Masahiro-Tanaka

Should the Mets make a play for Masahiro Tanaka?

This past weekend, the Rakuten Golden Eagles said they will post 25-year-old RHP Masahiro Tanaka, paving his way toward signing with an MLB team.

Tanaka was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year in Japan. He has 53 complete games and 18 shutouts during his seven-year career.

In the new posting system, teams can submit a maximum bid of $20 million, which they will get back if they are not selected.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The Mets have given no indication, be it in public or private, that they intend to bid on Tanaka. I know it’s a refundable $20 million posting fee, but the buzz in MLB is Tanaka will then end up signing a six- or seven-year deal worth around $15 to $20 million a season. That’s a lot of money to commit to a guy with no MLB track record. I hear people talk about his outstanding command and his devastating split-finger fastball. But, Sandy Alderson’s problem now, and through the foreseeable future, is with scoring runs, not his rotation.

His rotation will probably be very good rotation in 2014, and that’s without Matt Harvey. Harvey is their ace, he’ll be back in 2015, they have other young, hard-throwing pitchers on the rise and I can’t see the front office allocating this much on a bet for the rotation. Instead, I see them continuing to spend over the years on hitters, relievers and bench players, while working to developing home-grown power arms through the farm (whether acquired by trade or the draft).

353 comments
Chris R
Chris R

why bother wasting your time writing this post...they wont even pay for drew......

Bringback86
Bringback86

Matt Cerrone-are you serious?  Do you honestly think the Mets would seriously consider going after Tanaka?  And why in the world would Tanaka even consider signing with this dysfunctional organization?  It's not like they're going to outbid anyone, so why would anyone in their right mind give this team a "discount"?



The Wilpon's have duped the fan's, they've made deals with the devil (Madoff), they jerked Beltran around regarding his surgery, they're just not good owners.  IMHO, they're more committed to this team from an investment standpoint, not from winning; winning on the world's biggest stage by the way.  I understand spending money doesn't equate to wins, but what about $$ they get from naming rights, $$ from MLB profit sharing, $$ coming off the books this year, while we heard this was going to be the year;  didn't they pull some publicity stunt gathering season ticket holders so they could listen to Alderson tell them to "be patient".  Yet, they automatically take themselves out of the equation from investing in the team if it means going after a player who will be a top tier FA.  I mean, they don't even "play ball."


I'm a diehard Met fan-I know things take time;  but I don't have faith in this organization because I don't believe their owners are committed to winning.  So back to my opening question-"Do you honestly think the Mets would seriously consider going after Tanaka?"  That's a clown question bro....

Winston Huie
Winston Huie

Why can't the Mets throw 3 or possibly 4 very good starters at other teams that would compensate a bit for their below average offense. How about the Mets scouting staff? Can't they determine whether this Japanese pitcher will be an excellent Major Leaguer or not.

Mets are in the end being cheap, cheap, cheap.

They got burned on a few free agents now their using it as an excuse not to spend.

Hey its all about taking a chance and being able to evaluate players. Even the cardinals get burned now & then

Bo Beck
Bo Beck

Not a smart move by his team. He still has 2 years of control on his contract. With that being said they should have kept him 1 more year and posted him next year. Gotta worry about yourself first.

No by all means don't take a run at this guy. If your even thinking about it stop turn around and offer the money to Cruz or Morales and a RP. The bat is more important. And it helps add depth and lengthen your lineup. Which in all honesty needs it in the worst way possible.

Andy
Andy

Yes, please god yes.

Heikal Aliakber
Heikal Aliakber

Kaz Sasaki was actually a good pitcher for a good portion of his Mariners tenure.

sean
sean

1) It's not that he's not intriguing as hell to me, but it's just such an expensive gamble-- $20 million just for a seat the roulette table.  Any team, not just this one, would I think be well advised to at least think twice before giving it a whirl.   And I know they play some terrific baseball in Japan and for God's sake please don't anyone think I'm stereotyping  but it's just not Major League baseball over there.  As successful as he's been, I still  think this is a risk.  A good risk, but still an awfully expensive one.  I know there's a Yu Darvish, a Koji Uehara, and a Junichi Tazawa.  There's also been a Daisuke Matsuzaka.  And a Hideki Irabu.  And a Masato Yoshii.  And a Hideo Nomo.  And a Kaz Ishii.  And a Kei Igawa.  And a Kaz Sasaki.  And a Satoru Komiyama. 

2) This is why you develop your own pitching from within.  When everyone else is going crazy throwing staggering sums of money at your Sabbathias, your Lees, your Santanas, your Kershaws, or being extorted trying to trade for your Schillings, your Dickeys, your Prices, you can sit back and laugh because you know won't need to throw staggering sums of money or be gouged of your best prospects because you have the thing every GM would drive over his own grandmother to get a hold of-  good, controllable starting pitching.  You've got it to plug into your own rotation to win for you or you've got it to do a little extorting of your own-- something (and you're hearing this from a fan of his) I wish Sandy would be more willing to do-- geez I'm all for holding on to your pitching prospects for come on, you're not at least willing to part with Montero, maybe a de Grom as well?  You'd still have Wheeler and Syndegaard and you can't tell me the other young arms in the system wouldn't net you some kind of upgrade, even a modest one, somewhere in the lineup

3) The lineup.  All the problems this (admittedly improved) lineup has, and people want to upgrade the pitching?  Every team has to prioritize.  Every team has to figure out what's strong about it and what needs improving.  Every team has something that's strong about it, even the Astros.  Hell, the '62 Mets had a guy with 34 home runs and a center fielder who hit over .300.  I don't think I'm saying anything particularly astute when I say the rotation is  a relative strength of this team.  Fine then, leave it be for now, attend to areas of glaring need.  That's not being cheap, that's not not being a "real" New York team (whatever in the hell that garbage means-- this is a real New York team always has been and always will be; just because the legion of fence-sitters the city produces happen to be one side doesn't mean they'll stay there), it's just using careful planning as any GM worth his salt would do.

grundy
grundy

At the very least make a bid. At least when the guy doesn't pick you, you can tell the fan base you tried. It's this type of attitude shown by this organization that turns people off. For a franchise that has won NOTHING in a long time, they sure do act like they know better than the rest of baseball on alot of things. If the Yankees, Sox, Dodgers think this guy is worth it, who are the Mets to act like they don't need him?


To not even try to get  a guy that many scouts think is a top of the rotation guy is insanity and just shows where this organization is at. Will he pick the Mets...probably not, but you at least have to TRY. 

Glenn Seickel
Glenn Seickel

Don't be fooled by the Mets pitching......the same thing was said of the 90's Mets.....then one after the other had arm issues.We can also say that about the Phillies and with Halladay, Lee and Hamels they would be perennial champions.

Adding Tanaka would not only improve their strong pitching future it would insure that they could obtain hitting talent rather than buying it from free agency.

Niese has proven inconsistent.  Gee is a solid arm but has shown inconsistencies as well. 

Let's say the Mets get Tanaka for 7/20.  The contract would end at 32.....not begin.  

2014 starting rotation

Wheeler

Tanaka

Colon

Niese

Gee

2015 starting rotation

Harvey

Wheeler

Tanaka

Synndergard

Colon or Niese or Gee

Let's not forget Mejia, Montero, among others in minors.

Not sure, but that sounds like a championship team.  All the Mets need is to get Owings.  Forget about Ike, Lucas or Satin.....any one will do.

Starting lineup

1. Young/owings

2. Murphy/Owings

3. Wright

4. Granderson

5. C. Young

6. Davis

7. d'Arnaud

8. Legares

Bench: Duda, Satin, E. Young, Recker, Tejeda

I would also love to see John Buck back.

WE MUST GET OWINGS.......

Nicholas Catalano
Nicholas Catalano

I don't understand what the hype is all about for a guy who will be 31 on opening day, who is a career .264 hitter (take away his one good season at .291 and it's a lot lower), who averages 126 K's per season and has zero speed and little pop.

William John Dwyer
William John Dwyer

Well if you want to be technical, it's the debt they owe. They are still making a lot of money, but now they owe too many debtors. The Mets took out 2 separate 250M loans from MLB alone last year. That money still has to be repaid. Add to that fans you stayed away from the ballpark the last 3 seasons...and you can see why they went from 200 to 90. Don't get me wrong, I am also saying they should in on Tanaka. I am just not one of those irrational people that cry poverty for my multi-billion dollar baseball team. ;)

William John Dwyer
William John Dwyer

Saying no, for an entire country's top pitcher, is a defeatest mentality. Of course the Mets should be in play for Tanaka. Prices will never be going down, if you keep saying he's too expensive you'll never sign anyone. Wanna change the perception of the Mets? Take Tanaka from underneath the Yankees nose.

tullydew
tullydew

This post shows what Cerrone thinks of Mets fans. He doesn't feel like posting anything of substance but wants content and clicks, so he post something outrageous.

Cerrone thinks Mets fans are dumb and judging by the number of comments he may be right.

rubiconx0
rubiconx0

must be a slow news day, why are you even posting irrelevant stuff like this, there is no way the Mets are interested in spending the kind of money this guy wants when they cant even dig deep enough to sign Drew and solve the shortstop problem already! Come on now!

Heikal Aliakber
Heikal Aliakber

Of course the Mets should try to sign him. Will they? No. They'll either 


a) not bid

b) put up the smallest bid and say "they tried"

c) or win the bidding, try to lowball him, fail to sign him, and say again say "they tried". They'll then turn around and with the posting money they get back from their failed negotiations, sign an end-of-his-career veteran and say that "he's had a history of being good, we're optimistic we've caught lightning in a bottle".


Let's Go Mets...

B Gon
B Gon

Because the Mets do not want to significantly upgrade their rotation for years to come.  And we have fans who support this. I thought we were going in the approach where pitching and defense wins us ballgames?  In the event we have an excess of quality pitchers, which would be great, we trade for those power bats. Or we can be mediocre and press our luck for the next decade.

methead
methead

I don't usually bash cerrone and others here because I actually don't care. Lol. But in this case, the post is ridiculous. Tanaka is exactly the type of player the mets should sign. He would ensure we have an ace at the top of our rotation for years to come. Who knows if Harvey comes back like he did before? Who knows if wheeler will be a star or if any of the other prospects we have.

The Willpons and alderson should be trying to land him regardless of payroll it's the SMART move.

howard_stn
howard_stn

They should offer him a minor league contract the league minimum with an invitation to spring training.

trevordunn
trevordunn

yea cuz the Mets always spend money....no, the real NY team will sign him

crimsondad
crimsondad

This post is a joke right. If not Matt you are seriously delusional. The Wilpon's schill Alderson has already basically said the payroll is firm at no more than around 87 million probably including signing of draft picks this summer.


Considering the 25 million in new revenue the Mets get from the new MLB tv contract that means at max we are really at 60 million in team money for total payroll.At about 2 million attendance they probably break even at that figure. The Wilpons will not sustain any more losses. Alderson is here to stop the bleeding money wise and if he improves the team thats fine by MLB standards. He's an interim fix until the money situation is resolved. 


I won't be surprised to see him replace Selig when he retires and turn the reigns over to Depodesta. Only way we lose the Wilpons as owners is if the banks won't refinance the loans on the team and citifield which are massive. I figure the banks will continue to cooperate with them as long as they hold out some hope of recovering their money. If they pull the plug then we may finally get some relief from this mess of a an ownership group.

Christian Card
Christian Card

This met organization can't be done here right? Granderson is a nice piece and Colon is a bargain compared to what other arms got this offseason but did the Mets improve a bad team with these moves? I guess a little but I thought this was the year of change? I thought 14 was going to be different? Are they really going to run Duda/Davis-Murphy-Tejada-Wright out there again as this teams infield? That is a joke. Sign Drew and Morales and I'd be happy. Tanaka would be nice but that isn't realistic but do something. Move Davis and Duda for pen help and bench help.

maxster
maxster

Read our posts. We are the only MLB fans who talk about money and what's to much or what's to little. Other fans only have to talk about whether to talk about a players merits or fit, that's all. It's a shame Wilpon's have brought to this point.

maxster
maxster

Matt

It's coming up on January 1st New Year Day, Not April1st April fools day. This Post is a bad joke. We are Mets fans, we have lost our sense of humor.

oc410
oc410

Matt,  the Mets have you hook, line, and sinker. The salary is $80million. It should be 150% of that number, nullifying your rationalization of this non-spending. 

Mike Schlitt
Mike Schlitt

"That’s a lot of money to commit to a guy with no MLB track record. I hear people talk about his outstanding command and his devastating split-finger fastball. But, Sandy Alderson’s problem now, and through the foreseeable future, is with scoring runs, not his rotation."  


Jose Abreu anyone?

oc410
oc410

I'm afraid this is a false premise, Matt. $15 mil/yr for what could be ANOTHER mid 20 ace would bring salary to $95 million on the year. That's simply not sufficient, given the resources a big market team has. We can't be content with this. They SHOULD go for players like this because it shouldn't then hamstring them from adding offense. $120 million/yr shouldn't be some outrageous number for a New York team.

howard_stn
howard_stn

Cadillakos said it perfectly.  The only thing he left out is that the Wilspon's will get about $ 25 million from MLB from the lastest national TV contract & another $ 10 million in luxury tax money courtesy of the Yankees & Dodgers.  A $35 million subsidy which basically reduces their payroll to $ 4o million.  The two shills Cerone & Barone won't mention that.

Eric Johnston
Eric Johnston

If we had the money to sign tanaka, we probably would have just signed choo instead, who actually would have filled a need the mets had. Not that i was for spending that high an amount on choo, but at least he's a proven major league talent at an area of weakness for the mets.

pepper
pepper

@Bringback86 I love you. The things you describe are true and disturbing. I'm a met fan dating to the polo grounds and this ownership is the slimiest and the worst. Astounding isn't it, to think the NL club in NYC is not even given the merest of thought to be going after Tanaka. Unthinkable what the Wilpons have done to us. We have been reduced to the irrelevant pile. The New York Podunks. Shame. Boycott the jerks.

sean
sean

@Heikal Aliakber I agree, never said he wasn't.  But he eventually fizzled (and in a Mets' uniform at the end of his career)  I just think people have it in their heads that Tanaka is a lead-pipe cinch to be this utter game changer,  a Japanese Tom Seaver, and I'm just not ready to take that to the bank.  Just about all the guys I mentioned had at least a couple of good years, some  more than a couple.  Darvish, Uehara, and Tazawa have yet to finish writing their stories.  But I think we're still waiting for the historically great pitcher to come out of Japan.  Historically great position player, I would say yes we have that, Ichiro.  Funny because we had an influx into the majors of Japanese pitcher for several years before a position player made the leap and there was speculation before Ichiro (unfair in my opinion) about whether a position player from Japan would ever make it.  Could this guy be the Ichiro of pitchers?    Very possibly.  And if it were just a matter of signing him to a contract, I would say yes, get in on him.  It's that posting fee that's the killer.

latichever
latichever

Maybe in an Onion headline we'd read about Wilpons taking Tanaka from Yankees.

Ziggy Jones
Ziggy Jones

@methead also it gives them more flexibility to try making a deal for a pitcher. might as well stock up on what everyone else wants

Olerud42
Olerud42

@Christian Card Are Drew and Morales really THAT much of an upgrade that they would go from a bad team to a good team?  We aren't talking about John Olerud and Edgardo Alfonso here...

Craig
Craig

Besides if Tanaka is the next Japanese phenom doesnt that create a bigger market for Mets who would be more appealing to the Japanese market?

oc410
oc410

@Eric Johnston false premise. A new York team having a sub-100 mil payroll is a sham. They've effectively convinced us that this new reality is a necessity, but they're penny-pinching. If they were operating at a respectable 120mil budget, think of how much better this team could be. 

DMMP
DMMP

@Glenn Seickel Trade Neise to AZ along with Tapia, acquire Owings, save the money from trading neise, acquire Tanaka.  Rotation?  Wheeler, Tanaka, Colon, Gee, Mejia or someone else.  (Montero or Syndergaard up by mid-season.)  I don't know if the mets are willing to accept the near 100 mil payroll they would end up with however.

B Gon
B Gon

@Dan Waters @methead When you play in New York, you better be prepared to outbid the Yankees. No excuses.

rubiconx0
rubiconx0

@Olerud42@Christian Cardyes they are upgrades, if we run the same exact infield out there, be prepared to lose,as side from Wright and Murphy, they suck!

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@Olerud42@Christian Card I don't think Morales is much of an upgrade over Duda honestly, but Drew is a huge upgrade on Tejada.  That may add 3 or 4 wins to the team, for what that's worth.

howard_stn
howard_stn

Here is the point- they have a very low payroll and are not trying to build a championship team.  The fans deserve better.

Eric Johnston
Eric Johnston

@oc410@Eric Johnston  Even better......  think of how much better our team could be with a $400 million payroll!  Why waste your time with hypothetics that management has already been quoted as stating to the contrary. 

Christian Card
Christian Card

@rubiconx0 @Olerud42 @BringBackDaveTelghe I do think Morales is a major upgrade over Duda and Davis. He is a professional hitter that has hit over .280 with power. He is a #4 hitter that Davis and Duda are not. Drew is an obvious upgrade over the minor league talent we have there now. I don't think Drew is a top 10 SS or anything but again a MLB player. This team has run with minor leaguers for too long. Need to play with proven major league talent.

Eric Johnston
Eric Johnston

@oc410@Eric Johnston     I never offered an opinion about how much the mets payroll should be. In fact, i offered no opinion at all, merely a prediction. You're going off on a tangent. Please make your comments a separate entry as opposed to a reply because your opinion on the matter has nothing to do with my prediction.  Maintain focus on the topic at hand please

oc410
oc410

@Eric Johnston The point is, signing a Tanaka and a Stephen Drew would make this team materially better and, yes, likely bring the Mets payroll over $100 million dollars. This number shouldn't be a barrier to entry for the mets. Relative to other team, (not even big market teams) its simply not that much.