• Tanaka To Yanks For $155 Million

    Posted by on January 22nd, 2014 · Comments (104)

    Via Paul White -

    Masahiro Tanaka is headed to the New York Yankees, who are once again spending money with the determination of years past.

    Fox Sports is reporting that the prize of this winter’s free-agent class has agreed to terms on a seven-year, $155 million contract with the Yankees, the latest move in a winter of wild spending for the club.

    Between outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, catcher Brian McCann and now Tanaka, the Yankees have expended $438 million in an effort to return to dominance.

    That doesn’t include the $20 million posting fee the Yankees must pay to the Rakuten Golden Eagles, Tanaka’s team in Japan.

    And though Tanaka has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues, the Yankees did not hesitate to offer him the fifth-largest contract ever for a pitcher.

    Their agreement with Tanaka also comes less than two weeks after they had $25 million of 2014 payroll freed with 162 games of slugger Alex Rodriguez’s suspension upheld by an arbitrator.

    Is this Cashman/Afterman? Or, is this like the Soriano deal where it was Levine and others? The next few days could be interesting as the story unfolds.

    Comments on Tanaka To Yanks For $155 Million

    1. Greg H.
      January 22nd, 2014 | 11:52 am

      Looking forward to watching this guy. Big shot in the arm for the rotation.

    2. Corey
      January 22nd, 2014 | 12:08 pm

      22 million a year for at worst 7 years (If he’s good, he’ll opt out after 4) for a guy who’s never thrown a pitch in mlb is pretty damn scary to me. That much money would be pretty damn hard to hide in AAA.

    3. January 22nd, 2014 | 12:46 pm

      For $22 million a year, he better be Justin Verlander kind of good more so than Edwin Jackson kind of good.

      As always with Japanese pitchers, it will be how he adjusts to better/bigger hitters, a different baseball, and the difference between the MLB and Japanese rotations.

      How many Japanese pitchers, who have come to the US before the age of 30, went on to throw 800+ innings in our majors? Without looking, I would bet that it’s less than four.

      There’s so much risk, IMHO, with these Japanese pitchers. Remember when Dice-K was supposed to be a world-beater?

      I just want to see how Cashman wiggles off the liability hook if this one blows up.

    4. Corey
      January 22nd, 2014 | 1:23 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      I don’t think he can get off the hook. If the team is serious about eventually getting under 189, they are going to be severely handicapped by this contract, in addition to the other seemingly dead contracts (A-Rod, Tex with his wrist that is still in pain, CC possibly). Because of this, they are going to NEED Tanaka to be very damn good. If Tanaka stinks and A-Rod never plays again and skinny CC is toast and Tex’s wrist injury never completely heals, you’ve got almost 100 million counting toward the tax in players that can no longer excel. That’s a recipe for a bunch of losing years in which noone may survive in the front office.

      Imagine while all of this is happening, Wheeler and Synderguard take off and Harvey and Niese come back healthy and the Mets start winning some games? Heads will either roll or get promoted into obscurity.

    5. EHawk
      January 22nd, 2014 | 1:28 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      I think I’d rather take the chance with Tanaka then with a Garza or Jimenez at 15 mil a year for 4-5 years. We got a young pitcher entering his prime that could be a top of the rotation guy.

    6. KPOcala
      January 22nd, 2014 | 1:32 pm

      @ Steve L.: I’ll be more interested to see how Steve-san wiggles off the hook if Tanaka-sun is a stud. And if Cashman has turned into a ninja ;)

    7. Corey
      January 22nd, 2014 | 1:36 pm

      @ KPOcala:
      Steve isn’t questioning whether Tanaka is good or not. He’s questioning whether it’s smart to invest 22 million a year for 7 years in a player who’s never thrown a pitch in the major leagues. There’s a lot of risk there. Noone can deny that.

    8. Greg H.
      January 22nd, 2014 | 1:38 pm

      @ KPOcala:
      LOL. The guy went 24-0 last year. He doesn’t suck.

    9. Greg H.
      January 22nd, 2014 | 1:40 pm

      @ Corey:
      Several teams were willing to take that – or similar – risk for this guy for a reason. Much better than 10/240 for Cano IMHO. Only one took that bet.

    10. baseballbob
      January 22nd, 2014 | 1:42 pm

      It would be messy if he turns out to be real good for a year or 2, like Nomo or Dice-K, and then falls off when hitters adjust.

    11. Greg H.
      January 22nd, 2014 | 1:44 pm

      @ baseballbob:
      That would indeed be messy. However, he is noted to be quite an excellent adjuster himself, so it may be just as likely that he starts slowly and then becomes much better.

    12. January 22nd, 2014 | 1:50 pm

      Corey wrote:

      @ Steve L.:
      I don’t think he can get off the hook. If the team is serious about eventually getting under 189, they are going to be severely handicapped by this contract, in addition to the other seemingly dead contracts (A-Rod, Tex with his wrist that is still in pain, CC possibly).

      There’s no chance now that they will be under $189 for 2014.

    13. January 22nd, 2014 | 1:52 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      @ KPOcala:
      LOL. The guy went 24-0 last year. He doesn’t suck.

      Japanese baseball is like AAA, at the best.
      Godzilla used to hit 50+ HR a season there. He didn’t do that here. Shoot, some DR-born MLB-cast-off hit 60+ HR in Japan this past season.

    14. January 22nd, 2014 | 1:53 pm

      baseballbob wrote:

      It would be messy if he turns out to be real good for a year or 2, like Nomo or Dice-K, and then falls off when hitters adjust.

      If he turns out this way, I would not be shocked, AT ALL. It happens all the time with these guys, sans a few exceptions.

    15. January 22nd, 2014 | 1:54 pm

      EHawk wrote:

      @ Steve L.:
      I think I’d rather take the chance with Tanaka then with a Garza or Jimenez at 15 mil a year for 4-5 years. We got a young pitcher entering his prime that could be a top of the rotation guy.

      Is there an Option C, like developing your own pitchers? Oh, wait, this is Cashman….never mind :-)

    16. Corey
      January 22nd, 2014 | 1:54 pm

      @ Greg H.:
      You’ve seen him pitch (not just highlights)? This is the league, after all, where Wladimir Balentien broke the home run record. I’m not saying he’s definitely going to suck, but you have to admit that the level of risk here is extremely high. $22 million is a lot of money to hand out to someone who’s a high risk when you have potentially $75 million in lost contracts on the team as well.

    17. Scout
      January 22nd, 2014 | 1:55 pm

      Count me as one who supports taking the risk, which is significant for all the reasons noted above. The rotation was in poor shape. To be a serious contender this year, which was the organization’s stated goal, the Yankees needed help. (And in my view, they still need more.) The $189 million target was nver about winning; it was about the Steinbrenner’s pocket book. I am relieved that it now seems they have decided to prioritize putting the best team on the field.

      According to reports, the Yankees sent a large delegation to meet Tanaka that included all the usual suspects from Randy Levine down to the pitching coach. So they ALL own this action. Of course, if it turns out badly, I won’t be surprised to read reports quoting Yankee sources in which Cashman, Levine, or others claim they were opposed to the contract. People always look to protect their reputations when things go south; Cashman, in particular, seems to be a pro at this tactic.

      But why dwell on the negatives? Today the Yankees are a better team than they were yesterday.

      Are there any good Japanese third basemen? :-)

    18. Corey
      January 22nd, 2014 | 2:04 pm

      Scout wrote:

      (And in my view, they still need more.)

      This is a huge point. I don’t know if they have enough still to even make the playoffs. If you don’t get anything out of Sabathia or Tex, I think Tanaka makes no difference this year.

    19. Kamieniecki
      January 22nd, 2014 | 2:11 pm

      With the posting fee, it’s $25 million per year, or $175 million for a pitcher who’s never thrown an inning in the Major Leagues. What do the people who wanted Randy Levine hanged for spending $35 million on the M.V.P. of the 2012 season, Rafael Soriano, have to say about $175 million for what is, or will be, a no. 3 starter on many other rotations?

    20. January 22nd, 2014 | 2:32 pm

      HUGE RED FLAG HERE: In Japan, in seven year career, Tanaka has averaged just 25 starts per season. He’s going to have to get used to making seven more a year than that, here. That’s 28% more, and that’s huge.

      Then again, the Yankees, esp. Cashman, are really-deally super-duper smart when it comes to analyzing the stuff for pitchers. So, I am sure it’s going to be great!

    21. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 2:32 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      For $22 million a year, he better be Justin Verlander kind of good more so than Edwin Jackson kind of good.

      Well, let’s see what Garza and Jimenez now sign for, and then you can calculate more closely what the market rate is for pitchers at that level of performance, and then adjust your estimation of how well Tanaka has to do.

      I just want to see how Cashman wiggles off the liability hook if this one blows up.

      I assume that ownership was fully behind this, as the $189 million payroll cap is now topped. However, as I mentioned in another thread, this is market value for this pitcher. If reports are to be believed, he receive 5 offers, all of them for at least six years, all of them for $100 million or more. If Tanaka fails, or gets seriously injured, it doesn’t say much about anybody’s “liability hook”. It’s the chance a team takes signing ANY free agent pitcher.

      Can it be said that either Garza or Jimenez carries a lesser risk? Neither one will get $22 million a year for 7 seven years (or less), but they should both get deals that are at least 75% of that, but perhaps for fewer years.

    22. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 2:37 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      With the posting fee, it’s $25 million per year, or $175 million for a pitcher who’s never thrown an inning in the Major Leagues. What do the people who wanted Randy Levine hanged for spending $35 million on the M.V.P. of the 2012 season, Rafael Soriano, have to say about $175 million for what is, or will be, a no. 3 starter on many other rotations?

      As said before, the signing of Soriano was a waste of money. No team signs two closers at better than $10 million a year. There’s no reason to do it. Nobody else has ever done it, and I doubt the Yankees will ever do it again. Why? Because it’s stupid, and it took a freak shagging flies accident for it to appear to have “worked”. If Mariano doesn’t get hurt, Soriano sulks for a 2nd consecutive year, and then you’re paying $10 million a year for an average set-up reliever. As they did in 2011. (Marginal value of -$8.5 million. Source: Fangraphs and Baseball Reference)

    23. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 2:38 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      HUGE RED FLAG HERE: In Japan, in seven year career, Tanaka has averaged just 25 starts per season. He’s going to have to get used to making seven more a year than that, here. That’s 28% more, and that’s huge.
      Then again, the Yankees, esp. Cashman, are really-deally super-duper smart when it comes to analyzing the stuff for pitchers. So, I am sure it’s going to be great!

      And the Cubs, D’Backs, White Sox and Dodgers, who also made offers? Are all of those teams bad at analyzing the stuff of pitchers?

    24. Greg H.
      January 22nd, 2014 | 2:43 pm

      @ Corey:
      @ Steve L.:
      Ok, for all those whose immediate reaction to this deal was something like “this better work or else,” and without this thread degenerating into yet another litany on Brian Cashman and the front office:

      What are the dollars/years where you would have drawn the line and let this free agent go to another team?

    25. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 2:51 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      HUGE RED FLAG HERE: In Japan, in seven year career, Tanaka has averaged just 25 starts per season. He’s going to have to get used to making seven more a year than that, here. That’s 28% more, and that’s huge.

      Not counting his rookie year, when he only made 14 starts, Yu Darvish averaged 25 starts and 196 innings.
      Iwakuma pitched for 10 seasons after his rookie year in Japan. In 3 of them he suffered substantial injuries. In the remaining 7, he averaged 27 starts and 189 innings.
      Matsuzaka pitched 7 seasons in Japan. He was not used as a starter all the time. For the six seasons for which I could find the data, he pitched in 143 games, of which 85 were games started. In the 7th season, 28 games are listed, but not games started. He pitched 215 innings that year, so it seems likely that most, if not all, of the 28 games were starts. One of the seven seasons was shortened by a serious injury. In the other 6, he averaged 181 innings.

      Seems to be the way they use pitchers over there, one start a week, and a good starter goes deep into the game every week (Darvish averaged nearly 8 innings per start. Iwakuma, nearly 7 innings per start.)

    26. McMillan
      January 22nd, 2014 | 2:52 pm

      It’s been a very impressive “winter program” that Brian Cashman has put together for the 2013-14 offseason and executed flawlessly:

      1. Sign the top free agent catcher to the most expensive contract for a free agent catcher in M.L.B. history to upgrade a .200-hitting position occupied by Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart;

      2. Sign the top free agent center fielder to the third-most expensive contract for an outfielder in M.L.B. history to a contract amount exceeding the second-highest offer for his services by more than $50 million.

      3. Sign the top free agent right fielder to a three-year, $45 million, contract that will have the right fielder in the Yankee outfield through the age of 40.

      4. Sign the top free agent starting pitcher to the most expensive contract for a free agent who has never played an inning of Major League Baseball in history, at a total cost of $175 million.

      5. Sign Brian Roberts to replace Hall of Fame second baseman Robinson Cano.

      Where would this team be without Brian McGuire Cashman?

    27. January 22nd, 2014 | 2:55 pm

      Actual conversation today with my 9-year old son:

      Me: Dude, the Yankees signed a new pitcher today. He is from Japan and his name is Tanaka. He went 24 and oh last year in Japan. He didn’t lose a single game.

      Him: Yeah, but, Japan is different.

      I swear to you, this, word for word, is exactly how it went down.

    28. January 22nd, 2014 | 2:57 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      What are the dollars/years where you would have drawn the line and let this free agent go to another team?

      No more than five years. And, no more than $17 mill per season.

      Could he better better than that? Sure. So, then you let someone else take the risk.

    29. Kamieniecki
      January 22nd, 2014 | 2:58 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      As said before, the signing of Soriano was a waste of money.

      @ Evan3457:
      As said before, money Mariano Rivera himself personally encouraged the Yankees front office to “waste,” money without which this team would not have gotten to an A.L.C.S. in 2012. But there’s nothing wrong with spending $175 million a pitcher whose never thrown an inning in the Major Leagues, right?

    30. Kamieniecki
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:00 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      For $22 million a year, he better be Justin Verlander kind of good

      Not a chance.

    31. Corey
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:00 pm
    32. MJ Recanati
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:02 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Could he better better than that? Sure. So, then you let someone else take the risk.

      If the one resource and advantage the Yankees have is money, why would they ever let anyone else take the risk?

      The Steinbrenners want to field a competitive team in 2014 so “[letting] someone else take the risk” would mean that the Yankees would miss out on a chance to get a potential #2 starter entering the prime of his career.

    33. MJ Recanati
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:05 pm

      @ Corey:
      I saw Hank was quoted on ESPN as well. This is not a good development. Hank should not be allowed out of the asylum.

    34. Corey
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:06 pm

      @ Greg H.:
      I would not participate in the new posting process if I were the GM unless the stakes were brought back down to a reasonable level. I’d give the guy a 5 year deal worth 55 million. If he wanted to do a 4 year 40 million deal with consecutive team options for 25 million after that I’d do it. Otherwise, the risk is too high for me. If there were no spending restraints, sure who cares. That’s not the case. Even with this spending, they are still eyeing a future date where they dip back under.

      Let the other tams handicap themselves with big money acquisitions that are high risk. That just takes away another team for when big time free agents like Stanton or Harper or Price come around.

    35. Greg H.
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:06 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      No more than five years. And, no more than $17 mill per season.

      So given the situation, and the Yanks’ need for a starter, you’re fine with the best pitcher on the market in Dodger Blue? Yours would have been the 5th best offer he received (out of five).

    36. Greg H.
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:07 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      If the one resource and advantage the Yankees have is money, why would they ever let anyone else take the risk?

      Exactly.

    37. Corey
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:08 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      I saw Hank was quoted on ESPN as well. This is not a good development. Hank should not be allowed out of the asylum.

      Haha man he’d sure be funny if the team tanked, though. Try to act like his father and have to all blow up in his face. I guess there’s a consolation prize if the team doesn’t improve.

      I’m just not sold on this team yet. I guess I’ll have to see it to believe it.

    38. McMillan
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:09 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Because it’s stupid, and it took a freak shagging flies accident for it to appear to have “worked”.

      How do you know? Were you privy to Rivera’s conversations with Cashman and Levine about what might have been issues with his health, or his intentions to retire? … And whatever happended with that “lost” draft pick?

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      But there’s nothing wrong with spending $175 million a pitcher whose never thrown an inning in the Major Leagues, right?

      Desperate times call for desperate measures…

    39. MJ Recanati
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:10 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Let the other tams handicap themselves with big money acquisitions that are high risk. That just takes away another team for when big time free agents like Stanton or Harper or Price come around.

      It’s highly doubtful that those guys will ever reach free agency. They’ll either be extended by their current clubs or traded to a team that can afford to keep them away from the open market.

    40. Greg H.
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:10 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      @ Corey:
      I saw Hank was quoted on ESPN as well. This is not a good development. Hank should not be allowed out of the asylum.

      That’s so it can be Hank’s fault if the guy goes Igawa. ;-)

    41. MJ Recanati
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:14 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      That’s so it can be Hank’s fault if the guy goes Igawa.

      LOL, I’m totally fine with that.

    42. January 22nd, 2014 | 3:26 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Hank resurfaces:
      http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2014/01/22/steinbrenner-cant-question-yankees-commitment-winning-now/

      OMG. This is the sign of the apocalypse.

    43. Corey
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:26 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Stanton has already said he won’t sign longterm in Miami. Even if he did, that doesn’t handicap him from coming over.

      Harper is a Boras dream. He will get the biggest contract in history when he’s up for free agency. (I think Trout will get extended).

      Price will get traded beforehand so at that point it’d make too much sense to go to free agency.

    44. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:28 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      As said before, the signing of Soriano was a waste of money.
      @ Evan3457:
      As said before, money Mariano Rivera himself personally encouraged the Yankees front office to “waste,” money without which this team would not have gotten to an A.L.C.S. in 2012. But there’s nothing wrong with spending $175 million a pitcher whose never thrown an inning in the Major Leagues, right?

      Would it be a better move if the Dodgers or Cubs had won the bidding, and spent $155 million, or $125 million, for a pitcher who’s never thrown an inning in the major leagues?

      See, that’s the problem with making that argument right there. Other teams, including teams whose player personnel departments you respect, are right there with the Yankees. Maybe not in offering the 7th year, but at something like 80-90% of the cost per year. And because the Yanks are still the team with the most money, and can afford to lose more, the difference is one of degree, not of kind.

      You have no choice, really. If Tanaka fails, you either concede those other teams were just as stupid for valuing him so highly, or expose your thought process, yet again, as total hindsight.

    45. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:33 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Because it’s stupid, and it took a freak shagging flies accident for it to appear to have “worked”.
      How do you know? Were you privy to Rivera’s conversations with Cashman and Levine about what might have been issues with his health, or his intentions to retire?

      Sheer speculation. Since Mariano was going to retire no sooner than after 2012, they were paying over $20 million for a set-up man who didn’t really want to be a set-up man. Mariano’s injury allowed him to reclaim his value as a closer, and he left.

      The move is stupid strategically, regardless of the tactics at the time. The Yanks can afford that sort of move far better than any other team. But if they’re at all serious about ever reaching the $189 million payroll limit, they’re not going to do it again, even if they find a primary closer worth $10 million or more.

    46. Corey
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:36 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      you either concede those other teams were just as stupid for valuing him so highly

      I don’t get why this can’t be the answer.

    47. Kamieniecki
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:41 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      … And because the Yanks are still the team with the most money, and can afford to lose more, the difference is one of degree, not of kind.

      It’s OK to spend $175 million of the money “the Yanks can afford to lose” on a no. 3 starter, but it wasn’t OK to spend $35 million on a reliever, behind a 41 year old closer, a few years ago – spending that $35 million that “the Yanks could afford to lose” was “stupid?” OK. Got it.

    48. Kamieniecki
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:52 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Would it be a better move if the Dodgers or Cubs had won the bidding, and spent $155 million, or $125 million, for a pitcher who’s never thrown an inning in the major leagues?

      The best move would have been to put the team in a position in which it did not have to risk $175 million on a pitcher who had never thrown a Major League pitch – a position the Dodgers are in.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      If Tanaka fails, you either concede those other teams were just as stupid for valuing him so highly, or expose your thought process, yet again, as total hindsight.

      No. If Tanaka fails, it’s more of “well, it was the right move at the time,” or “well, other teams wanted Tanaka too,” which are the same b.s arguments with Igawa and Pavano – “well, other teams bid on Igawa, too..” or “well, other teams were interested in Pavano, too…” This team has just committed $175 mil. to a pitcher a lot of its fanbase apparently believes will be another Yu Darvish, and he will not be another Darvish.

    49. Kamieniecki
      January 22nd, 2014 | 3:53 pm

      Corey wrote:

      I don’t get why this can’t be the answer.

      That’s because it’s nonsense.

    50. McMillan
      January 22nd, 2014 | 4:08 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Since Mariano was going to retire no sooner than after 2012, they were paying over $20 million for a set-up man who didn’t really want to be a set-up man.

      “…Soriano [will] give the Yankees extra insurance on days when they might want to rest Rivera… And with New York’s rotation still somewhat uncertain – Pettitte isn’t sure if he’ll return for another season… Soriano would help add length and depth to a bullpen that might need to pitch extra innings for shaky starters…”

      When has a Brian Cashman rotation NOT been, at least, “somewhat uncertain?”

    51. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 4:22 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      you either concede those other teams were just as stupid for valuing him so highly
      I don’t get why this can’t be the answer.

      For you or me, it could be the answer.
      But not for Sybil, because it undermines his whole thesis, that Cashman, and only Cashman, is an idiot.

    52. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 4:27 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      … And because the Yanks are still the team with the most money, and can afford to lose more, the difference is one of degree, not of kind.
      It’s OK to spend $175 million of the money “the Yanks can afford to lose” on a no. 3 starter, but it wasn’t OK to spend $35 million on a reliever, behind a 41 year old closer, a few years ago – spending that $35 million that “the Yanks could afford to lose” was “stupid?” OK. Got it.

      1. Assumes Tanaka is a #3.
      2. A second $10 million closer is not a need, is NEVER a need. A team’s #2 or #3 starter is a need, especially when a team has one. That’s the difference. Teams need #2 or #3 starters. They don’t need second $10 million closers. Now, you can argue that the Yanks overpaid for Tanaka, maybe by a lot. But the situations are completely different, not comparable at all. It’s like saying the Yanks needed a second $15 million second baseman to back up Cano.
      3. The reason why a second $10 million closer is never a need is that about 1/3 to 1/2 of closers go down every year with injury, or lose their job through poor performance. The Cards changed closers this year, multiple times. Still got to the World Series. The Red Sox won the World Series with their 3rd closer of the season. The Giants changed closers mid-year in 2012, still won it all. There’s simply better things to spend the money. It’s never necessary to buy $10+ million backup closer.

    53. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 4:33 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Would it be a better move if the Dodgers or Cubs had won the bidding, and spent $155 million, or $125 million, for a pitcher who’s never thrown an inning in the major leagues?
      The best move would have been to put the team in a position in which it did not have to risk $175 million on a pitcher who had never thrown a Major League pitch – a position the Dodgers are in.

      True. Also not a realistic option at this time. And the Dodgers did bid over $100 million for Tanaka, despite not being in that position. Proves my point, again. Thanks.

      No. If Tanaka fails, it’s more of “well, it was the right move at the time,” or “well, other teams wanted Tanaka too,” which are the same b.s

      Nothing b.s. about it. Nothing. The b.s. is on your side. All of it.

      arguments with Igawa and Pavano – “well, other teams bid on Igawa, too..” or “well, other teams were interested in Pavano, too…”

      And the argument was valid then, and it’s valid now.

      This team has just committed $175 mil. to a pitcher a lot of its fanbase apparently believes will be another Yu Darvish, and he will not be another Darvish.

      I don’t think he’ll be another Darvish. I do think he can be a 25-year old Kuroda. That’s OK with me. And the reason why they had to spend $60 million more for Tanaka than the Rangers did for Darvish, was that MLB thought it was OK for the Rangers to get Darvish, and OK for the Dodgers to get Puig, and so on, but when the Yanks all but made a formal announcement that they wanted Tanaka, then, all of a sudden, the posting system for NPB players had to be changed to “make things more fair”.

    54. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 4:38 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Since Mariano was going to retire no sooner than after 2012, they were paying over $20 million for a set-up man who didn’t really want to be a set-up man.
      “…Soriano [will] give the Yankees extra insurance on days when they might want to rest Rivera… And with New York’s rotation still somewhat uncertain – Pettitte isn’t sure if he’ll return for another season… Soriano would help add length and depth to a bullpen that might need to pitch extra innings for shaky starters…”
      When has a Brian Cashman rotation NOT been, at least, “somewhat uncertain?”

      The entire 5 man rotation, down to the #5 guy? Never. Just like the 1995 Yankees. And the 1996 Yankees, who added Kenny Rogers and Dwight Gooden to Key, Cone and Pettitte. And the 1997 Yankees, which was the same 5 starters. In 1998 they added Wells, Irabu and El Duque, at least two of which were uncertain.

      After that, it’s the same GM as the current one.

    55. Mr. October
      January 22nd, 2014 | 4:38 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      What are the dollars/years where you would have drawn the line and let this free agent go to another team?

      Two months ago, the talk was generally around $120M – and that was with the $20M posting fee. The Dodgers drew the line, and let this free agent go to another team, and they have more money than the Yankees.

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      If the one resource and advantage the Yankees have is money…

      It isn’t the minor league system or the intellectual talent in the front office.

    56. Mr. October
      January 22nd, 2014 | 4:39 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Since Mariano was going to retire no sooner than after 2012, they were paying over $20 million for a set-up man who didn’t really want to be a set-up man.

      Soriano was a FA.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But if they’re at all serious about ever reaching the $189 million payroll limit…

      When is going to become obvious they can’t get to $189 and have the appearance of a contending team?

    57. McMillan
      January 22nd, 2014 | 4:45 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Cashman, and only Cashman, is an idiot.

      Bingo. And he did Meanwell.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      The entire 5 man rotation, down to the #5 guy?

      No. The nos. 1-3 starters. When has there ever been stability in the front end of a Brian McGuire Cashman “championship-caliber” starting rotation? Like this one – the one with a no. 1 starter earning more than $22 mil./yr. who has never thrown a single pitch in the Majors?

    58. Kamieniecki
      January 22nd, 2014 | 4:53 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And the Dodgers did bid over $100 million for Tanaka, despite not being in that position.

      @ Evan3457:
      $175 million for a 12-12, or 12-13, pitcher with an E.R.A. of 3.94? That’s what you get for Kei Tanaka, when you average the numbers of Sabathia, Kuroda, and Pettitte from last year:

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Well, I’m weighing the ERA, starts and decisions of their #2, #3, and #4 starters from last year in that:

      Burnett 13-9, 4.04
      Pettitte, 14-8, 4.16
      Chamberlain, 9-6 4.75

      If Vazquez starts 34 games [in 2010], he can reasonably expect somewhere between 23-25 decisions, and taking the average of those ERA and WPCT above, that means something like 14-9 and 15-10 for an ERA of 4.33.

      http://waswatching.com/2010/03/30/the-javier-vazquez-question/

      Brilliant.

    59. January 22nd, 2014 | 5:12 pm

      “The Masahiro Tanaka seven year, $155M deal with the Yankees isn’t stunning in terms of the team that signed him, but the deal caused one general manager to say, ‘I am flabbergasted by the structure of the deal.’” – Peter Gammons

    60. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 5:32 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Since Mariano was going to retire no sooner than after 2012, they were paying over $20 million for a set-up man who didn’t really want to be a set-up man.
      Soriano was a FA.

      That’s right. Which is why he cost so much.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      But if they’re at all serious about ever reaching the $189 million payroll limit…
      When is going to become obvious they can’t get to $189 and have the appearance of a contending team?

      They don’t ever concede a season. So they’ll be riding this treadmill for a long time to come.

    61. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 5:34 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Cashman, and only Cashman, is an idiot.
      Bingo. And he did Meanwell.

      Oh, he’s not the only idiot.

      The entire 5 man rotation, down to the #5 guy?
      No. The nos. 1-3 starters. When has there ever been stability in the front end of a Brian McGuire Cashman “championship-caliber” starting rotation? Like this one – the one with a no. 1 starter earning more than $22 mil./yr. who has never thrown a single pitch in the Majors?

      The front three from 2009-2011 was Sabathia, Pettitte and Burnett. Tanaka is not the Yankees #1 starter. And he’s not supposed to be.

    62. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 5:35 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      And the Dodgers did bid over $100 million for Tanaka, despite not being in that position.
      @ Evan3457:
      $175 million for a 12-12, or 12-13, pitcher with an E.R.A. of 3.94? That’s what you get for Kei Tanaka, when you average the numbers of Sabathia, Kuroda, and Pettitte from last year:

      Translation: Sybil has no real counterargument. We know, Sybil; we know.
      Evan3457 wrote:
      Well, I’m weighing the ERA, starts and decisions of their #2, #3, and #4 starters from last year in that:
      Burnett 13-9, 4.04
      Pettitte, 14-8, 4.16
      Chamberlain, 9-6 4.75
      If Vazquez starts 34 games [in 2010], he can reasonably expect somewhere between 23-25 decisions, and taking the average of those ERA and WPCT above, that means something like 14-9 and 15-10 for an ERA of 4.33.
      http://waswatching.com/2010/03/30/the-javier-vazquez-question/
      Brilliant.

      A better projection of the 8 (or is it 10 now? I forget…) projections for Vazquez’ 2010 season that I have posted in various threads. In some cases, much better.

      But keep using it in lieu of actual argument. We know why.

    63. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 5:36 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      “The Masahiro Tanaka seven year, $155M deal with the Yankees isn’t stunning in terms of the team that signed him, but the deal caused one general manager to say, ‘I am flabbergasted by the structure of the deal.’” – Peter Gammons

      Yep, it’s probably an overpay. Possibly by a significant amount. That happens with free agents.

    64. January 22nd, 2014 | 6:33 pm

      Well, it’s got Cashman’s stamp:

      Needless to say, it’s a sizable committment, and one that the Yankees made after years of homework. According to Cashman:

      “We started evaluating him back in 2007, certainly paying close attention to him in the ’09 [World Baseball Classic]. This year we went to 15 of his games including the WBC and we sent a scout to evaluate him in the playoffs as well. We made a determined effort to know as much as we possibly could.”

    65. January 22nd, 2014 | 6:46 pm

      Tanaka agreed to a four-year, $88-million deal with the Yankees that could max out at seven years and $154 million — if Tanaka exercises all the options.

      The Yankees won his services by blowing everyone else out of the water with cash.

      Some expected Tanaka to make something like 5/100, maybe 6/120.

      At $154 million, it’s the fifth-largest deal in baseball history for a pitcher, and the tenth-highest AAV on a multi-year deal for a pitcher, all for someone who has never pitched in the majors and who has to make the same adjustments that Japanese starting pitchers have occasionally struggled with in coming across the Pacific.

    66. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 7:02 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Tanaka agreed to a four-year, $88-million deal with the Yankees that could max out at seven years and $154 million — if Tanaka exercises all the options.
      The Yankees won his services by blowing everyone else out of the water with cash.

      Rumors vary. There have been two rumors involving the Cubs that they offered $150 million for 7 years, or $200 million for 8 years. Both rumors have been opposed by other rumors.

      Some expected Tanaka to make something like 5/100, maybe 6/120.
      At $154 million, it’s the fifth-largest deal in baseball history for a pitcher, and the tenth-highest AAV on a multi-year deal for a pitcher, all for someone who has never pitched in the majors and who has to make the same adjustments that Japanese starting pitchers have occasionally struggled with in coming across the Pacific.

      5 for 100 and 6 for 120 are $20 million a year. Yanks signed him for 21.14 million a year, and for an extra year.

    67. Evan3457
      January 22nd, 2014 | 7:02 pm

      $22.14 million a year.

    68. Greg H.
      January 22nd, 2014 | 7:39 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Greg H. wrote:

      What are the dollars/years where you would have drawn the line and let this free agent go to another team?

      Two months ago, the talk was generally around $120M – and that was with the $20M posting fee. The Dodgers drew the line, and let this free agent go to another team, and they have more money than the Yankees.

      You never answered the question. And we don’t know what the offers were the past week instead of two months ago. The Dodgers also have more starting pitching than the Yanks. It’s possible (probable)they just hung around to see if they could get a sweetheart deal because Mai-chan wanted to be in Hollywood.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if the Cubs put a big offer out there, though, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Yanks overpaid by a year. I’m okay with it and glad to have him on the team. Same dollars and years as they would have given Cano, and a better risk if you ask me.

    69. KPOcala
      January 22nd, 2014 | 8:07 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Greg H. wrote:
      @ KPOcala:
      LOL. The guy went 24-0 last year. He doesn’t suck.
      Japanese baseball is like AAA, at the best.
      Godzilla used to hit 50+ HR a season there. He didn’t do that here. Shoot, some DR-born MLB-cast-off hit 60+ HR in Japan this past season.

      Steve, that may be all the more reason that Tanaka will be the real deal. If guys are putting up big numbers in those ballparks, then doesn’t that make Tanaka all that more impressive?

    70. KPOcala
      January 22nd, 2014 | 8:18 pm

      @ Corey: Paying big money for pitchers never looks smart. Until the contract is over. Kershaw could throw one inning for the rest of his career, and it’s sadly happened way too many times to pitchers. But you have to pick you poison, and who is going to drop into the Yankees lap? Hell, I remember when The Unit went a few years with naysayers predicting he’d never pull it together. Damn few pitchers that have ever been drafted went 15-20 years as an above average pitcher, and one of ours just retired. And it’s a shame that Yankee fans (for the most part), will never understand how great the Lefty was. The same with Posada, always over-looked, until he was gone.

    71. McMillan
      January 22nd, 2014 | 8:42 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The front three from 2009-2011 was Sabathia, Pettitte and Burnett.

      @ Evan3457:
      That was my point, you idiot: first: Burnett was NOT the third-best starter on the team in 2010; second: Pettitte was NOT even on the team in 2011; and third: Cashman was sending Burnett, with tens-of-millions of dollars, to Pittsburgh in 2012.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Tanaka is not the Yankees #1 starter.

      On this team, he might very well be the best starter – on this team.

    72. Mr. October
      January 22nd, 2014 | 8:44 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      … they were paying over $20 million for a set-up man who didn’t really want to be a set-up man…
      That’s right. Which is why he cost so much.

      If Rafael Soriano “didn’t really want to be a set-up man,” then why did he sign a contract, as a FA, to “be a set-up man?”

      Greg H. wrote:

      The Dodgers also have more starting pitching than the Yanks.

      Every legitimate team in post-season contention, or with a payroll of $100M, has more starting pitching than the Yanks. So what?

    73. McMillan
      January 22nd, 2014 | 9:24 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I do think he can be a 25-year old Kuroda.

      Team Cashman now has two Hiroki Kurodas: a 39-year old Hiroki Kuroda, and a $175 million Hiroki Kuroda.

      “‘… This is an exclamation point that’s been made today that our work was not complete or finished in terms of trying to put in a team that people could at least talk about having a shot to take a run at qualifying for the playoffs and playing into October,’ Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said…”

      LOL. What more could people ask for with more than $2 billion spent from 2005-2013, another $490 million spent in the 2013-14 offseason, and with one A.L. pennant won since 2005?

    74. McMillan
      January 22nd, 2014 | 9:35 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      $22.14 million a year.

      $25 million a year, with the posting fee, for someone who’s never thrown a pitch in the U.S. But a $10 million a year insurance policy for $220 million teams, in the form of an accomplished veteran presence in a bullpen with a thinned and uncertain rotation, and a 41 year old closer contemplating retirement, was “stupid.” An insurance policy that just happened to pay off and save the 2012 season also…

    75. OldYanksFan
      January 22nd, 2014 | 11:10 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      Hey Steve…. do you EVER say ANYTHING good about the Yankees?
      I guarantee that if they didn’t get Tanaka, you would be the first one pissing and moaning about how the Yankees didn’t try hard enough… just care about money… George is rolling over in his grave… yada yada yada.

      Over his career, Tanaka has averaged 188 IP/yr, with an average over 200 IP over his last 3 years. Games isn’t as important as IP.

    76. OldYanksFan
      January 22nd, 2014 | 11:13 pm

      Wow… people here are actually complaining about this deal? Bummed that the Yankees spent too much money? Pissed that now with Tanaka we may have a decent shot at the PS?

      Man.. you all have a serious case of Lombardi-itis.

    77. January 22nd, 2014 | 11:44 pm

      KPOcala wrote:

      Steve, that may be all the more reason that Tanaka will be the real deal. If guys are putting up big numbers in those ballparks, then doesn’t that make Tanaka all that more impressive?

      Not really. Think of it as AAA. Some guys are monsters in AAA. But, that’s because the league on the whole is not great. Like Phil Hughes was a stud in the minors. Ditto guys like Greg Brock and Phil Plantier.

    78. KPOcala
      January 22nd, 2014 | 11:46 pm

      @ OldYanksFan:Dude, that was one funny as hell, spot on remark! And throwing Vince into was the frosting! LOL! ;)

    79. KPOcala
      January 22nd, 2014 | 11:52 pm

      Everyone here has to admit one thing. Secretly you’re excited as hell about today, because yesterday seemed like 1990, or 1973. And if this fellow stays healthy, and pitches like a top of the rotation pitcher that he should, the Yankees will snap up every top free agent over the next five years. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull off a few more deals of different types. The reason is that they are now at the point where a few more wins mean a hell of a lot more revenue/fan interest/chance of play-offs, than it did yesterday. Make no mistake, this was a huge morale boost for the club, team, and fans. Let’s not worry about Dice-K, or Irabu, or anyone else, because you can play the same game with every pitcher from anyplace on earth. Sometimes an Ace is really an Ace, and sometimes the fool is in the gold.

    80. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2014 | 12:45 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      The front three from 2009-2011 was Sabathia, Pettitte and Burnett.
      @ Evan3457:
      That was my point, you idiot: first: Burnett was NOT the third-best starter on the team in 2010; second: Pettitte was NOT even on the team in 2011; and third: Cashman was sending Burnett, with tens-of-millions of dollars, to Pittsburgh in 2012.

      Then your point about 2010 is meaningless because Burnett opened the 2010 season as the #3 starter, and you were talking about stability in the rotation, from one season to the next.

      Pettitte wasn’t on the team in 2011, that’s true. He was back on the team in 2012 and 2013. With Sabathia.

      If you check the Yankees rotation from 1991-1997, you won’t find much stability there, either. You’ll find some back-to-back years where they had two starters who started 25 games for the Yankees in each year, but not three starters. You also won’t find three starters who made 25 starts in back to back seasons until you get to 1997-1998.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Tanaka is not the Yankees #1 starter.
      On this team, he might very well be the best starter – on this team.

      He might be. Probably won’t be, but he might be.

    81. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2014 | 12:53 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      … they were paying over $20 million for a set-up man who didn’t really want to be a set-up man…
      That’s right. Which is why he cost so much.
      If Rafael Soriano “didn’t really want to be a set-up man,” then why did he sign a contract, as a FA, to “be a set-up man?”

      Obviously because the Yankees offered him more money than any other offer he had to be a closer. Probably much more.

      Greg H. wrote:
      The Dodgers also have more starting pitching than the Yanks.
      Every legitimate team in post-season contention, or with a payroll of $100M, has more starting pitching than the Yanks. So what?

      The Indians, Royals, Blue Jays and Angels don’t.

    82. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2014 | 1:02 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      $22.14 million a year.
      $25 million a year, with the posting fee, for someone who’s never thrown a pitch in the U.S.

      Then the teams that offered $100 million for 5 or $120 for 6 would’ve paid $24 million a year. For someone who’s never thrown a pitch in the U.S. Can’t tack the extra $20 million onto just the Yankees offer.

      But a $10 million a year insurance policy for $220 million teams, in the form of an accomplished veteran presence in a bullpen with a thinned and uncertain rotation, and a 41 year old closer contemplating retirement, was “stupid.” An insurance policy that just happened to pay off and save the 2012 season also…

      It’s stupid no matter how you justify it, and the Yanks never did it before, and they haven’t done it since. Even when they signed Gordon to back up Mo, he made less than half of what Mo made. When they repeated the error with Farnsworth, he made a little over half of what Mo made. Gordon failed in the postseason, Farnsworth’s failures were scattered throughout the regular season; so much so that he never pitched in the post-season when the game was within 3 runs. Then they stopped signing high-priced set-up men. And rightly so.

    83. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2014 | 1:16 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      KPOcala wrote:
      Steve, that may be all the more reason that Tanaka will be the real deal. If guys are putting up big numbers in those ballparks, then doesn’t that make Tanaka all that more impressive?
      Not really. Think of it as AAA. Some guys are monsters in AAA. But, that’s because the league on the whole is not great. Like Phil Hughes was a stud in the minors. Ditto guys like Greg Brock and Phil Plantier.

      Yeah, sometimes guys who dominate AAA fail at the big league level. Scott Ruffcorn comes to mind as an excellent example of this.

      Now, how many pitchers had a 24-0 record in AAA with a 1.27 ERA, a K/BB ratio of nearly 6:1 (which was the worst ratio in 3 years; in 2011 and 2012 his K/BB ratio was nearly 9:1). I don’t think you’ll find too many. Even if you completely write off the 24-0 record, the ERA of 1.27, the ratio of 0.94, the K/BB ratio of 6:1…I don’t think you find too many pitchers in AAA with those numbers in the same season.

      It was his second ERA of 1.27 in 3 years. Over 200 innings both times. Triple the ERA, and it’s still good for 25th in the league last year, probably a little higher on the ERA+ list. Not worth $22.1 million a year? Probably not. At current $/WAR rates, he needs to be about 4 WAR. That ERA is about Chris Tillman level, and he had 4.4 bWAR and 2.0 fWAR.

      Also, I tend to agree with this assessment, from a reporter who covers NPB full time:

      Says (Jim) Allen, “I wouldn’t be surprised if his first season is a serious disappointment because of the adjustments he has to make, but because he’ll find a way to fix things, in his second season I think he’ll be a monster.”

      Allen also said this:

      I think he’s a better pitcher than Darvish…he’s the best pitcher that’s been in Japan, not in terms of stuff — there were other pitchers who were probably as good — but in terms of athleticism, physical build, and mental makeup, there’s never been such a complete package.

      Others disagree. I don’t think he’ll be as good as Darvish. Darvish is a true #1. Tanaka looks like a #2 in the scouting reports. Some compare him to a pre-injury Dan Haren, which seems reasonable to me. He was also heavily worked last season. So I also expect a “disappointing” year, which in this case would be an ERA between 3.60 and 4.00, roughly 3 WAR.

      Then if he doesn’t injure himself trying to impress, we’ll see if Allen is right.

    84. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2014 | 2:04 am

      Some scattered details and reports:

      Keith Law via MLBTR:

      Law feels that Tanaka will be one of the 20 to 25 best starters in Major League Baseball in 2014 and notes that the opt-out clause works to the Yankees’ advantage, in a way.

      Not sure how the opt out works to the Yanks’ advantage. MLBTR doesn’t say.

      Jon Heyman:

      “Better than Yu Darvish,” one N.L. GM not involved in the derby opined…All the teams in the second round of bidding, which appears to have included the Dodgers, both Chicago teams, the Diamondbacks and others (quite possibly the Astros and more), were told they had to be at least at $120 million for six years, according to sources. So there were plenty of teams willing to bid heavy on this pitcher who’s said by scouts to have the kind of poise you can’t teach (that might explain the crazy lifetime 99-35 record), though there’s at least a belief among most of the competitors that the Yankees were the easy high bidder now.

      I don’t think he’s better than Darvish, but we can always hope.

      Brian McTaggart at MLB.com:

      Luhnow wouldn’t say how much the Astros offered Tanaka, but a source told MLB.com it was more than $100 million.

    85. OldYanksFan
      January 23rd, 2014 | 2:33 am

      “Now, how many pitchers had a 24-0 record in AAA with a 1.27 ERA, a K/BB ratio of nearly 6:1″

      Well… this guy had a 2 year MiLB average ERA of 1.59 and a K/BB of 6.
      So Pitching in AAA can’t be that tough.
      But this guy ain’t in AAA anymore.
      He’s pitching for the Nationals.

    86. Kamieniecki
      January 23rd, 2014 | 2:17 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      … you either concede those other teams were just as stupid for valuing him so highly…

      Corey wrote:

      I don’t get why this can’t be the answer.

      Logic 101

      Rule: “The Kei Igawa Rule.” If 2 or more teams, out of 30, bid on an int’l free agent, then the decision to sign that free agent can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism, in all circumstances.

      Application:
      Arizona dropped out of the bidding for Tanaka, so there were only 4 teams bidding in the end…

      26 teams did not bid on Tanaka, but the decision to spend $175 million on him can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism, in the future even if Team Cashman claimed to have scouted him for six years in 2014, because three other teams in the largest U.S. markets (Chicago, L.A., and N.Y.) bid $100 million or more on him; or

      28 teams did not bid on Igawa, but the decision to spend $46 million on a 5′ 10″ finesse pitcher from Japan can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism, even if that pitcher did not have the talent to pitch at the Major League level, because at least one other team posted a bid on him in 2006.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      … And the argument was valid then, and it’s valid now.

      Rule: “The Carl Pavano Rule.” If 2 or more teams, out of 30, express an interest in signing a free agent, or make an offer to the free agent, then a decision to sign that free agent can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism, in all circumstances, and the teams’ independent judgments of the free agent must have been the same”.

      Application:
      Detroit expressed an interest in signing Pavano, or made an offer to Pavano, therefore Team Cashman’s decision to sign a pitcher with Pavano’s background for $39.95 million can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      … Because if they offer contracts of similar (or even greater money and equal length) it means they judged Pavano the same way…

      Atlanta expressed an interest in signing Burnett, or made an offer to Burnett, therefore Team Cashman’s decision to sign the head case for $82.5 million can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      … That’s funny, because the Braves bid $16 million a year for 4 years for the same guy.

      Rule: “The Game 2 Rule.” If a pitcher wins a postseason game, and his team wins a world championship in the same postseason, then a decision to sign that pitcher can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism, in all circumstances.

      Application:
      Burnett won Game 2 of the 2009 World Series pitching for New York, and New York won the 2009 World Series, therefore Team Cashman’s decision to sign the head case for $82.5 million in 2008-09 can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism, even if the head case had a 5.26 E.R.A. for the 2009 postseason, and had only one good season with the team and was sent to pitch in small-market Pittsburgh with $20 million of his salary picked up by Team Cashman in 2012, because New York won a World Series that did not go to an elimination game.

      Rule: The “Kevin Brown Rule,” or the “You Can’t Have Both Rule.” If a trade for a player is criticized, then a subsequent trade involving the same player can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism.

      Application:
      Cashman was criticized for trading Lilly for Weaver, therefore Cashman can not be criticized for trading Lilly for Weaver (see “The Ted Lilly Rule”) or for trading Weaver for Brown.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      … you can’t have both.

      Rule: “The Ted Lilly Rule.” If a player is traded to a team for lesser value in Trade 1, and the same player is subsequently traded in Trade 2, then the G.M. who traded the player in Trade 1 can not be criticized because a second G.M. traded the same player two years later.

      Application:
      Cashman traded Lilly to Oakland for Weaver, and Oakland traded Lilly to Toronto two years later, therefore Cashman can not be criticized for trading Lilly for Weaver, because Beane also traded Lilly, two years later, to Toronto.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      My relevant issue is that the judgement (sic) to trade Lilly was not necessarily a mistake, because two other well-regarded GMs made the same mistake.

    87. McMillan
      January 23rd, 2014 | 3:25 pm

      “… The Yankees won the bidding for Tanaka… with the Dodgers also-rans for a fascinating reason: They’re not convinced Tanaka is all that.

      ‘We’ll look back in a few years and see whose scouting reports were more accurate,’ said a person familiar with the Dodgers’ thinking… The Yankees spent $175 million on Tanaka… The complete list of pitchers to sign for more: Clayton Kershaw, last week by the Dodgers, and Justin Verlander.”

      My money is on the accuracy of Dodgers’ scouting reports, and Kershaw and Verlander winning multiple pennants, without Tanaka winning one before he opts out of The Bronx in four years – if he’s not pitching for the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Rail Riders.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      If you check the Yankees rotation from 1991-1997

      1991? 1992? 1993? A disingenuous post, but I’ll reply anyway…

      The 1996-1999 rotation had stability, and would have had more stability if an unnecessary trade for Clemens hadn’t been made, and if Randy Johnson had been offered and signed to an extension once Seattle agreed to trade Johnson to the Yankees in Jul., 1998 for only Lowell and Irabu. And the 1996-99 teams won three A.L. pennants.

      The 1996 world championship team’s payroll was only $5 mil. more than Atlanta and Baltimore, the 1998 world championship team’s payroll was less than Baltimore’s, and the 1999 team’s payroll was only $10 million more than Texas or Atlanta.

      The financial resources have been there from 2005-13 to have stabile championship rotations, and those resources have been squandered, to the point that the team is spending $175 million for a pitcher that’s never thrown a pitch in the Majors, just to get back to being eliminated in an A.L.D.S. in 2014.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      … “Better than Yu Darvish,” one N.L. GM not involved in the derby opined…

      Brian Cashman is also a “GM,” and also taken seriously, by some, occasionally.

    88. Mr. October
      January 23rd, 2014 | 4:31 pm

      OldYanksFan wrote:

      Wow… people here are actually complaining about this deal?

      At least, if Tanaka fails, people can’t say, “Where were all of you with all of your concerns” about a fourth albatross contract for $175M when he was signed in 2014? He’s probably a #3 on a lot of teams – a #3 at the cost of a JV. Or worse.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      A second $10 million closer is not a need, is NEVER a need. A team’s #2 or #3 starter is a need, especially when a team has one. That’s the difference. Teams need #2 or #3 starters.

      Straw man argument.

      A $10 million relief pitcher with closing experience is SOMETIMES a NEED if there’s a threat to a season or a closer might retire in 2 years, and SOMETIMES a great OPPORTUNITY. And the Yanks had #2 and #3 starters – Kuroda and Nova. There’s NO difference.

    89. Greg H.
      January 23rd, 2014 | 6:46 pm

      OldYanksFan wrote:

      Wow… people here are actually complaining about this deal? Bummed that the Yankees spent too much money?

      Not me. I’m very happy with the move, and happy we let Cano walk away to Seattle. I think we got his best years. Ellsbury I think will do well for the Yanks and Beltran I’m not sure. I like the McCann signing. Much improvement over last year so far.

    90. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2014 | 7:19 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Rule: “The Kei Igawa Rule.” If 2 or more teams, out of 30, bid on an int’l free agent, then the decision to sign that free agent can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism, in all circumstances.

      Never said that. Another straw man. Never applied it to Kei Igawa, either. Said there were media reports that other teams regarded him as a #4 or #5 starter.

      Application:
      Arizona dropped out of the bidding for Tanaka, so there were only 4 teams bidding in the end…

      Does not have ANY connection to your straw man #1 above. Thanks for lying about it.

      26 teams did not bid on Tanaka

      Irrelevant, because
      1) Not all teams have the same needs and the same money available to address those needs at the same time.
      2) Four strong bidders is more than enough to drive the market price on a player (or anything else that’s open to auction) way beyond what the original assessment of that player (or item) thought the market value was.
      That’s Capitalism 101. Or Free Market 101. If demand exceeds supply, the price goes up. Duh.

      but the decision to spend $175 million on him can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism, in the future even if Team Cashman claimed to have scouted him for six years in 2014, because three other teams in the largest U.S. markets (Chicago, L.A., and N.Y.) bid $100 million or more on him

      Well, yeah, if you don’t want to sound like a total fool. Never your goal, of course.

      28 teams did not bid on Igawa, but the decision to spend $46 million on a 5′ 10″ finesse pitcher from Japan can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism

      1. Straw man #2. Never said that. But thanks for lying about it.
      2. Completely different bidding process (single bid, blind bid, player a captive of the team that wins the bid, with sole recourse to stay in Japan). Therefore, the two are not remotely related.

      even if that pitcher did not have the talent to pitch at the Major League level, because at least one other team posted a bid on him in 2006.

      And there, again, we don’t know what the other bid was, or what the other team thought Igawa was worth in annual salary had they won the blind bid.

      What we do know is that there are media reports that are contemporaneous with the Yankees’ winning the bid that said that multiple teams thought Igawa DID have sufficient talent to pitch in the major leagues as a #4 or #5 starter, and this is more relevant to the decision to bid for him and how much that the results of acquiring, because the results are not known at the time the bids are made.

      Rule: “The Carl Pavano Rule.” If 2 or more teams, out of 30, express an interest in signing a free agent, or make an offer to the free agent, then a decision to sign that free agent can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism, in all circumstances, and the teams’ independent judgments of the free agent must have been the same”.

      Straw man #3. Never said that. Thanks for lying about it.

      Application:
      Detroit expressed an interest in signing Pavano, or made an offer to Pavano, therefore Team Cashman’s decision to sign a pitcher with Pavano’s background for $39.95 million can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism.

      …and the reality was this:

      Pavano’s agent, Scott Shapiro, said Friday he has five satisfactory offers — from the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Orioles and Mariners. And it’s just a matter of where Pavano wants to go.

      “I could hear from him in an hour or it could take a week,” Shapiro said.

      The offers are four years between $40 million and $42 million from all but Detroit, which has offered a fifth year.

      A question? No problem.
      An objection? No problem.
      Better yet: try asking an intelligent question, or making an intelligent objection. But objecting the market value for a player as set by the actual market for that player is, oh, how can I put this? Stoo-pid.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      … Because if they offer contracts of similar (or even greater money and equal length) it means they judged Pavano the same way…
      Atlanta expressed an interest in signing Burnett, or made an offer to Burnett, therefore Team Cashman’s decision to sign the head case for $82.5 million can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism.

      Straw man #4. (Well, really, four different examples of the same straw man argument.) The Yanks topped the Braves offer by 1 year, and by $1.5 million or by $0.5 million per year, depending on which source you believe. Reason? Market value. Duh.

      Rule: “The Game 2 Rule.” If a pitcher wins a postseason game, and his team wins a world championship in the same postseason, then a decision to sign that pitcher can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism, in all circumstances.

      At last, a completely different straw man. Just as much a lie, but at least it’s different.

      Application:

      Burnett won Game 2 of the 2009 World Series pitching for New York

      …and pitched well in game 2 of the ALDS, and the ALCS, which the Yankees won in extra innings.

      and New York won the 2009 World Series, therefore Team Cashman’s decision to sign the head case for $82.5 million in 2008-09 can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism, even if the head case had a 5.26 E.R.A. for the 2009 postseason,

      While pitching three good games and two bad ones, and winning the single most important game of the post-season, the only time that post-season that the Yankees were behind in ANY of the three series they played.

      and had only one good season with the team and was sent to pitch in small-market Pittsburgh with $20 million of his salary picked up by Team Cashman in 2012

      Well, yes, if you’re trying to dump a player, you usually have to give the other team money to take him off your hands. You may think he’ll pitch well for that other team or you may not; you may believe he’ll pitch well for the other team or you may not. Both are irrelevant to his actual trade value at the time. If you’re trying to dump a player immediately, you have to make concession about the remaining money owed to the player under the contract. Just as the Cubs did with Alfonso Soriano.
      Again: market value, at the time.

      because New York won a World Series that did not go to an elimination game.

      The significance of “elimination game”? None. If you win a title without going to game 7 (or a game 5 in a division series), they still give you the Commissioner’s Trophy.

      Rule: The “Kevin Brown Rule,” or the “You Can’t Have Both Rule.” If a trade for a player is criticized, then a subsequent trade involving the same player can not be questioned, or subjected to criticism.

      OK, a 3rd straw man. Never said that, or anything like that. Thanks for lying about it, though.

      Cashman was criticized for trading Lilly for Weaver, therefore Cashman can not be criticized for trading Lilly for Weaver (see “The Ted Lilly Rule”) or for trading Weaver for Brown.

      That’s not what I said about the two trades in tandem, not even close. The Weaver for Brown trade, if anything, is another example of market value of player being dumped at drastically reduced value. Similar, but not the same as the Burnett trade.

      Rule: “The Ted Lilly Rule.” If a player is traded to a team for lesser value in Trade 1, and the same player is subsequently traded in Trade 2, then the G.M. who traded the player in Trade 1 can not be criticized because a second G.M. traded the same player two years later.

      A fourth strawman. But thanks for lying about it. Again.

      Cashman traded Lilly to Oakland for Weaver, and Oakland traded Lilly to Toronto two years later, therefore Cashman can not be criticized for trading Lilly for Weaver, because Beane also traded Lilly, two years later, to Toronto.

      Complete mistatement of the argument. Thanks for the distortion, though.

      My relevant issue is that the judgement (sic) to trade Lilly was not necessarily a mistake, because two other well-regarded GMs made the same mistake.

      Not merely that, but two other GMs who are regarded as excellent judges of talent (Beane and Dombrowski) traded Lilly away for less than what Lilly eventually turned out to be worth, after he reached with his 5th and 6th major league teams, the Jays and the Cubs.

      That’s the point. He passed through four major league teams, none of whom realized the value he’d eventually achieve. Singling out Cashman for this “blunder”, when it was also made by the Expos, the Tigers and the A’s is a shoddy argument, at best. And the Jays let him go free agent right before the best four-year period of his career, with three of the four best seasons of his career.

    91. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2014 | 7:49 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      “… The Yankees won the bidding for Tanaka… with the Dodgers also-rans for a fascinating reason: They’re not convinced Tanaka is all that.

      ‘We’ll look back in a few years and see whose scouting reports were more accurate,’ said a person familiar with the Dodgers’ thinking… The Yankees spent $175 million on Tanaka… The complete list of pitchers to sign for more: Clayton Kershaw, last week by the Dodgers, and Justin Verlander.”
      My money is on the accuracy of Dodgers’ scouting reports,

      Which is why they didn’t bid all the way up with the Yanks. Still bid 6 years, and still bid $120 million for him. $23.3 million a year for 6 years (counting posting fees) vs. $25 million a year for 7 years. Can’t be all that much difference in the scouting reports.

      and Kershaw and Verlander winning multiple pennants, without Tanaka winning one before he opts out of The Bronx in four years

      Maybe. The other half of maybe is maybe not. So far, the title count is: 0.

      – if he’s not pitching for the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Rail Riders.

      Are you willing to put your money on THAT?

      Evan3457 wrote:
      If you check the Yankees rotation from 1991-1997
      1991? 1992? 1993? A disingenuous post, but I’ll reply anyway…

      Nothing disingenuous about it.
      By 1993, the Yanks were already a good team. Had the Wild Card been in existence then, they’d have won it. They had the best record in the AL in 1994. They won the Wild Card in 1995. They won it all in 1996. They won the Wild Card in 1997.

      At no time in these five consecutive seasons did they have more than two pitchers make 25 or more starts for two consecutive seasons, nor did they have two starters make make 25 or more starts for more than two consecutive seasons. The history of the Yankees, under George Steinbrenner, is that even his pennant-winning and title winning teams had significant turnover in the rotation. The rotation in 1977 was very different than that of 1976, and the rotation of 1978 was very different than that of 1977. Tommy John and Ron Guidry were the only “consistent” starters in the period from 1980-1982.

      The 1996-1999 rotation had stability,
      </blockquote
      Relatively speaking, yes. Only one pitcher came from the organization, and one pitcher was traded for. El Duque was signed by George, really. Clemens was traded for by Cashman. Cone and Pettitte are before Cashman.

      and would have had more stability if an unnecessary trade for Clemens hadn’t been made

      An opinion. Nothing more.

      and if Randy Johnson had been offered and signed to an extension

      Assumes he would’ve stayed in New York. No evidence of that. He was unhappy during his time with the Yankees almost from the beginning.

      once Seattle agreed to trade Johnson to the Yankees in Jul., 1998 for only Lowell and Irabu.

      The source you quote says at least one more prospect.

      And the 1996-99 teams won three A.L. pennants.

      They certainly did, Ollie.

      The financial resources have been there from 2005-13 to have stabile championship rotations

      2005-2010, really, because they stopped signing big ticket free agents after 2010. There have been far fewer “salary dump” deals like the Cone deal in recent years because teams have had the money to re-sign their best pitchers in most cases.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      … “Better than Yu Darvish,” one N.L. GM not involved in the derby opined…
      Brian Cashman is also a “GM,” and also taken seriously, by some, occasionally.

      Evan3457 did not “wrote” that. Evan3457 quoted that. Evan3457 also said he disagrees with that assessment, and thinks the scouting reports on Tanaka look to him like that of a #2 starter.

    92. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2014 | 8:07 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      OldYanksFan wrote:
      Wow… people here are actually complaining about this deal?
      At least, if Tanaka fails, people can’t say, “Where were all of you with all of your concerns” about a fourth albatross contract for $175M when he was signed in 2014? He’s probably a #3 on a lot of teams – a #3 at the cost of a JV. Or worse.

      Call me disengenuous, Sybil?
      1. You’ve added in the posting fee, raising Tanaka average value to $25 million. By salary alone, the five year extension of Verlander’s deal is $28 million a year. Tanaka? 21.1 million That’s about 30% for Verlander, per year.
      2. Was Verlander a free agent when he signed his extension? Nope; he was two years from free agency.

      A $10 million relief pitcher with closing experience is SOMETIMES a NEED if there’s a threat to a season or a closer might retire in 2 years, and SOMETIMES a great OPPORTUNITY.

      It’s never necessary to sign a TEN MILLION DOLLAR BACKUP closer. Never. And to sign him 2 years in advance of when you MIGHT need him is absurd. As if there wouldn’t be any closers on the market the next year, or the year after. And to sign him at 31 years of age with two different major elbow surgeries in his past makes it doubly-absurd. And to accede to his demand for an opt-out in each of the first two years of the contract, thus allowing him to defeat the ostensible purpose in signing him, which is exactly what he did when he walked away from the Yankees after re-establishing his value in 2012, makes it triply-absurd

      And the Yanks had #2 and #3 starters – Kuroda and Nova. There’s NO difference.

      1. Says the six-headed troll who keeps saying the Yanks’ starting pitching isn’t anywhere good enough.
      2. If you sign a backup closer, and your closer doesn’t get hurt, or pitch his way out of the job, what you have is a $10 million set-up man. Even if you have good #2 and #3 starters (and I hope Kuroda and Nova will be as good this year as they were last year; there’s no guarantee of that), then, when you sign a BETTER #2 starter, the current #2 and #3 move to #3 and #4, the #4 moves to #5, and the #5 starter moves to the pen, or to the minors.

      Taking 30 or so starts from you current #5 starter (or starters) and giving them to a worthy #2 starter is a possibly an ENORMOUS difference, potentially worth anywhere from 3 to 6 WAR. In no way can having a $10 million set-up man be worth anywhere near that much.

    93. Mr. October
      January 23rd, 2014 | 10:05 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Taking 30 or so starts from you current #5 starter (or starters) and giving them to a worthy #2 starter is a possibly an ENORMOUS difference…

      @ Evan3457:
      Agreed.

      And postseason starts by legitimate, or most, #1 or #2 starting pitchers represents an ENORMOUS difference from postseason starts by pitchers who are #3, #4, or #5 starting pitchers – more than 1 ER per 9 IP in the AL postseason since 1995 – a period in which the NYY had the greatest closer of all time.

      The ERA for NYY postseason starters from 2004-07? 5.66. The postseason WPCT. for the NYY from 2004-07? .417. The postseason WPCT. for teams with lower starting pitching ERA in an AL postseason series since 1995? 83.75.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Prove to me that it’s the pitching, and not the hitting, which determines who wins [in the postseason].

      “… [From 1972 to 2005 there had been] twenty-seven teams that made the postseason in spite of having below-average offenses. Of these, seven won the World Series… All of these teams, with the exception of Minnesota in 1987, had excellent pitching staffs; it’s hard to make the playoffs with a below average offense unless you have an excellent pitching staff…

      Conversely, twenty teams have made the postseason with below average run prevention. None of them won the World Series, and only two… even played for the championship. Sixteen of the twenty lost the first playoff series in which they played.” – Perry, Dayn; Woolner, Keith (2006). Jonah Keri, ed. Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know about the Game Is Wrong. New York: Basic Books.

      Mr. October wrote:

      A $10 million relief pitcher with closing experience is SOMETIMES a NEED if there’s a threat to a season or a closer might retire in 2 years, and SOMETIMES a great OPPORTUNITY. And the Yanks had #2 and #3 starters – Kuroda and Nova. There’s NO difference.

      @ Mr. October:
      Agreed.

      Soriano wasn’t signed as a “backup closer;” he was signed to address: 1. an anticipated short-term NEED for help from the pen with a weakened rotation (and the Yankees still had $20MM to spend before reaching their payroll limit); and 2. a longer-term need if Rivera retired after the two-year deal expired…. It just happened that Soriano became the closer with a freak injury to Rivera in 2012 – thank God he was there.

    94. Mr. October
      January 23rd, 2014 | 10:18 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      1. You’ve added in the posting fee, raising Tanaka average value to $25 million.

      @ Mr. October:
      That’s what the average value comes to for Tanaka over 7 years: $25 million.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      … It’s never necessary to sign a TEN MILLION DOLLAR BACKUP closer. Never. And to sign him 2 years in advance of when you MIGHT need him is absurd. As if there wouldn’t be any closers on the market the next year, or the year after. And to sign him at 31 years of age with two different major elbow surgeries in his past makes it doubly-absurd. And to accede to his demand for an opt-out in each of the first two years of the contract, thus allowing him to defeat the ostensible purpose in signing him, which is exactly what he did when he walked away from the Yankees after re-establishing his value in 2012, makes it triply-absurd

      All of this is nonsense.
      @ Mr. October:

    95. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2014 | 11:36 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Agreed.
      And postseason starts by legitimate, or most, #1 or #2 starting pitchers represents an ENORMOUS difference from postseason starts by pitchers who are #3, #4, or #5 starting pitchers – more than 1 ER per 9 IP in the AL postseason since 1995 – a period in which the NYY had the greatest closer of all time.

      Unless somebody is hurt, or there is no difference between a team’s #3, #4, or #5 starters, or unless a team is sneaking a rookie up the rotation come playoff time, as the Phillies did with Bystrom in 1980, or the Cards did with Wacha, #5 starters don’t start in the playoffs.

      The ERA for NYY postseason starters from 2004-07? 5.66. The postseason WPCT. for the NYY from 2004-07? .417.

      This is individual games.

      The postseason WPCT. for teams with lower starting pitching ERA in an AL postseason series since 1995? 83.75.

      This, on the other hand, is series won. The postseason series WPCT for teams that score more runs is higher than 83.75% Scoring runs correlates slightly higher than ERA.

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Prove to me that it’s the pitching, and not the hitting, which determines who wins [in the postseason].
      “… [From 1972 to 2005 there had been] twenty-seven teams that made the postseason in spite of having below-average offenses. Of these, seven won the World Series… All of these teams, with the exception of Minnesota in 1987, had excellent pitching staffs; it’s hard to make the playoffs with a below average offense unless you have an excellent pitching staff…
      Conversely, twenty teams have made the postseason with below average run prevention. None of them won the World Series, and only two… even played for the championship. Sixteen of the twenty lost the first playoff series in which they played.” – Perry, Dayn; Woolner, Keith (2006). Jonah Keri, ed. Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know about the Game Is Wrong. New York: Basic Books.

      This has already been shown to be wrong. The 1987 Twins won the World Series despite being below the league average in run prevention. They were 10th in the AL in runs allowed per game; the league average was 4.90, they were at 4.98. They were 9th in ERA; the league average was 4.46, they were at 4.63. They were 99 in ERA. The that Perry and Woolner wrote this the Cards won it all despite below average run prevention.

      Once again, the average run prevention among title winners is exactly one ordinal better than run scoring. One ordinal, not three or five.

      Mr. October wrote:
      A $10 million relief pitcher with closing experience is SOMETIMES a NEED if there’s a threat to a season or a closer might retire in 2 years, and SOMETIMES a great OPPORTUNITY. And the Yanks had #2 and #3 starters – Kuroda and Nova. There’s NO difference.
      @ Mr. October:
      Agreed.

      I have to commend this; agreeing with yourself is much more honest and honorable when you do it under the same name, rather than making up five other personas to agree with you in an attempt to fabricate consensus.

      Soriano wasn’t signed as a “backup closer;” he was signed to address: 1. an anticipated short-term NEED for help from the pen with a weakened rotation (and the Yankees still had $20MM to spend before reaching their payroll limit); and 2. a longer-term need if Rivera retired after the two-year deal expired…. It just happened that Soriano became the closer with a freak injury to Rivera in 2012 – thank God he was there.

      1. It’s never necessary to spend $10 million a year for a setup reliever. The Yanks used to spend $3-6 million a year to do that job, and even that was an overpay.
      2. They had $20 million to spend under their payroll limit? Okey dokey, then; which is a more logical way to address the problem of a weakened rotation if you have that kind of cash floating around? Sign a free agent starter for that amount or less (or trade for an expensive, but still sound, starter making that amount or less), or sign a SET-UP man to pitch 1 inning a game, 2-3 times a week. The answer is obvious to all but you. And if you can’t find such a starter before the season, then why not spend $3-4 million for that set-up man, and use the remaining $16 million or so to trade for and pay a good starter during the season?
      3. Again, Mariano wasn’t retiring after 2011. The earliest he would’ve retired was after 2012, which means had the injury not happened, you’re paying $10 million+ a year for 2 years of so-so set up work. They could’ve signed a closer after 2012. Or waited one year and signed a backup after 2011, saving at least $5 million in the process. There was no need for this move.

      It was a senseless waste of money, and required a freak injury to be considered a success.

    96. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2014 | 11:38 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      1. You’ve added in the posting fee, raising Tanaka average value to $25 million.
      @ Mr. October:
      That’s what the average value comes to for Tanaka over 7 years: $25 million.

      No, the official average value for salary cap/luxury tax purposes is $21.14 million. And you still haven’t addressed the fact that Verlander was two years from free agency when he signed.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      … It’s never necessary to sign… makes it triply-absurd
      All of this is nonsense.
      @ Mr. October:

      No, all of it is valid, but thanks for conceding that you have no counter to it.

    97. McMillan
      January 24th, 2014 | 1:31 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The front three from 2009-2011 was Sabathia, Pettitte and Burnett…

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Pettitte wasn’t on the team in 2011…

      @ Evan3457:
      Make up your mind.

    98. Mr. October
      January 24th, 2014 | 3:21 pm

      Greg H. wrote:

      I’m very happy with the move, and happy we let Cano walk away to Seattle. I think we got his best years. Ellsbury I think will do well for the Yanks and Beltran I’m not sure. I like the McCann signing.

      I think the Dodgers, Red Sox, Mets, Braves, Cubs, and Orioles got the best years of Kuroda, Ellsbury, Beltran, McCann, Soriano, and Roberts, respectively.

    99. Evan3457
      January 24th, 2014 | 10:24 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Greg H. wrote:
      I’m very happy with the move, and happy we let Cano walk away to Seattle. I think we got his best years. Ellsbury I think will do well for the Yanks and Beltran I’m not sure. I like the McCann signing.
      I think the Dodgers, Red Sox, Mets, Braves, Cubs, and Orioles got the best years of Kuroda, Ellsbury, Beltran, McCann, Soriano, and Roberts, respectively.

      By WAR, Kuroda’s two best years in MLB were both with the Yankees; 5.5 WAR in 2012 and 4.1 WAR last year.

    100. Greg H.
      January 26th, 2014 | 12:38 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      Don’t think we did poorly on Soriano either. Roberts is a one year cheapie with possible upside, Beltran is bit risky given his age. I may be in the minority, but I think Ellsbury will be an ok value and McCann could potentially be very good. We’ll need to wait and see on those two.

    101. Raf
      January 26th, 2014 | 12:52 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Godzilla used to hit 50+ HR a season there.

      He hit 50 once, his last season in NPB.
      http://japaneseballplayers.com/en/player.php?id=matsui

      Steve L. wrote:

      Shoot, some DR-born MLB-cast-off hit 60+ HR in Japan this past season.

      FWIW, that was after a hopped up baseball was introduced to the league.
      http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2013/09/19/baseball/baseball-chief-kato-to-step-down-in-october/#.UuU8UdIo7Mo

    102. Mr. October
      January 27th, 2014 | 7:05 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      By WAR, Kuroda’s two best years in MLB were both with the Yankees; 5.5 WAR in 2012 and 4.1 WAR last year.

      He can have a WAR above 8.0 – it doesn’t mean anything with an 6.00 ERA from August to October.

    103. McMillan
      January 27th, 2014 | 7:29 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      … the average run prevention among title winners is exactly one ordinal better than run scoring.

      A facile “analysis that analyzes very little.” If Brian Cashman was asked to define the word “ordinal,” the $3 million-per year business executive would probably answer, “[I]t’s… like… a fixture or something that’s attached to like… a wall in… like a public restroom… like… a men’s room at Yankee Stadium… like… you know… like…”

    104. Evan3457
      January 29th, 2014 | 8:28 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      By WAR, Kuroda’s two best years in MLB were both with the Yankees; 5.5 WAR in 2012 and 4.1 WAR last year.
      He can have a WAR above 8.0 – it doesn’t mean anything with an 6.00 ERA from August to October.

      Well, no, because:
      1. He’s pitched well for the Yankees in the actual month of October.
      2. He didn’t pitch in October last year.
      3. If he has an 8.0 WAR this season, it’s very likely the Yanks will be playing in October this fall.

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