Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Rumors: Masahiro Tanaka Is Not Coming

The Seattle Mariners are reportedly “expected to be involved” in the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes. You will forgive me if I do not get online and pre-order my Tanaka jersey from the team store.

Truthfully, I would be happy to be wrong on this one. While it seems unlikely that Tanaka’s 24-0 record from last season would easily translate to Major League Baseball, there is reason to believe that the Japanese pitcher could do very well in the United States.

Still, I don’t see this happening.

Why? Call it a hunch. Yes, the Mariners broke the bank on Robinson Cano. However, it has been fairly quiet since then and there are rumors that this may have been their one and only big spending spree. The acquisitions of Corey Hart, Logan Morrison and Willie Bloomquist are much more suited to Seattle’s style of doing business.

Therefore, it would not be shocking if the Mariners are not authorized by Nintendo to go all-in on Tanaka.

There is also the reality that the New York Yankees are involved. Granted, the days of the Bronx Bombers simply outbidding everyone may be gone. The Yanks still have a ton of money, and the bulk of their contracts will be above market value.

What is different in today’s market is that the Yankees are being a bit more savvy on long-term deals. They probably could have given Cano the money that he wanted, but strangely enough the Yankees made the better business decision than the Mariners. No team should give a baseball player a ten-year deal.

The fact that the Yankees turned around and signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year deal shows that there is still plenty of spending power. Even Ellsbury’s deal may hurt the Yankees eventually. And yet, the winning bid for Tanaka may come from the American League East.

New York could use another starting pitcher, and it seems reasonable to assume that they won’t get outbid by the Mariners again. If I am wrong, then I am wrong.

Seattle may indeed be “involved” but Jack Zduriencik is going to be sufficiently cagey about the how the Mariners will approach this. Part of that is good negotiating tactics, and part of it is the standard rhetoric.

Perhaps the Mariners will make a lowball offer and hope for some Nintendo influence. Then again, the Mariners may only show cursory interest in order to give an ongoing impression that the club is serious about being competitive.

We’ll find out after the deadline on January 24.

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Tags: Masahiro Tanaka Mlb Free Agency Rumors Seattle Mariners

  • drwheelock

    Todd I honestly believe you haven’t got a clue at all on this Tanaka thing. Seattle has the payroll flexibility to be the most aggressive MLB team in $$$’s. they are only sitting in the mid-$80s for committed 2014 payroll at the present. They can ‘easily’ extend payroll all the way to $140-$160m if they chose to. There is no need to go that high though. Prospect Insider just posted

    • Todd Pheifer

      Thanks for your feedback, drwheelock.

      Like I said in the article, this is just my hunch. If I am wrong, I will be happy to write an article where I confess my lack of faith in Jack Z’s ability to be aggressive. I will push back on the assertion that the M’s could go to $140-$160m. You are correct that they could, but I’ll believe it when I see it. We’re still talking about a corporate ownership group that may want to pocket some of that cable revenue.

  • drwheelock

    Prospect Insider just posted projected 2014 fWAR and Yankees are dead even to Seattle for 2014. Seattle wouldn’t make playoffs as of right now projections, but a signing of Tanaka and a trade for a CF like Gomez would give Seattle the best rotation in AL over BoSox, and adding Gomez would give us the best AL offense. And be the favs for a WS presence.

    • Jesse Oglesby

      The Mariners Should trade for David Price

  • Jesse Oglesby

    The Mariners Should go for David Price