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Masahiro Tanaka unlikely to pitch for Dodgers in 2014


Koji Watanabe

Have you noticed the Dodgers have been really, really quiet this offseason? It's creepy. They're just sitting in the corner, staring at you, using a stack of hundreds as a loofah, completely naked for some reason. Also, you're picturing Tommy Lasorda as the personification of the Dodgers.

Let me start over.

The Dodgers' offseason shopping list, so far:

  • Brian Wilson
  • J.P. Howell
  • Juan Uribe
  • Seth Rosin
  • Dan Haren
  • Alex Guerrero

I like Haren as the token non-ex-Giant. Way to throw everyone off your scent, Ned. But that's a completely reasonable list of acquisitions. Those players filled organizational needs quietly and effectively. It's the kind of offseason shopping list you might see from the Padres or Astros, depending on the year.

Edit: I forgot about Guerrero when I posted. That's kind of risk-spendy. Carry on.

And the Dodgers keep staring. Keep staring. Keep staring.

There are a couple of reasons, I'm guessing. The first is there just aren't a lot of ways for the Dodgers to throw money around recklessly right now. Their biggest need is at third base, and they signed the biggest third-base free agent on the market. That would be Juan Uribe. Also, "biggest" is ambiguous, but I'm using it in a context of "best." If, say, Chase Headley were on the market, the Dodgers would have already given him the Werth.

The second reason is everyone's pretty sure the Dodgers will offer a Maybach filled with jewels and robots to Masahiro Tanaka when he's available. That was supposed to be this offseason. Ah, ah, ah, Dodgers. Not so fast. From the Grey Lady:

But on Thursday morning, several Japanese newspapers reported that the Eagles — who control the rights to Tanaka until the end of 2015 — would not permit major league teams to bid for him.

If the Dodgers' offseason plan revolved around Tanaka, they'll probably have to go to Plan B. They'll have to think quietly about what that plan is. While they stare at you and keep up with the money loofah.

There are a couple different Plan Bs, I'd reckon. The first is to trade the farm for David Price. The Rays are looking for a "Herschel Walker trade", according to something I read (but can't find now). I would be in favor of the Dodgers playing the role of the Vikings in that situation. In most situations, really. While a Greinke/Kershaw/Price/Ryu rotation is stupid and unfair, I'd rather the Dodgers give up the prospects if they just have to have another premium pitcher.

They could also pay a ton of money for Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, or Ubaldo Jimenez. Garza wouldn't cost a draft pick, and he's probably the most trustworthy of the trio. He'd make the Dodgers better, and it's not like they care about the money, so the Giants wouldn't exactly get to giggle at their misfortune. But better Garza than Tanaka.

Maybe the Dodgers will just do nothing and keep staring at you until the deadline. It's possible.

I wasn't looking forward to Tanaka 13 or 14 times a year under the unbalanced schedule. There's still a chance the Golden Eagles will change their minds. Let's hope not.

Update: The Golden Eagles are being jerks, and Tanaka still might be posted, according to this Japanese news source. What say you, Google Transalate?

The 19th, in response to coverage of the press in Sendai city, it's that tough for the "system but certain as to whether to accept a U.S. Major League Baseball moved in the new posting system Tanaka Masahiro pitcher Tachibana Yozo team president of comfort. "I have comments policy and will continue to. Discussion are not out yet." Teams are undecided talks time with the Tanaka future.