Masahiro Tanaka wants to play in the United States. To do that, his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, have to agree to post him. Under the new posting rules agreed to by MLB and NPB, Rakuten stands to get $20 million, which is way less than posting teams used to get. And they’d lose their best player and top draw in the deal.
In light of that, this is not terribly surprising:
The nuance to all of this, of course, is that Tanaka has asked to be posted and that, while Rakuten is not under any obligation to honor is wishes, NPB teams try to honor such wishes when possible for general goodwill purposes. They’d love to have agreement with Tanaka if they can. But they’d also like to keep his services given that losing him will get them only $20 million.
Our old friend Joe Posnanski tackles a venerable topic over at MLB.com: guys you totally forgot played for a given team. Mostly superstars who had brief stops at non-signature stations at the end of their careers. Or guys, like Mike Piazza and Reggie Jackson, who were with a team for a blink of an eye in between more famous way stations.
We’ve all had this conversation before: remember Willie Mays with the Mets? Doc Gooden with the Astros? John Smoltz with the Cardinals? Heck, I had forgotten about Smoltz with the Cardinals and he was a star on my favorite team once upon a time.
Posnanski calls them “Irony Jerseys.” That’s pretty appropriate, as one can totally imagine someone buying, say, that Dale Murphy Rockies jersey in the name of obscurity. Whatever you call it, it’s a good read.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my Ted Simmons Braves jersey for a party at some place uptown that you’ve probably never heard of.
The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.
O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.