Masahiro Tanaka is a subject that I have written about extensively over the last few months. To me, the reasons are self explanatory.
Based on his stuff, talent, youth, and availability, Tanaka would be a very sound addition to the Houston Astros’ staff for 2014 and beyond. The problem for the Astros though, is that availability.
As tweeted by Brian McTaggart earlier today, Tanaka is a player the Astros are interested in. Now again, “interest” is a vague and all encompassing term.
Astros owner Jim Crane confirms team’s interest in Tanaka.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) January 21, 2014
The Astros would have been crazy had they not been interested in Tanaka. For multiple reasons outlined in this space, his addition would have made perfect sense. But based on everything that has been reported, the Astros have never been considered a legitimate landing spot for Tanaka. That does not mean they didn’t pursue him, but I have not seen anything reported that even suggested an offer was made.
Again, that doesn’t mean there was never an offer or any serious negotiations, but regardless of Crane’s statement I don’t think Houston was ever a serious contender. That very well could be due to no fault of their own, as since the start it looks like Tanaka has been earmarked for a big market. But it is a good thing that, at a minimum, they looked into Tanaka.
Per the latest update on CBS Sports, the destination of Tanaka is causing much speculation, but there is nothing definitive yet. Honestly, I’m not sure that will be the case until the Friday deadline.
Yes, there is the possibility the Astros swoop in here as a mystery team, but unfortunately I’m not sure that it is likely. As far as contract terms, six years and $120 million seems like a rough estimate, but it is all speculation at this point.