Thursday, October 10, 2013

King: Yankees Will Be "Big Bidders" On Tanaka

George A. King reports that the Yankees are expected to be "big bidders" for Masahiro Tanaka this offseason when he is posted by his team in the Japanese League. The Yankees may finally be ready to step back into the international free agency pool after missing out on big signings like Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, and Jorge Soler and recent years. I guess missing out on Daisuke Matsuzaka, thankfully, and Kei Igawa left a sour taste of Japanese food in the Yankees mouths in recent offseasons but the Yankees seem to be ready to jump back in.

The Yankees are entering the offseason without three of their five starting pitchers in Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda. The Yankees are expected to be very active in the free agent starting pitchers pool as their farm system has shown less than spectacular results in the starting pitching department and Tanaka may be at the top of their wish list.

Assistant general manager Billy Eppler and scout Don Wakamatsu were sent to Japan to scout him and have seen every start he has made since Tanaka expressed interest in being posted this offseason. The Yankees are doing their homework, unlike when they signed Kei Igawa not even knowing what pitches he threw, and the Yankees scouts think that he could be the best pitcher to come out of Japan ever. Wakamatsu was quoted as saying the following about the Yu Darvish and Tanaka comparison:

"He is better than Darvish because he is a strike thrower,'' the scout said. "Overall, Darvish's stuff might be a little bit better, but this guy knows how to pitch. He is like Kuroda, he has a lot of guts. He throws four pitches but when it gets to [stone]-cutting time, it's fastball and splitter.''

Tanaka will not be posted before November 1st and if the Japanese World Series goes seven games the season will not officially end until November 3rd so we have some time before we really worry with this. Experts speculate that the bidding could match or exceed the $60,000,000 it took just to talk with Yu Darvish and that is before Tanaka gets an expected five year deal worth another $60,000,000.

Tanaka finished the 2013 season with a perfect 20-0 record and a 1.24 ERA in 181 innings spread across 23 starts. Tanaka threw seven complete games and has not had an ERA above 2.00 since the 2010 season. The Yankees seem to be serious about making a run at Tanaka this offseason and this makes me, and it should make all Yankees fans, very very happy.


  1. One must always worry about Japanese pitchers. With them only pitching once a week with a smaller ball etc. The good part is, he will not have so many miles on his arm.
    I do think it is time for the Yanks to get over and get on with it...time to man-up and show the fans..."We are Still the Yankees"!
    I was so Mad, Upset, No, more like disappointed with the way the Yankees passed over Jorge Soler.
    Yu was a different matter altogether, Yu had made statements showing a proclivity to bad mouth the Yankees!

    1. To be honest one must worry about every free agent pitcher they run across, not just the Japanese ones.

      While you have legit concerns you have to remember that we are not expecting Tanaka to be 20-0 nor to be our ace. Also we score a whole lot more here in the states so if his 1.24 ERA jumps to even 3.24 here in the states thats awesome and probably worth 15+ victories.

      He's, what, 24 or 25 years old? Coming off 181 innings? Tanaka will be fine in the states, it just better be with the Yankees.


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