#SFGiants Come Out Winners in Tanaka Derby as Masahiro Goes for Pinstripes

Masahiro Tanaka signing a 7-year, $155 million deal with the New York Yankees, or maybe more specifically, not the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Arizona Diamondbacks, is like when any other NL West team loses when the Giants have a day off: Did the Giants do anything today to warrant a great feeling of happiness? No. However, the letdown of other fanbases that wanted him makes you happy. Does that make you a bad person for delighting in other people’s suffering? Probably.

I’m going to assume every Giants blogger that doesn’t like the Dodgers wrote an opinion piece on Tanaka, so this post might be highly unoriginal, especially since Ken Rosenthal broke the news nearly twelve hours after I’m composing this article. Because, listen, if the Dodgers had this rotation going into 2014:

1. Clayton Kershaw

2. Zack Greinke

3. Masahiro Tanaka

4. Hyun-jin Ryu

5. Dan Haren

…You’d probably hate your life as a Giants fan. Do teams win games on paper? Absolutely not. You wouldn’t feel that great about your chances in a three-game series against any order of those pitchers, though. Maybe against Ryu, Haren, and Kershaw you can picture winning the series, but that assumes either Ryu or Haren doesn’t show up and Tim Lincecum doesn’t have a bad inning, etc., etc., etc. So instead of having that rotation, now the Dodgers have:

1. Clayton Kershaw

2. Zack Greinke

3. Hyun-jin Ryu

4. Josh Beckett

5. Dan Haren

and then maybe some mix of Chad Billingsley or Zach Lee, perhaps. The Dodgers still have some decent depth once Billingsley comes back. Good problem to have. They also had this problem last year, but I think this year’s quality of depth is a little bit better.

So the Giants came out as winners since the Dodgers didn’t come out of the Tanaka sweepstakes, LA losing a guy Baseball America profiled more as a #2 SP than an ace. That splitter is nasty and probably would have tore up the NL West, we’ll see how he does about 3,000 miles away. However, the Giants still don’t have Kershaw or Greinke or Yasiel Puig or Hanley Ramirez or three capable full-time outfielders. Moral victory, I suppose. You take them when you can get them.


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