Masahiro Tanaka might not be a Dodger after all

Koji Watanabe

Before the Giants revogelsang, there was still the possibility of Masahiro Tanaka. Brian Sabean was cagey about it.

We are not getting him. Absolutely not. You are drunk. Go home. Stop asking about Tanaka. Security!

But we could read between the lines. Then they signed Ryan Vogelsong for approximately $145 million less than Tanaka would cost. I think the expression goes "Half of one, six dozen of the other."

Since the Giants more or less took themselves officially out of the Tanaka sweepstakes, there have been developments. In order:

1. The posting process was changed, allowing the super-rich teams to bid Tanaka's price up.

2. The Yankees lost out on Robinson Cano, giving them all sorts of cash to play with.

3. Tanaka's current team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, are miffed at the new $20 million maximum bid. They're not sure if $20 million is worth losing the best player off their championship team, so they're leaning toward keeping him.

The first one was bad for the Giants because it meant the Dodgers could throw their money around easier than they could have under the old rules. The second one is good for the Giants because it means the Yankees are a stronger competitor for Tanaka than they were when they were chasing Cano. The third one is amazing news for the Giants because it means Tanaka wouldn't be on the Yankees or Dodgers or Marlins or whomever. Seriously, keep the good pitchers away from the Giants if at all possible.

It's possible the Dodgers entered the offseason committed to getting a top-o'-the-rotation pitcher at all costs, and they figured they would just blow everyone away with their winning bid for Tanaka. If he doesn't come over, though, I'm hoping they will panic in a hilarious fashion.

"I guess Ubaldo Jimenez is kind of an ace."

"Look, I don't care what the Mariners are offering. We're not giving up Pederson and Seager for ... well ... I don't know, let me think about it. But we're not giving up Puig unless you give us Desmond Jennings back."

"Clayton, don't worry. The finger would come from your glove hand. It's called grafting, and it's how they make all of the apples you eat. If you plant apple seeds, they come out all funky. But if you take part of it and graft it, you get an exact copy."

Something like that. Of course, I would prefer the Dodgers to not get David Price at all, but them giving up the farm and getting him for two years is probably preferable to getting Tanaka for money.

I'm sad our Tanaka dreams were dashed, even if they weren't especially realistic. But at least the odds he'll be a Dodger are just a little longer now.

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