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Friday, January 10, 2014

Dodgers will "certainly not be outbid" for Tanaka

By on 1/10/2014 03:30:00 PM

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Los Angeles Dodgers have said they will go “all out” to sign Masahiro Tanaka. Nightengale goes on to say they “certainly won’t be outbid” on the Japanese right-hander.

STB-1 via Wikimedia Commons
Subsequently the new agreement with Japan, the bidding process will have a $20 million limit essentially making Tanaka a free agent. The Dodgers plan on offering him the most desirable contract, even though many have expressed confidence that the New York Yankees will not let Tanaka go to another franchise. The new posting agreement between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball, signing Tanaka will not be awarded the negotiation rights by outbidding everybody else, but give Tanaka more of a choice to where he wants to go. The $20 million bid will only be paid to Japan if Tanaka signs with that team.

This past week, Tanaka was visiting with both Chicago teams and it is well known that many teams would like to propose an offer to the highly touted right-hander. It has also been reported that the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Angels, Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox, Indians, Blue Jays all have significant interest in Tanaka and are willing to go over $100 million to do so.

Even though many teams have shown interest, many scouts have expressed concern with Tanaka and his durability. According to Kris Vigneron of SBNation, he would throw every seventh day in Japan and is not used to throwing 200+ innings a year. Tanaka can be classified as a workhorse for his work in Japan the past seven seasons. He’s only 25, but has logged seven seasons in Japan and averaged nearly 25 starts and 190 innings per season. This could damage Tanaka, because just like every workhouse, you are used heavily and he averaged over 113 pitches per outing with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! many executives have already voiced their concerns. In the end, it takes only one team to give Tanaka what is desired and it looks like that will happen. There is a good chance that Tanaka will be used every sixth day instead of fifth day in the first year of his MLB time just like Yu Darvish of Texas or Hisashi Iwakuma of Seattle.

Adding the skilled right-hander to the mix would give the Dodgers a potentially unrivaled rotation, as he would join Clayton Kershaw, Zack Grienke, Hyun-jin Ryu and Dan Haren. It seems if Los Angeles successfully signs Tanaka it would take Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley out of the rotation unless L.A. decides to use a six man rotation or give Tanaka extra days of rest.

There is one thing we are yet to know. Is Tanaka a guy who takes the highest bid? Or does he want to be with a certain team no matter what? Will he take less to be with a winning team? We will find out in the next couple of weeks.

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