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masahiro tanakaBig news coming out of the MLB and NPB talks regarding their lapsed agreement to allow Japanese players to come over to the States – well, it’s big news in that it’s important, not that it’s a surprise. The two sides today announced a new agreement that will reportedly allow Japanese teams to make their players available to MLB teams for a posting price, which they will set, up to a maximum of $20 million. Should multiple teams offer that maximum price on a given player, each such team will be permitted to negotiate with the player. Only the team signing the player will actually be required to pay the posting price, thus, on the biggest stars, you will see a large number of MLB teams offering the posting fee.

More importantly in the near-term, a report out of Japan (via Dylan Hernandez) says that 25-year-old ace Masahiro Tanaka will be permitted to head to the United States under the new system. Take the report with a grain of salt, given the inherent translation issues and our own inability to determine its credibility, but it’s the first local report that explicitly says Tanaka will be posted.

Assuming he is made available – an assumption I’ve been making since day one – the Chicago Cubs are expected to be involved in the process. How “involved” is “involved” is a matter of some debate, though even today, Buster Olney reports that the buzz among executives around baseball is that the Cubs are “poised to try to strike big on Tanaka.”

Given that Tanaka is expected to command a nine-figure contract, the question ultimately will not be whether the Cubs want Tanaka – assuming their scouts like him, he certainly fits The Plan to a T – it is instead whether the necessary money will be there.

We’ll see.

  • RoscoeVillageFan

    For those of you that doubt Tanaka, dude went 24-0. There’s a lot of reasons (esp Seattle) for him to sign elsewhere, but here’s hoping that he sees opportunity in Chicago, which many of us are hoping. Cubs are able to put up more $$$ than the Yankees, but maybe not Seattle?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      There are a lot of reason to like Tanaka, but his win/loss record is not one of them.

      Wins and losses as a pitching stat is easily the single most useless indicator in professional sports.

      • BobbyK

        Semi agree. It’s not the best indicator but there is significance. Wins typically indicate a quality start. A player 24-0 either plays for an offensive giant or is pitching lights out. All these other fancy stats are an attempt to determine how many wins a player is worth. You can screw around with the fancy stats and make all kinda of arguments and I completely support it but …Wins are sexy!

      • EQ76

        I agree with Bobby K.. the metrics nerds tend to dismiss the standard stats as meaningless..i could give two craps about WHIP, BABIP, FIP or any other IP.. 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA is damn hard to do in any league at any level and tells me that this pitcher is good.

        • Rebuilding

          You probably hate this FO then because the stats you don’t pay attention to are exactly the ones they use. Lets not forget – their goal is to predict how well a pitcher will pitch next year…how many games they won the year before does not help you do that

          • EQ76

            I’m not anti-advanced metrics, I just get sick of the all out dismissal of the traditional stats. All stats tell the story, traditional and metric. Obviously W-L aren’t the end all be all, but my point was that if a dude is 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA, I don’t really need to see all the advanced metric stats to know this dude is a good pitcher.

        • jh03

          I’m a nerd and I’m proud of it. Nice try at the insult though. That was a really mature way to handle yourself in a disagreement.

          If you want to use W/L and ERA as a way to scout pitchers, that’s fine, but don’t be surprised when that pitcher blows up on you for “unforeseen reasons.”

        • hansman

          You’re right, it takes talent to go 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and those are very good stats.

          Outside of an extreme example like Tanaka, W/L is nearly impossible to compare pitchers. You could have 2 guys go 15-10 and have wildly different seasons and next year one might go 10-15 while the other goes 20-5 and vice-versa. There just isn’t a lot of substantial information in the W/L stat and it has no predictive value.

          ERA is a tool that let’s you know what kind of results a pitcher got. It is skewed by defense, park factors, offensive era and just plain rotten luck. It, also, has a hard time predicting the future but we can use it, along with other stats, to help predict the future.

          • EQ76

            jh03 – wasn’t meaning nerd derogatory at all, nor was I arguing for Wins and against metrics. Hansman, you nailed my point. I think everyone took my comments wrong. I’m only saying that if a guy is 24-0 and has a 1.27 ERA, I don’t need any other stats or metrics to prove to me he’s good.. howevah, I do understand and agree that wins and losses are not the best measuring stick on how good a pitcher is or isn’t. It’s the attitude that wins never, ever mean a damn thing ever that bothers me. 24-0 is an unbelievable feat regardless of anyone’s opinion on that stat. a 1.27 ERA is a great stat too.. in the Tanaka case, those stats mean something.

  • macpete22

    How do we even know it’ll just come down to money for Tanaka? Not EVERY player is all about the money. Maybe he will want to come to the Cubs because they actually have players his age and likes Chicago/Wrigley. There’s a ton of factors

  • RoscoeVillageFan

    Dude was 24-0. He can throw. There’s no bargain shopping here guys. I think $150 mil sounds right

  • Kernzee

    I believe the top tax rate for individuals in New York is 8.82 pct .

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      I’m not tax expert, but i read an article right after Cano signed saying that it was around 14%. Obviously it depends on the income. Cano’s contract would be bout 24 million a year. But over the life of the contract it would amount to serious money. Also different markets are better to sign deal like Jordan with Nike etc. That could be a contributing factor also.

      • cub1

        Top for New York State is 8.82%, but New York City also charges 3.876% on its top rate, so combined the top rate is 12.696%

  • Ballgame

    Luke, I agree W-L is useless but you can’t 24-0 doesn’t mean anything. If someone is 0-24 you certainly couldn’t have an argument in that regardless how useless the stat is…

    It’s hard to say where the line should be drawn as far as how much the Cubs offer. 6yrs/102mil ($17 mil/year) sounds about right. I think he’ll sign for around this and too much above that I’m not sure I could do it….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Sure I could. I’ll take a guy who is 0-24 with an ERA of 1.99 and a K/BB of 4.50 over a guy who is 24-0 with an ERA of 4.99 and a K/BB of 2.15 every single time.

      W/L as a pitching stat is too dependent on everything else to tell me much about the pitcher. Not to mention that the stat itself is so contrived as to be useless.

      During the 2012 season a reliever for Tennessee came into a game and pitched one third of an inning. In that third of an inning he allowed the tying run to score and was thus credited with a blown save. In the bottom half of the inning the team rallied and took what proved to be the final lead of the night. That reliever did not come back out for the final inning, but because he was the last guy to pitch before Tennessee took the lead, he was given the win.

      If a W can go to a pitcher who records just one out and actually gives up the lead, then the W is not a pitching stat I have any use for in any situation.

      • http://bleachernation ferris

        Youd take a guy who never wins over a guy who never loses because his periferals are prettier……wow….

        • Andrew

          Well yeah, all wins tell us is that the guy’s team was ahead when he left the game, not how well he pitched. An average pitcher with a great offense can win more games than an amazing pitcher on a bad team.

          Taking a guy on the basis of his win-loss record is like putting on a blindfold, throwing a dart at the pictures posted on the wall, and then choosing whichever one is ugliest. There’s no point to what you just did, and you’re not likely to have a good pitcher at the end.

          • http://bleachernation ferris

            I would never jus look at wins an losses but 24-0 , an 0-24 …that would tell me a guy just cant win. Again if that happened a hitting coach would need to be fired, but wins means your team won. And thats most important

            Your argument would be valid if a guy is 12-13 w a 1.99 era..and his team mate is 16-6 with a 4.11 era…you could see that the guy wins an gives his team a chance but to have 0 wins vs. 24 wins sorry cant agree.

            • ari gold

              So Ferris, if the guy was 0-24 because his team was shutout every single game he pitched, that would be his fault? It wouldn’t, which is why I would take the 0-24 pitcher every single time.

          • Scott

            Kinda hard to win if you’re pitching like crap, though….

      • Pat

        So you’d take one guy who has never existed over another imaginary guy. And this supports your point how?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Because one set of stats projects a better pitcher than the other? That’s pretty much the entire point, your snarky response notwithstanding.

          • Pat

            Sorry, but I don’t believe that is something is not perfect, that makes it useless. If you can provide the name of either player A or player B, I will publicly apologize to Luke for the snarky response.

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              It’s no even slightly perfect it is horribly flawed and because it’s tradition people have a hard time of letting go. The only place the W should matter is in the teams W/L record.

            • C. Steadman

              Player A…18-7

              Player B… 6-9

              who would you rather have Pat?

              • C. Steadman

                well I’ll tell you who’d i rather have that year, it would be Player B…why? he’s Cliff Lee in 2012 while Player A is Lance Lynn in 2012…both good pitchers but W-L record point to Lynn being far superior to Lee that year which is false….Lee (Era/Fip 3.16/3.13, fWAR 4.9) vs. Lynn (3.78/3.49 fWAR 2.7)…Lee had the 5th highest fWAR of pitchers while Lynn was 38th

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        I’m still amazed how we can still have this argument, of all the stats in baseball that gets repeated over and over the pitcher W is the most worthless and should have no place in intelligent baseball discussions. One day the many of the baseball card stats will hopefully go away because they are poor ways to measure players. The W is first and RBI might be second.

        • Pat

          Over a small sample it has the lower correlation with how someone pitched than the advanced metrics, but that does not make it useless. Show me a terrible pitcher with a career winning percentage over .600

          • Spriggs

            He wasn’t a terrible pitcher by any measure, but a guy like Preacher Roe from the late 1940′s and 1950′s is a pretty good example of a guy who was overrated because he had such good win – loss records. His career winning percentage was just over .600. You can see when he went to the great hitting Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1950′s that he had some incredible win-loss records. Nothing else really stands out though.
            http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/roepr01.shtml

      • Max

        I think what he is trying to say (at least, I hope!) is that, while wins are a terrible measure of a pitcher’s performance, to get to a 24-0 record, you’d have to be doing SOMETHING right. It’s just such a crazy number. It would be like if an OF had 175 RBIs … it’s another team-dependant statistic, but to accumulate that many in a season, you figure the guy can’t be too shabby regardless of the help around him.

        • TK

          NO NO NO NO NO ! ! ! !

          Stop with the silliness! Every is either black, or white. There is no middle ground. There is no grey area, or critical thinking, or abstract thinking aloud on baseball message boards! Its sacrilegious! Now go wash your keyboard out with soap.

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      Wins are not useless…the sabermetric ppl may say that
      The cy young award is namwd aftwr the guy with the most wins of course theres more but they dog jack morris because of his higher era….but he should be in the hall of fame..254 wins an was big time in post season.. they make it sound like its better to lose 0-1, than win 5-4. …….some guys dont cate bout stats so if there winning 7-1 they may challange a hitter insyead of nibble, guys like morris nibbled when he had too an almost always pitched deep in games…jus saying winning is important.

      • http://bleachernation ferris

        Sorry spelling sucks fat thumbs

        • Soda Popinski

          Fat fingers is not an excuse for a crappy argument.

          • Chief

            Instead of just saying that the argument sucks, you might explain why…

            For instance, wins are dependent on runs (to say nothing of defense and relief pitching, which is a whole different argument). Masahiro Tanaka cannot produce runs for most of his starts, seeing as his team plays in the Pacific League of the NPB, which uses the Designated hitter. In summation, Tanaka himself cannot win games on his own. He needs offense.

            That said, I believe fangraphs showed that pitcher wins tend to correlate with WAR over a career, but a single season is to small to allow for such a correlation to be drawn.

            • Soda Popinski

              Oh, Chief, it’s been rehashed on here again and again. See Luke’s explanation above. What else is there to say?

              And the point of they make it sound like it’s better to lose 1-0 than win 5-4… Do I really need to explain why that is not a good argument for a pitcher’s performance?

            • ClevelandCubsFan

              When you look at wins, what does that stat tell you about the pitcher, ferris? And what does it tell you about that pitcher’s future performances?

              • http://bleachernation ferris

                Of course wons are easier to come by if you got the 27 yankees lineup behind……the argument is wins count, you
                And those other factors need to be looked at like w jack morris he could win a 7-5 game an also win a 1-0 game, again he nibbled only when needed an also he didnt come out of games after five six innings, my example again if im winning 12-1 an my bull pen has been taxed several days in a row an my team needs innings why do i care if i give up six runs ….my team wins an b.p. gets a rest…thats being a team player…..an since they do stats for every little thing they need to see that……ejaxx was shelled twice that i saw because we left him in to take one for them team so to speak, many have done this…but wins do matter….team wins most important so if your 0-24 with a 1.25 era….your team still lost as bad as your luck would be…all that would get u is a pat on the bottom an a label of hard luck loser…….

          • http://bleachernation ferris

            Hows that a bad argument…..wins count for wins era only aids in that….we had a pitcher yrs ago who had decent numbers yet couldnt win…..an that got him gone…anthony young was his name

            So your argument would be a guy 0-5 in save chances with a era of one is better than a guy who is five for five with an era of three.
            The object is to win the game……

          • http://bleachernation ferris

            Btw i said fat thumbs if your gonna be a wise guy get it correct….:)

            • Cheese Chad

              Think of it this way. Each of the 24-0 and 0-24 guy have the exact same xFIP. If they went to the cubs and pitched the next 5 season or so their records should be about the same. That’s why record doesn’t matter, AT ALL.

      • ssckelley

        Tell me which pitcher you would rather have:

        Player A
        Wins – 8
        Losses – 16
        ERA – 2.76 (led the league)
        WHIP – 1.139
        SO/9 – 11.5 (led the league)
        SO/BB – 3.10 (led the league

        Player B
        Wins – 18 (led the league)
        Losses – 10
        ERA – 3.68
        WHIP – 1.386
        SO/9 – 6.6
        SO/BB – 1.64

        These are actual stats from real pitchers in the same season (I used the ERA stat on purpose). Take a guess at which one damn near won the Cy Young (finished 2nd by 2 votes) while the other one finished 5th. Both players played on teams that won the exact same amount of games. Which pitcher do you want?

    • Rebuilding

      My favorite recent is example is the following pitcher (and former Cub) who went 1-16 with a 3.77 ERA and overall was 15-48 with a 3.89 ERA, 100 ERA+, 1.38 WHIP and 1.5 k/bb. Mediocre pitcher sure, but 1-16?

      • Rebuilding

        Hal Newhouser, 1942; 8-14 record, 2.45 ERA (162 ERA+) – He even had the best SO/9IP and H/9IP!

        Nolan Ryan is another classic case. He won the NL ERA title in 1987 (2.76 [142 ERA+]). Was 8-16.

        Joe Magrane also won an ERA title, in 1988, with 2.18 (161 ERA+). Record of 5-9.

        As a reliever in 1970, Darold Knowles was 2-14 with a 2.04 ERA and a 174 ERA+ (119 1/3 IPs).

        Ned Garvin was 5-16 in 1904. ERA : 1.72. ERA+ : 159.

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    Is ruggiano gonna be our everyday guy? He projects too 25hr-75rbi 125k 245ba……not bad for the cost

    Trying to figure this line up out.,balance but not fierce.
    Cf sweeney
    Ss castro
    1B rizzo
    Lf riggiano
    Rf shurholtz
    3B olt
    C castillo
    2B ???????

    Murphy, lake, barney, valbuena, vitters, katarass,,…fft

    • Andrew

      Ruggiano will likely form some sort of outfield by committee with either Schierholtz or Sweeney. Lake will start in left. Although I’d much rather see Lake start in Center and let Sweeney be depth. Is it too much to hope that Vitters forces into the outfield and shifts Lake to Center?

      • Bret Epic

        It’s never a bad things to want to see a player succeed, so no. I was conversing on here the other day with someone who spoke of a platoon situation and it was between platooning Sweeney and Schierholtz. Sweeney hit .313/.365/.458 against lefties in 2013. 48 AB isn’t a huge amount, but it’s still only 5 AB less than Schierholtz against lefties, who hit .170/.308/.245 this year. I’d definitely predict Schierholtz is platooned, especially to keep his trade value and stat line high.

        • Andrew

          Absolutely if one is platooned you have to go with Schierholtz, and don’t get me wrong, I like Sweeney, I just don’t see a future for him, whereas Lake could provide value in CF if someone comes up to push him out of Left.

          It would also be interesting if Olt comes up and pushes Valbuena/Murphy off 3rd, send them to 2nd and trade Barney. Suddenly we could be starting to look like a competitive team.

    • Chief

      I assume you’re using Oliver, since that’s the only projection system (to the best of my knowledge) that is that generous to Ruggiano?

      Oliver projects across 600 PA for all players, unless I’m mistaken. That said, it’s also fueled off of prior seasons. Ruggiano’s numbers are artificially boosted from his .400 BABIP in 2012.

      I guess what I’m getting at is that Ruggiano isn’t a starting caliber player on a halfway competitive team. I applaud you for seeing the silver lining, but it’s tough for me to rationalize that much optimism

      • Andrew

        Actually, looking at Ruggiano’s production averages, if he got 600 PA’s 23 HR’s wouldn’t be a stretch. And if he miraculously hit .250 that wouldn’t be too bad a line at the end of the season.

        I don’t have time to calculate out a theoretical slash but something like .250/.320/.430 wouldn’t be too outlandish for him. The HR data at least isn’t all that affected by the BABIP luck. My guess though would be a line more around .225/.295/.400

        • TOOT

          This depends on which Ruggiano shows up. 2012 OPS of .909 or 2013 OPS 0f .694. Lifetine OPS of .747 has a lot of experts convinced the Cubs got a steal here.

        • TOOT

          When I really tried to get a perspective on this trade, I looked at Rizzo’s numbers. Rizzo has a lifetime OPS of .737 with his best season coming in at .805. I really have to say Ruggiano deal was pretty good.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Wins count 1983 White Sox “Winning Ugly”

  • J.F.Edwards

    207 responses? Yikes. No one is reading this. But it seems to me that the Cubs are going to go hard on as much guaranteed money up front they can give Tanaka (i.e. money not wasted on a non-fit FA a year before the “window to win” opens) with more incentive laden years in the back end.

    So, if he produces like he and the Cubs believe he can, he will make as much or more with Chicago as he would with a Yankee/Mariner offer–the only two real worries. Yankees offer legit chance to win plus legit cash, Seattle offers illusion to win plus cash. Cubs offer chance to win and become centerpiece player if they do.

    It’s not a fair fight but that’s the one the Cubs seem to be in.

  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    Tanaka seems to fit in with the plan

  • RizzoCastro

    What amount of money do you think it will take for the Angels to keep Trout? I’m going to go out and say it’s going to be between $300M to $350m on 10-12 year deal. If I were the Angels I would lock him up now before he wins an MVP which I think he will do within the next two years. Best player in MLB with 20+ WAR over the last 2 years and it wasn’t even a full 2 years. Crazy wish the Cubs had him in CF. One can only dream.

    • CubFan Paul

      “What amount of money do you think it will take for the Angels to keep Trout?”

      If they don’t extend him soon, he and his agents will wait for free agency.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      It will cost ONE BILLION DOLLARS! If I was them is have tried to lock him at during his rookie year for 15 years. And try to get him for around 150M, now he is absolutely a 300M player.

    • Cheese Chad

      Makes you realize how bad the rest of their team when they can’t even make the playoffs

  • Hee Seop Chode

    Where’s the money going?

    This isn’t a complaining post. If anything, I’m excited. According to FG (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-new-national-tv-contracts-and-2014-payrolls/) each MLB club is set to receive $25MM in new TV revenue each year through 2021.

    Per ESPN, the Cubs entered 2013 with a payroll of $107M (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/salaries/_/name/chc/chicago-cubs), and currently have a payroll under $75 (as estimated by Brett and others on this site). Were there new facilities built that I missed? Were there investments in computer systems? Is the new coaching staff more expensive than the last? If not, and if the Cubs “put every dollar back into the club” in 2013, the Cubs should have a little over $50MM left to spend this offseason.

    Why would it be at all difficult to sign Tanaka?

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Well the money could be going to pay down that debt structure Ricketts had to use to buy the Cubs, it could be eskrowed for the renovations, it could be to blow away Tanaka with an offer, it could be used to take on more salary in a trade (Price, Kemp for example), it could be the Cubs don’t have the money everyone belives they should have, it could be Theo/Ricketts don’t see any player worth investing this money into, it could be something we have no idea about, or it could be the current favorite conspiracy- RICKETTS IS CHEAP AND JUST WANTS PROFITS. There are countless reasons why the payroll hasn’t exceed 120M and we will never know why.

      • CubFan Paul

        “it could be the Cubs don’t have the money everyone belives they should have”

        Oh, they have it. Games aren’t free to go to, and thanks to Kenney/the Business side (& national tv money) revenues are WELL OVER $300MM, maybe in the $350-400MM range.

        • ari gold

          I don’t believe I’ve ever heard the expression “thanks to Kenney”

          • CubFan Paul

            He’s not as bad as Paul Sullivan wants us to believe he is.

            • hansman

              This. Someone with as many business contacts as the Ricketts family are keeping him around for a reason.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          You might be right but we will never see books and all this is just pure speculation based on incomplete facts. So I choose not to get upset over what I don’t fully understand, many of you choose the opposite, but I prefer not to let the unknown ruin my day. The Cubs will do what they do and I will enjoy them regardless. If enough of you are so upset by everything then boycotting is the only way your voice will be heard, but I doubt anybody that’s commenting here will stop watching, attending, or purchasing the Cubs. It’s a choice we have to make: deal with it or boycott it. Complaining about it on a forum will not change how the Cubs operate. My son and I were listening to music yesterday on Pandora “Children’s Indie Radio” and “Don’t worry be happy” was playing and my 15 month old son starting dancing and smiling- it’s not a bad way to live life.

          • Cheese Chad

            I like

          • CubFan Paul

            I’m always smiling.

      • Jason P

        Even if they are saving for the renovation and using some revenue to pay off debt, there’s no way anyone can convince me that the Chicago Cubs don’t have the means to spend beyond a $75 million payroll.

        I can accept the lack of spending so far as a product of no free agent being worth the investment, but (to steal a Cubs Den headline) it’s time for the Cubs to show Tanaka the money.

        • Rebuilding

          They’ve got the money. I think we’ll see that very shortly. One of the reasons the Yankees and Mariners have done what they did this offseason is they know the Cubs won’t be beat on Tanaka

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            I think you might be right, but I’m overly optimistic about most thing.

  • TK

    Curious what Borass would have to say if the Cubs “successfully” shell out big $$$$ for Tanaka. Will he make some silly claim that the Cubs are blackballing his clients for some reason? Maybe some other jab at the FO?

  • Rebuilding

    Rotoworld: “Japanese free agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka wants to play in Major League Baseball next season.”

    “I informed my team that I would like them to allow me to test my abilities in Major League Baseball next season,” Tanaka said at a news conference Tuesday. Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA with the Rakuten Eagles this past season.”

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    Does anyone know if Tanaka has a agent yet or can he not choose one until he’s been posted? You’ve got to believe Boras will want in if he can.

    • Cheese Chad

      Wouldn’t he already have an agent in Japan?

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        I would think so but I’d think he needs a US agent, another question I’m curious about. The two markets, contracts, and other things are completely different with this big a pay day if expect he’d want a agent very familiar with the US. Who was/is Yu’s agent?

        • Jono

          I don’t think he needs an american agent. Most agencies have agents in different countries. So they might work with each other in house to help each other out. But players normally don’t switch agents when playing in a new country. It’s very common for American players to move to japan. They keep their american agent, but sometimes get tips from their agency’s agents in asia

    • CubChymyst

      Would like to see a celebrity death match between Boras and Jay-Z over the rights to Tanaka.

    • Jono

      We can safely assume that he already has an agent

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        I would think so but surprised he/she has been somewhat vocal, and if the agent is familiar with the MLB.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Not familiar (I’m sure every Japanese agent is) but an expert with MLB contracts. Perhaps his agent works for an agency that is partnered with a major US agency.

          • Jono

            read my post above where I replied to you. His agent, individually, doesn’t have to have much experience with MLB prior to this.

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              I missed that and that’s most likely what’s happening, but Tanaka is going to be get a huge contract unlike any other players changing countries. He will be essentially a free agent and I hope his agents are prepared to deal with this level.

              • Jono

                the amount of money doesn’t really make much of a difference. It’s just a bigger number on a piece of paper. The bigger hurdle in the game is the amount of years. That’s been the most difficult part of getting deals done.

                But it’s really not that hard for agents to work in a new market. They have plenty of resources to know what to do.

          • Rebuilding

            My guess is that Tanaka’s agency has a working relationship or partnership with an American agency. With all of the players going back and forth those partnerships make sense. He would have the comfort of his Japanese representation while receiving American expertise on MLB contracts

            • Jono

              That working relationship probably comes in house. Intra agency. That makes it even easier. And your point is right on. All the players going back and forth is why agencies have people around the world so they can keep everything within the company

    • TK

      I read an article that reported that he does in fact have an agent that he hired specifically to handle THIS situation (transition to MLB/international free agency). He has not, however, revealed who it is. To this point, there has been nothing for an agent to do. I imagine once he is posted, we’ll find out immediately who it is. My bet is that it is NOT JayZ or Borass.

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