I wasn't paying attention too much to the source, but if I'm not mistaken, he's the 18 year old who broke a few Red Sox signings the last couple of years and is pretty much a new, but respected rumorist. I think they had him on MLB Network interviews and the like and he's pretty much considered one of the legit sources now.
IceX points out this Chris Cotillo article, on Lookout Landing, which claims the Mariners are "heavily involved" in the talks.
(I don't know anything about Mr. Cotillo, nothing at all, and the article seems to claim that he talked to an agent who relayed this. Maybe one of you amigos can give me a feel for the situation; if Mr. Cotillo is on Lookout Landing, he's okay by me.)
Necessary Inference 1: if an agent is saying this, then the Mariners did NOT miss an offer deadline. Not in the way that the blog-o-sphere (and I) fretted that they might have. They're still eligible to sign Tanaka.
Probable Inference 1: if the M's were ineligible to sign Tanaka, the beat writers would almost certainly have notified us of that. It never seemed to me like the M's were out of it. So we held our peace, as it were.
Probable Inference 2: When an MLB Trade *RUMOR* says that "included teams were ... X, Y, Z" it almost never means that nobody ELSE was involved.
Plausible Inference 3: The Mariners have been very quiet during the Tanak-a Stalk-a. All the talk about their "being out of cash" seems like speculation, in retrospect. (Not that Dr. D wasn't guilty of worrying about it, given their past transgressions.)
Heard in the 1980's:
Mariner scout - We're not so bad. Really we're just two players away.
Beat writer - Yeah. But those two players are Honus Wagner and Christy Mathewson.
Oddly enough, a Tanaka signing would make this (30 years on) the winter they did actually did go get Wagner and Mathewson.
I don't get why the Mariners are so precious about keeping their intentions quiet. Guarantee you the rest of baseball rolls its eyes at the M's pretensions.
My favorite rock star, Tom Scholz, is like that. He loves the "mystique" that Boston has, makes sure there are no music videos released, takes 10 years to release an album, seldom interviews, and so forth. He loves it when he gets to "deign" to grant an interview.
The thing is, it's not like Boston is in a class with the Rolling Stones or the Who or anything like that. Mick Jagger and Pete Townsend give interviews. But it's beneath Tom Scholz' dignity to do so?!
The M's imperious-ness would be very off-putting if they were the best team in baseball. As a perennial 90-game loser, it comes off as ---> Poser. Yes, definitely, I'll take a double helping of that Mariner Mystique.
Notwithstanding, gimme Gehrig and Mathewson and I'll strongly consider forgiving all.
Like, he just got on the phone, and started calling until people talked to him, that kind of thing? That is *impressive.*
Send us a postcard, Chris :- )
Don't know how to break this to you, Doc, but that's what reporters do.
This was also mentioned in the Cotillo article: "The agent also noted that he has heard buzz that Tanaka has been consulting with Ichiro throughout the process, which could help the Yankees or Mariners in their pursuits." Would be way cool if Ichiro's counsel brings Tanaka to the M's.
Somebody paying him, giving him a phone and a credential, so he can say "This is the Times calling?"
For a high school kid to do it out of his house is a little different. ... Come to think of it, these days, maybe not :- )
Mike Hargrove notwithstanding, he the tourists coming over from Japan to see him, the honor and dignity with which the Mariners handled his exit (e.g., treating him well when they didn't have to), all that stuff...
And without any drama despite the team never going to the playoffs after his first season. That says it all. He clearly would have retired with the M's if they weren't still rebuilding at the end of his career.
"A product of his generation, Cotillo said he e-mailed and texted 'a lot' with sources and only recently began calling them."
The M's have been rebuilding since Ichiro's rookie year. He could have retired with the M's at any time. Why wait until the end of a career?
As tweeted by their MLB.com Beat Writer.
Looking favorable for us, slowly.
My bet's on Dodgers. M's as the dark horse. NYC as the uphill climb.
I think you're right, Ice. For what it's worth, I had earlier speculated that Dodgers would make Matt Kemp available if they signed Tanaka. Kemp's agent is now saying he won't be ready when the season opens in Australia and is targeting April 1. Tough to trade a guy who isn't healthy enough to play, so that thin line of hope seems to have been extinguished.