What Masahiro Tanaka Would Mean to the Rangers

Dec 11, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Rakuten Golden Eagles president Yozo Tachibana (right) walks through the lobby during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Tachibana has not decided whether or not to allow Masahiro Tanaka (not pictured) to sign with a MLB team now that Nippon Professional Baseball and the MLB have agreed on a $20 Million maximum posting bid. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

We all know that the Rangers have the top four spots in their rotation slotted already, although we are not totally sure the exact order. I have it as follows:

1. Yu Darvish

2. Derek Holland

3. Matt Harrison

4. Martin Perez

That is a pretty formidable starting rotation if they all remain healthy and if they all pitch up to the standards that we expect out of them. Based on past performance and according to baseball reference, Darvish has given us an average of 14.5 wins and 200 innings (based on 2012-2013), Holland has given us an average of 12.5 wins and 195.1 innings (based on 2011-2013), Harrison has given us an average of 16 wins and 199 innings (based on 2011-2012) and Perez gave us 10 wins and 124 innings pitched last season, but he will get a full season in 2014. I really am not sure if Harrison will be good for 16 wins or not, but man that would be really nice. Alexi Ogando is slotted to be the fifth starter right now, which would, in my humble opinion, weaken the bull pen if he was the fifth starter. Of course so would the use of Robbie Ross or Tanner Scheppers as a starter.

Tanaka is assumed to be not as good as Darvish but still a top of the rotation guy. I see both Darvish and Holland and a healthy Harrison as top of the rotation guys, and if you look at Perez I think he could be a pretty nice top of the rotation guy in the near future, meaning that if the Rangers could somehow land Tanaka, they would potentially have five starters who would be a number one, two or three in any other rotation. Let that sink in for a moment. The Rangers could have one of the best rotations in the American League. And they would still have Colby Lewis, Alexi Ogando and Nick Tepesch waiting in the wings in case health was an issue for one of the starters. It would definitely be a good problem for the Rangers to deal with.

I don’t think the Rangers are going to land Tanaka, but I also don’t think it is completely out of the realm of possibilities for them either. The Rotation is already going to be a good one, better than most in the American League over all. If they can somehow land Tanaka as well, I will really start to think that something special may just happen with this team in 2014 and beyond. Lets all hope that Daniels gets another miracle signing done.

 

Topics: Masahiro Tanaka, Texas Rangers, Yu Darvish

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  • Lee Stitzel

    I’m not completely sold on Tanaka. Scouts peg him as a number starter at best. He will probably be better than Garza or Santana in the long run but I bet his first year in the majors will not be as good as Darvish’s first year here.

  • MidniteTease

    I’ve said every time the subject has come up (including here, I’m sure) that IMO Tanaka will not be worth the money he’s going to get. Tanaka will probably be a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher, and the past workload may lead to early injuries and a role in middle-relief in just a few years. His slider is certainly a plus pitch, but I don’t think his control is good enough to handle MLB hitters.

    • Ben Dieter

      I tend to agree with you both on the over worked part and the fact that he is a middle of the rotation guy at best. I don’t realistically see him becoming a Ranger, and I am okay with that, especially with all the front line pitchers slotted to be free agents after next season.