Masahiro Tanaka is currently in Los Angeles, but he’s not there to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Well, not quite yet anyway. Tanaka is in the process of taking his physical while speaking to teams. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti has stated that the Dodgers are in a “feeling out” stage in regards to signing Masahiro.
Colletti saying Los Angeles is in a “feeling out” process is just the politically correct answer because every team is currently in the “feeling out” process. No MLB team is going to just jump into a contract with Tanaka without meeting with him and awaiting the results of his physical to make sure they’re not signing a potential ace who will end up on the disabled list multiple times during his tenure with a team.
It won’t surprise me to see the Dodgers make a very lucrative offer to Tanaka that no other team can match. However, I’ve not only said this once, but I’ve said this twice; Los Angeles still has other in-house issues to deal with also.
Masahiro should certainly help any team’s rotation that is lucky enough to get him. If that’s the Dodgers then that’s great for the Dodgers, but Los Angeles already has a Cy Young winning ace in their rotation that is still awaiting his very own lucrative extension.
Whenever these negotiations get past this “feeling out” stage, the Dodgers need to keep Clayton Kershaw and also Hanley Ramirez in the back of their minds while attempting to sign Tanaka.
Masahiro may end up being as good as expected, but are the Dodgers signing him because they truly need him? Or could Los Angeles be pushing hard for Tanaka because the extension talks with Kershaw aren’t going according to plan? Either way, the situation between the Dodgers and Tanaka is going to be interesting to follow as the Jan. 24 deadline approaches.
Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @1AndOnlyPidgeon, add him to your network on Google or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org