As intriguing the idea of getting in on the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes may be, I’m not going to hold my breath in anticipation of the Mets making a serious bid, or even an attempt.
But I’m okay with that. I’m also perfectly fine with him going to the Yankees.
The dreaded Yankees? Oh, the humanity!!!
Yes, I have no issue with him going to the Yankees.
We know what type of numbers Tanaka has put up with the Golden Eagles. They’re Sandy Koufax-esque. He went 24-0 last season. He had an ERA of 1.27. His ERA has been under 2.00 for the last three seasons. He’s also only 25. He’s young. And he’s good. He’s very, very good. The Yankees can have him.
He’s going to command a ton of money. How much will it be? He’s a free agent for all takers for someone willing to pay $20 million to Rakuten. The King’s Ransom is a fraction of what was paid by the Rangers for the rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish. It’s less than 40% of what the Red Sox posted for Daisuke Matsuzaka. It’s $6 million less than what the Yankees paid for the rights to Kei Igawa seven years ago. I’d be very, very surprised if Tanaka doesn’t end up with a contract in excess of $100 million. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees give him $150 million to lock him up for a long time.
So the rich get richer and the Mets fans have to look across the river and say, “Why not us?”
It’s quite alright. Get him the heck out of the National League.
If Tanaka goes to the Yankees and turns out to be a monster, we’ll only have to face him once. We may even miss him depending on how the rotation rolls, now that the Subway Series is only four games. What about October? There isn’t a single Mets fan that wouldn’t sign up this instant for a crack at Tanaka in the World Series. And even if he’s one of the great ones and the Mets struggle – as a baseball fan, it would be enjoyable to be able to follow his career in the local market.
Or, Tanaka can may be another Hideki Irabu or Kei Igawa. In that case, we can have a good laugh at the Yankees expense. Maybe he’ll be just a decent player, but nothing worth the fanfare and the bloated contract he’s sure to collect.
Would it be nice to get him? Sure. But I like the horses we have running. We’re not too far off. I’d rather run with the arms we have here and on the horizon than have Tanaka be another expensive player with so much promise that never fulfills. Yes, I know… it’s New York and we should spend like it. But reality is reality, and until the tides turn (and those tides will turn on our young arms), I’m not going to get excited about something that was never within our reach to begin with…