Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tanaka Decision Could Come Tuesday Or Wednesday

According to David Kaplan on Twitter Masahiro Tanaka could make his decision on Tuesday or Wednesday before the Friday deadline. Additional medicals need to happen, including a physical I assume, and all this has to be done before Friday. I wish it could just come today and not leave us in any more suspense but hey, can't have it both ways. By the way the tweet above is a two part tweet and below is the first part so you know who the "he" is when being referred to in the first tweet.

Who Gets The Cut If Masahiro Tanaka Signs Here?

I got to talking on Twitter this morning, because I believe in being social on social media which is rare for some reason among beat writers and people who cover the team, and I got thinking who exactly would be cut off the 40 man roster if Masahiro Tanaka were to sign with us? The cuts are becoming less and less obvious these days so I looked a little closer.

Just in case you did not know the Yankees, or any team, have until 5:00 pm ET on Friday January, 24 to make this official with Tanaka. That deadline includes signing him, passing the physical, and getting him on the 40 man roster. With the DFA of Vernon Wells and non tenders of Matt Daley and company the obvious choices are no longer obvious when it comes to who stays and who goes.

Here is a list of possible candidates to take the honor of losing his spot for the betterment of the team and for Tanaka to don pinstripes:

David Huff is a candidate, just not a very likely one or one that makes a ton of sense. The Yankees need pitching and really they need all the depth they can get after last season and losing Huff doesn't make sense right now. Huff can be a starting pitcher or a long man in the bullpen and makes a ton of sense for the Yankees to keep around at least through Spring Training. Unless he agrees to a minor league deal, which I can't see, then I say keep him around for a few more months.

Honestly I think we have far too many options in the infield and for the bench, as silly as that probably sounds, but I think they will all be safe in the Tanaka fallout. Dean Anna, Eduardo Nunez, and Brian Roberts are pretty safe at least until Spring Training. There is a small possibility that Nunez could be cut but I really cannot see it this early.

The cut I think comes from the plethora of outfield options that we have on the 40 man roster. Obviously four guys obviously come to mind that are safe but what about Ichiro Suzuki, Ramon Flores, Slade Heathcott, and Zoilo Almonte? I can't see the Yankees taking the media fallout of simply cutting Ichiro and with Slade and Zoilo seemingly the "future" of the Yankees outfield I see them staying put, which is bad news for Flores. Flores was a non tender candidate this January and made the cut which makes him an obvious choice here to clear a 40 man roster spot.

Flores doesn't do anything specifically and necessarily great but does a lot of things well making him pretty valuable. The problem is he is primarily a left fielder and has not developed any power in his career. If his speed numbers were impressive you could make the case for him but those have been lacking as well in his career, finding him on the roster without a spot to play and that will hurt when the Yankees roster crunch really hits them, like if Tanaka signs with us on Friday.

Masahiro Tanaka Wants To Wear #18, No Problem?

In this Google translated article that stated that the Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs, and Diamondbacks had offered Masahiro Tanaka six years and $120 million a minor detail was missed, Tanaka asked for a specific uniform number, #18. With the Yankees having like 92 out of 100 numbers retired, obviously exaggerating, I somewhat panicked and went to look up if the number was retired. I didn't think it was but I had to be sure as I thought I remembered Johnny Damon wearing the number in 2009, which he did.

Other notable Yankees to wear the #18 besides Damon are Mariano Duncan, Scott Brosius, Homer Bush, Bubba Crosby, Whitey Ford for one season, Andruw Jones, Don Larsen, Deion Sanders, Jeff Weaver,  Mike Stanley, Randy Velarde, and Hiroki Kuroda. Oh crap, Kuroda wears #18 doesn't he? I wonder how important the number is to both Kuroda and Tanaka.

Masahiro Tanaka, The Cubs, And Conflicting Reports

This is why I dislike the game and what Twitter has brought to it, conflicting reports. I really REALLY hate conflicting reports because it tells me people just put news out there just to be first, not to be correct. I hate it but I digress because now reports are coming out saying that the Chicago Cubs are not the leaders for Masahiro Tanaka like we have all been led to believe. The report, seen above, even states the Cubs are long shots at this point for the Japanese import. I like this report better than I do the reports that Chicago will blow everyone out of the water so I will go with these reports. Either way we find out soon, maybe as soon as today or tomorrow, and no later than Friday. The end is near.

Yankee Stadium Legacy: #72 Bernie Williams

Bernie Williams was a consistent force in the Yankees lineup hitting over .300 for eight straight seasons starting in 1995. Williams also won the AL batting title with a .339 average in 1998 during that span. Williams also claimed four consecutive Gold Glove Awards for his play in center field starting in 1997. Williams played 2,076 games for the Yankees franchise and is only one of five players to surpass the 2,000 games played for the Yankees.

72 days until Yankees Opening Day

The Tanaka, ARod connection?

I know, I know, how in the world could these two baseball stars be connected. So many variables work against them having anything in common. They live in different countries, they are generations apart in age, heck, they don't even speak the same language!? Well, hear me out.

One thing they could have in common is a large contract from the New York Yankees. If Tanaka were to sign a contract with the Yankees it would have to be an exorbitant amount for many years, just like they had to with Mr. Rodriguez. 

I know this doesn't seem like a big deal, but you have to wonder how closely Tanaka and his camp are watching the trials of a ring holding Yankee that they invested so much into? It also makes you wonder if this is why the Yankee brass is admitting to take ARod back after his suspension?

I know, it sounds ridiculous, we would never turn on the latest oriental darling?Although, we don't exactly have a sparkling past with imported pitchers. Hideki Irabu (whom was compared to a fat toad by Yankee brass) and Kei Igawa (banished to the minors) 

Although, that isn't where I'm going here. What if Tanaka did sign and something along the lines of Carl Pavano happened. Slowly things go south after minor surgeries turn into Tommy John! Then, would those same Yankee fans that have pre-ordered Tanaka jerseys for $90.00+ a clip, well, would they still love him? Would they stick with him, or try and run him out of town? I know it's not as big a deal as a PED scandal, but when the Yankees are paying a large percentage of the payroll to someone who is sitting and watching, well, things get ugly in the Bronx.

I hope I'm WAY off the mark here, but you have to wonder.

This Day In New York Yankees History 1/19

On this day in 1972 the Yankees Yogi Berra was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. On the same day 300 game winner Earl Wynn and Dodgers southpaw Sandy Koufax were also elected to Cooperstown.

On this day in 2005 the Yankees lost out on one of their own free agents in Esteban Loaiza. Loaiza agreed to a one year deal with the Washington Nationals worth $2.9 million after going a combined 10-7 with a 5.70 combined with the Yankees and the White Sox. The Yankees traded Jose Contreras, a struggling starter of theirs, for Loaiza at the trading deadline hoping he would get back to his 2003 form in which he went 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA.