Rosenthal: Don't count Diamondbacks out in Tanaka derby
The reasoning is simple: Generally, players like this go to the highest bidder, and odds are that won't be the Diamondbacks.
However, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says the D-backs are very much in the race to land the 25-year-old who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Japan last season.
After all, he writes, they were prepared to spend a handsome sum to land free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo earlier in the offseason.
Tanaka, however, remains the D-backs' No. 1 target. Club officials do not expect to meet with him in Japan; the pitcher's agent, Casey Close, is discouraging such visits, sources said. But at this point, the D-backs expect to stay involved in the bidding, according to sources; the deadline for Tanaka to sign with a major league club is three weeks from Friday.
Any team that signs Tanaka must pay a $20 million posting fee to his Japanese club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles. If the pitcher's total salary reaches $120 million, the total outlay would match the $140 million that Boras wanted for Choo — money the Diamondbacks were prepared to spend.
Rosenthal notes it's possible the D-backs will instead decide to pursue a less-expensive option such as free agent Matt Garza, but adds that Arizona could be an attractive destination for Tanaka and they know it.
In a perfect world, the Diamondbacks wanted to trade for a hitter and sign a pitcher. Trumbo became that hitter. And the D-backs, sources said, consider Tanaka to be superior to Garza as well as to free-agent righties Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez, both of whom are attached to a draft pick.
In the end, the D-backs may lose out on Tanaka, but it won't be because they are ill-equipped to make a strong bid. They had money for Choo. They have money for Tanaka. No one should be surprised if they turn aggressive.
Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday April 16Can the D-backs weather the storm?
- Jay Franklin, Archie Bradley's agent - Tuesday April 15Archie Bradley's agent clarifies his comments he made while talking to Ken Rosenthal.
- Mike Bolsinger, D-backs pitcher - Tuesday April 15D-backs pitcher Mike Bolsinger talks about his MLB debut.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday April 15D-backs manager Kirk Gibson talks about the team's pitching woes.
- Keith Law, ESPN MLB Analyst - Tuesday April 15Is Kevin Towers to blame for the D-backs’ start to the season?
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President and CEO - Thursday April 10What do the D-backs need to do to get back on track?
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB analyst - Wednesday April 9ESPN MLB analyst Tim Kurkjian discusses the D-backs' tough start.