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#1 Oswego Chris

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 10:31 AM

The phrase "into Tanakas" is an obscure reference to the film "Weird Science"...sorry for my pop culture randomness


A few winters ago, when I was still a BN virgin, I wrote one of my first pieces on the message board about how small of a market there was for one Alfonso Soriano.  Fans were screaming, "you gotta trade this guy now!"...and the purpose of my writing was to note how little of a chance there was at that time.  (Brett linked it to the main page, I swooned, and then came up with the crazy notion that I could do this writing stuff)


Now, as Tanaka-madness descends on BN, and all other Cubs' related asylums, I decided to dig deeper into this.  It's really simple to just say "they won't be outbid"(positively) or "they have no chance" (negatively).  I decided to research the topic a bit by looking at the big contenders revenues, salaries, operating income, money coming off the books, etc.  So depending on the interest from the BN reader, I plan on looking at some of the teams who hope to be "into Tanakas". Brett has accurately stated that the Cubs could do their absolute best in this and not even come close...because "there will be blood" when it comes to competing for this guy.


My first team I am going to profile is the Boston Red Sox.  Not many pundits are putting them in the conversation, but I just have a hunch that they could swoop in and get involved. Here are my reasons:


1.  According to Forbes magazine, the Red Sox posted the 2nd highest revenues in baseball last year(Yankees were 1st)...and they were 2nd by a wide margin...almost 70 million ahead of the next team and a 100m ahead of most teams. 


2.  After 2014, they will have 90 million dollars coming off the books.  No, that's not a misprint...90!


3.  The Red Sox have one of the best farm systems in baseball, thus they can project that they would be able to surround Tanaka with some very good, yet cheap, talent.  The Yankees do NOT have this luxury.


4. Yes most of us get tired of the "East coast bias" in coverage, but the Yankees and Red Sox really are like Cold War foes(not sure who is U.S. and who is the Soviets?)  I can't see the Sawx standing by and just letting the Yanks get this guy without a fight.


5.  Although the BoSox had poor luck with Dice-K, they still won a World Series with him.  The notion that they will sit out because of their past experiences seem silly to me...while most scouts do not put Tanaka on equal footing with Darvish....he's in the discussion.  I think the Sawx will look to that more than a Japanese pitcher they signed 10 years ago.


feel free to rip my analysis to shreds...



#2 FFP


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Posted 26 December 2013 - 05:47 PM


The boys trying to figure out how the Cubs will get this done


Since you brought up the Sox, Coach, I will bring up the spectre of Daisuke Matsuzaka. (I will not review his ultimate value to the Red Sox and American Baseball, although his value to Japan and the Japanese game as an international figure should be considered by both current parties as we proceed.)


In that negotiation in 2006 (I assume his participation in it both informs Theo's actions today and provides us with some template of how these things are handled) it was not only about money (Edes link). It was about communication and timing. It was about treating an athlete and his family and his nation and his culture with respect. For example, Mr. Matsuzaka's wife was a public media personality with her own career (as I believe Mr. Tanaka's is), and considering her career became both part of the negotiation and part of the synergistic surge from which both Boston's and the Japanese markets benefited.


The resulting contract wound up including benefits, as I remember them, including dozens of first class tickets from Boston to Japan (and permission to use them at times during the season); housing and transportation (I think is was spelled out as a Lincoln Town Car) in Boston; a personal translator, a chef, and a masseuse; and the player's lucky number guaranteed as his jersey number.


It will be about the money. But, it will be about lots more. Our lead negotiator has some experience in these matters. This experience; the positive and the negative, the subtle and the bold; is why he was hired.


Yes, I think the Red Sox are in this hunt. The reasons that you've outlined are convincing. But, Theo knows how the Red Sox brass operate; he knows what the Cubs' objectives are here; and he has a good sense for how to hammer things out.


This is going to be an interesting few weeks.

#3 Oswego Chris

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 08:36 PM

ahh...Gary and Wyatt...

#4 Internet Random

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 09:02 PM

The phrase "into Tanakas" is an obscure reference to the film "Weird Science"...sorry for my pop culture randomness

She's into Tanakas, Dino.

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