Bob Nightengale reports that the Dodgers have “let it be known they plan to go all-out” in their attempt to sign Masahiro Tanaka. Nightengale reports that the Dodgers are saying they “certainly won’t be out-bid.”
The things you can do with a multi-billion dollar TV deal and a front office who has the freedom to do whatever it wants.
Of course Tanaka has to want to come to Los Angeles. Which, hey, it’s hard to argue that Los Angeles is a bad destination for anyone wanting to win, be famous and all of those things. But the one thing we haven’t had much reporting on since Tanaka has been posted is what he wants and where he wants to be, assuming the money is good. Is he a highest-bidder guy? Has he always wanted to be a Yankee? Or a Mariner? Or something else? There’s still some mystery to all of this in light of those sorts of questions.
But the big money is in L.A., which means the smart money is on L.A.
UPDATE: Well, this doesn’t hurt the Dodgers chances either:
It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.
That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.