Masahiro Tanaka expected to command at least $17 million a year

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He’s being posted and the team that signs a deal with him will have to cut a check to the Rakuten Golden Eagles for $20 million. Now Bob Nightengale is hearing about what Masahiro Tanaka’s salary might be expected to be:

 

I wonder how much of that is just doing the math on amortizing the $20 million posting fee over years and figuring that around a $20 million per year commitment is where teams want to max out. Figure a six year deal like Yu Darvish received + the posting and you’re just north of $20 million when it’s all said and done.

Of course, I feel like given how bad the pitching market is right now and how many teams there are who could really use an ace, that Tanaka is going to end up getting more.

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.