cities. Moreover, playing for the Yankees puts more pressure on you and you always have to deal with the media. I for one would prefer to take a bit less money to live a bit better.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      IIRC it’s only worth a couple of million, at most, a year for a few reasons: One, no one lives in NYC, they establish residence in a non-state income tax state like FL. Two, when players travel to those states like MA and NY, they have to pay a percentage for each day they are there, so just playing in TX doesn’t mean you completely escape state income tax.

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-jock-tax/

  5. Bob - Jan 22, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Somehow I think the Astros knew their offer wouldn’t be enough, but it makes it look to the uninformed like they were willing to spend the money. I’d like to believe otherwise, but I won’t lose my skepticism until some of these prospects turn out to be good players and the Astros pay them market value instead of trading them.

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