Can Dodgers really sign both Masahiro Tanaka and Clayton Kershaw?

The Dodgers are one of several teams that have expressed interest in signing Japanese pitching star Masahiro Tanaka.
(JiJi Press / AFP/Getty Images)

So just how fat is the cat?

Baseball people have been wondering that since Mark Walter and his Guggenheim group purchased the Dodgers and started collecting $100-million player contracts.

They were still wondering after the Dodgers agreed Wednesday to a seven-year, $215-million contract with Clayton Kershaw that averages out to a record $30.7 million per year.

Which follows the six-year, $147-million contract the Dodgers signed Zack Greinke to last off-season. That’s $362 million in long-term contracts for two pitchers, well after Walter famously noted: “Pitchers break.”


And now comes Japanese pitching star Masahiro Tanaka?

Compared to other owners, right now now the Dodgers bathe in cream, own chateaus with more rooms than the Vatican, drive to the ballpark in one of six Bugattis and walk to their offices over fresh rose petals.

And they can’t sign Tanaka?

Using Kershaw’s new average salary, the Dodgers’ current projected rotation of Kershaw, Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren and Josh Beckett will cost the Dodgers $87.5 million next season. That’s more than 13 team’s total 2013 payrolls.

Sometimes the rich just get richer.

The Dodgers try to avoid talking about Tanaka, but Wednesday team President Stan Kasten suggested to The Times signing Kershaw to a mega-deal would not mean they could not go after the Japanese right-hander.

“I don’t think any one contract impacts any other,” Kasten said.

Or apparently any number of contracts. Fat cats becoming more corpulent. Tanaka would not cost them a draft pick, would not cost them players nor prospects in exchange and he is 25 years old. He seems right down their gold-plated alley.

Tanaka is expected to land another contract over $100 million, but the Dodgers reportedly are still looking at adding another starting pitcher. He’s easily the best one out there and Dodgers ownership has shown no signs of backing off in their quest to build the ultimate major league franchise.

More grapes, please.