The Dodgers made a great decision by not overspending for pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who signed with the New York Yankees today for seven years, $155 million according to numerous reports. Add to the fact that whatever team signed Tanaka had to pay Rakuten Eagles $20 million and the Yankees paid $175 million dollars for the Japanese righty! The Tanaka deal is the largest ever for an international free agent and 5th largest for a pitcher behind Dodgers Clayton Kershaw ($215 million), Tigers Just Verlander ($180 million), Mariners Felix Hernandez ($175 million), and Tanaka’s new teammate, CC Sabathia ($161 million).
The Tanaka deal was a necessity for the Yankees as they needed a 2nd starter behind CC while the Dodgers just wanted Masahiro to make their rotation the best in baseball. (it still might be without him). But to pay $155 million for a pitcher who would be in the middle of the rotation is ridiculous as Tanaka would have been behind Clayton and Zack Greinke. The Dodgers had more than enough money to go after Tanaka and if they actually needed him, they would have outbid the Yankees and Chicago Cubs. So where do the Dodgers go from here?
According to reports, the Dodgers could go after Bronson Arroyo, who is coming off of a 14-12 season with the Cincinnati Reds. Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana are free agents, but if the Dodgers were to sign either of them, they would lose a first-round draft pick. The Dodgers need to add another pitcher because right now Josh Beckett would be the 5th starter and that is very very scary. I mean it’s Josh Beckett! Can his fastball even hit 85 anymore!? Could it be Zach Lee time, the 28th overall selection by the Dodgers in the 2010 MLB Draft and the Dodgers Minor League Pitcher of the Year last year? Lee is considered one of the best prospects in the Dodgers farm system and was just invited to spring training. The Dodgers also have Chad Billingsley and it looks like Bills will be ready by mid May or June. Billingsley is coming off of Tommy John Surgery.
In the end, the Dodgers kept their money in their pockets for the first time in the Guggenheim era and made the right decision. Hey, they could always go after David Price?! Good-bye to #TanakaWatch and thank you for picking a team in the American League.