When the Texas Rangers declined to get into serious bidding for Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka after scouting him intensely for years, much like they did with Yu Darvish, you had to believe there was good reason for it.
As Tanaka listed his five suitors as the two Chicago teams, the Yankees, Dodgers and Diamondbacks, you had to wonder how much a team was going to drop on a pitcher with incredible numbers in Japan, but one that scouts agree unanimously is "good, but not Yu Darvish good."
Well, the answer is seven years for $155 million, and that's what the Yankees have reportedly decided to give Tanaka.
That's a ton of money, and even more than what was already a high total being floated around of somewhere in the neighborhood of $120 million. Seems likely that the Yankees and Dodgers ended up getting in a bidding war and the Dodgers eventually bowed out. The Yankees were in a desperate position with their starting rotation, needing another starter to put with CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda to fill out their top three spots. The Dodgers, obviously, are much better off in their rotation.
Now, the Tanaka deal makes the Rangers' deal with Darvish look like a spectacular bargain, especially considering Darvish is a top 10 starter in baseball and it's a likely assumption Tanaka will never be that. Six years for $56 million is a much different deal than seven for $155, and once again shows that the Rangers' front office is never one to lose faith in. They tend to usually do the right thing.