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Thursday Halolinks: Tanaka's gone, but Halos sign Ian Stewart

The Masahiro Tanaka saga is finally over and the Angels celebrate by signing more infield depth.

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Mike McGinnis

No Tanaka.  Let us move on to speculating on which free agent pitcher the Angels are chasing now, and some Halolinks:

  • I'd have to assume if you're coming to a site like Halos Heaven, you're a certain type of baseball fan who keeps abreast of what's going on within the sport.  So if you haven't heard that Masahiro Tanaka signed with the Yankees yesterday, I'd be very surprised.  Anyway, Tom Verducci has an interesting take on the signing by adding the tax amount to Tanaka's salary.  The Yankees are saddled with a huge commitment, but then, they're the Yankees, they're kinda used to that: How the Yankees got Masahiro Tanaka, and what he'll really cost -  "The Yankees will shell out $175 million for Tanaka -- $155 million in salary plus the $20 million posting fee. But that's not all. The signing also pushes New York past the $189 million tax threshold, which means a 50 percent tax on the overage. That means Tanaka's salary (if you choose to isolate it and the team remains well above the threshold) effectively gets taxed as much as $77.5 million, bringing the potential effective cost of signing Tanaka to as much as $252.5 million. What are the Yankees getting for $252.5 million? Said one executive who scouted Tanaka, "Our evaluation of him was as a number two [starter], not a number one, and with more than the usual amount of risk. He's a good pitcher -- a Dan Haren type."
  • Where were the Angels in this whole process?  Apparently, nowhere. Although I think this is a huge over-pay, I'd be very interested in the thought process the organization went through to determine Tanaka wasn't worth effort.
  • This is pretty interesting when you put the amount the Yankees will be paying their new pitcher next to the salaries of the games best pitchers: Number Crunching the Yankees’ Signing of Masahiro Tanaka: The Yankees Got Taken For a Ride - The Read Zone.  "Essentially, the Yankees just signed Tanaka to a four year, $108 million deal with a unilateral player option for 3 more years at $67 million. Granted, the Yankees have locked up Tanaka’s "prime" by having the four guaranteed years be his age 25 through 28 seasons.  However, the Yankees are paying $26 million per year for those four years, making it the second richest pitcher contract of all time, by average annual value (h/t River Ave: "Kershaw ($30.7M), Verlander ($25.7M), Felix ($25M), Greinke ($24.5M), Sabathia ($24.4M), Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee (both $24M), and Johan Santana ($22.9M))."
  • "You have to respect a ballplayer who's just tryin' to finish the season. At least, that's what I told myself. Baseball may be a religion full of magic cosmic truth in the fundamental ontological riddles of our time, but it's also a job..." Report: Dodgers sign Chone Figgins to minor league contract -  "Figgins, 36, did not play at all last season after failing to make the Marlins out of spring training. He last played with the Mariners in 2012, hitting .181/.262/.271 (53 OPS+) in 66 games. Figgins hit .227/.302/.283 (68 OPS+) during the life of his four-year, $36 million contract with Seattle."  Here's hoping Chone gets what he's looking for.
  • I mentioned yesterday my concern over Grant Green not having a spot on the major league club's roster, and although Ian Stewart isn't anything "special" he is another player in Green's path to the big club: Angels sign veteran Ian Stewart for bench help -  "Stewart, who's 28 and bats left-handed, is expected to compete with the likes of outfielder Collin Cowgill and infielders John McDonald, Grant Green, Shawn O'Malley, Tommy Field and Andrew Romine (out of options) for one of two open bench spots this spring, alongside outfielder J.B. Shuck and platooning catchers Hank Conger and Chris Iannetta." Here's a little more about Stewart: Angels To Sign Ian Stewart -  "Stewart was taken by the Rockies as the 10th overall pick of the 2003 draft and was listed as no less than the 57th-best prospect in the sport by Baseball America every season from 2004-08, topping out as #4 before the 2005 season.  While Stewart didn't quite live up to his lofty pedigree, he still put up a decent .246/.334/.454 slash line and 53 homers over 1236 PA with Colorado from 2008 to 2010."
  • Because that'd be too expensive?
  • Of all the "has-been"/"never-were" signings so far this winter, this is my favorite: Red Sox sign Grady Sizemore to 1-year deal - MLB Daily Dish.  "The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a one-year, major league contract with outfielder Grady Sizemore, according to Rob Bradford of Bradford notes that the deal will pay Sizemore $750K in guaranteed money, with Jon Heyman of adding that he can make up to $6 million if he achieves incentive clauses in the deal."
  • I actually live closer to Target Field/Minneapolis than I do to Miller Park/Milwaukee, but it still perplexes me that I've never grown much of an appreciation for the Brewers.  They're the team most of the people I talk to mention when the subject of baseball comes up, but I don't know, they're just so...boring.  Anyway, this is pretty cool:  Bob Uecker to get statue in last row at Miller Park - JSOnline.  "The statue will pay tribute to the popular Miller Lite "All Stars" ad campaign which featured Uecker’s famous tagline, "I must be in the front row." In the commercial, Uecker ended up in the last row. instead of the great seats he expected."