The level of uncertainty surrounding Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka, considered by far the best free agent pitcher this offseason, continues to confound the entire baseball industry, from the agents trying to represent him to the teams wanting to sign him to the system that will determine where he ultimately lands, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. All parties agree on only one thing: Tanaka is going to be the most expensive import in baseball history.
The 25-year-old right-hander went 24-0 this season with a 1.27 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 187 strikeouts in 212 innings pitched.
One high-ranking NL exec told Passan that he thinks the posting fee alone could reach $100 million which is mind-boggling when you think about it and certainly removes the Mets from the equation. My guess is he ends up with either the New York Yankees or the San Francisco Giants.
In other pitching news…
There were plenty of players who became free agents today either because teams declined their options or they were voided by the players.
One such player who may interest the Mets is righthanded starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who voided his $8 million option after the Indians exercised it yesterday.
Jimenez, 29, went 13-9 this season with a 3.30 ERA and a 9.6 K9 in 32 starts for the Tribe. He’s likely looking for a minimum of a two-year deal and possibly three. My guess is that three-year deal for $36 million would be the magic number. I’m not so sure the Mets are looking to commit to anyone for more than one season though.
Dan Martin of the New York Post spoke to the agent for free agent Bronson Arroyo, who says that the 37-year old righthander would consider signing with the Mets.
“Bronson is an East Coast guy and would definitely consider the Mets,” Arroyo’s agent, Terry Bross, said. “But we’re going to take our time with this.”
The Mets are in the market for one if not two innings eaters for the back end of the rotation to reduce the workload on Zack Wheeler and not be forced into rushing Rafael Montero to the majors.
Arroyo fits that bill as he has logged at least 199 innings each season since 2005. In September, he told The Post, “I definitely think the Mets are a team that I would look at.”
The longtime veteran would be aided by pitching a full season at Citi Field, but it’s not clear as of yet if he’s willing to sign a one-year deal or what his price would be. Ultimately I put his value at one year and $10 million tops.