Masahiro Tanaka contract: crowdsourcing it

Koji Watanabe

Somewhat inspired by shoewizard's fanport [though I was thinking of doing this already], let's crowdsource what Masahiro Tanaka might receive in a contract from whichever major-league team is lucky enough to win the battle for his services. By crowdsourcing, I mean, getting as many voices in on the topic as possible, then taking an average of the totals, to get some kind of consensus as to his perceived value. Some data points to take in to consideration: the deals eventually worked out by the largest previous Japanese stars to cross the Pacific. Though some of these are more a "man, wasn't Ichiro cheap?" reminder than any useful comparison!

  • Yu Darvish (2012) - $56 million six-year contract, $51.1 million posting fee = $107.1 million total.
  • Hiroki Kuroda (2008) - $35.3 million, three-year contract, no posting fee (free agent)
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka (2007) - $52 million six-year contract, $51.1 million posting fee = $103.1 million total
  • Hideki Matsui (2003) - $21 million, three-year contract, no posting fee (free agent)
  • Ichiro Suzuki (2001) - $14 million, three-year contract, $13 million posting fee = $27 million total.

Under the new rules, the posting fee will be capped at $20 million. Will that translate into more cash for Tanaka? That seems likely, though this may be dampened by the fact that posting fee does not count against payroll for luxury tax purposes, but the contract does. That's likely to be something of concern, for at least two of the teams likely to be interested, the Yankees and Dodgers [the Yankees, bizarrely, may secretly be hoping Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the entire season, which would significantly help their tax bracket]

So, what I want to hear from you are the following:

  1. How much (in years and dollars) you would pay for Tanaka's services.
  2. How much (in years and dollars) you think Tanaka will actually receive - which may be higher, lower, or the same as the amount above.
    [Note that both 1 and 2 should exclude the $20 million posting fee, which is taken as read.]
  3. Which team will sign him.
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