The baseball world is going crazy over this new kid coming to America to play the real game of baseball. Of course, the buzz is about Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. According to all the experts, he is supposed to be the next big thing over here. That’s all fine and dandy. But, at least for the Atlanta Braves, they should steer clear and avoid the chaos.
Tanaka requires a large fee just to pay off his previous team. On top of that, he is going to get paid a huge contract in the 50-100 million dollar range. No thank you for the Braves. They can use that money elsewhere and hopefully they do. Paying someone you aren’t certain will be dominant is silly. Pay a few proven veterans who can for sure help your team win. Not to mention the Braves don’t need another young pitching project to mold into the next Greg Maddux. They already have those on the current roster!
As it stands now, the Braves’ five-man rotation consists of Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy. Then take notice that the oldest one of those guys was born in 1985. Yes, that’s right. The oldest in the rotation is 28 years old. Or should I say, 28 years young. Pitchers don’t fall apart like other players do. They are young enough! They have enough potential! Let’s sit back and see what they can do.
Adopt another strategy if you will. Let all the other teams bid and out-bid each other and fight over this Tanaka. The Braves sit back and behind the scenes start signing other free agents that can help the team. There are holes in this lineup and free agents are available who could plug these holes. Use the Tanaka Circus as a decoy while you make crucial deals with guys who don’t get all the news coverage as this potentially great, yet untested, Japanese player.
Not saying the kid won’t be great and won’t make people want to burn this article later on down the road, but trust in Teheran, the Braves own young, talented, future star. Let him show what he can do. It’s no longer the time to build for the future. The future is here. The pieces are here. This young rotation has the potential to be great. Ride them out to the Promised Land and in the meantime use Tanaka as a decoy to secure other free agents. In Teheran we trust! Say NO to Tanaka, Atlanta!
David Galleher is an Atlanta Braves writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @theDaveGalleher.