Friday, September 8, 2017

If Masahiro Tanaka Opts Out Could the Yankees Use This “Plan B” in His Place?

The New York Yankees have a huge offseason ahead of them and the only constant that may be on the team may be change. CC Sabathia is set to hit free agency and may or may not be re-signed while Michael Pineda’s contract also expires at the end of the season. The offseason may hinge on the decision looming for Yankees RHP starter Masahiro Tanaka though as he has an opt-out clause written into his contract that allows the Japanese-born right-hander to hit free agency at the end of the season. Whether Tanaka will opt-out and get re-signed, opt-out and head to another team or remain with the Yankees on his current contract is anyone’s guess but you have to think the Yankees have a Plan B if Tanaka does opt-out, don’t they? I mean, have you seen the way that Chad Green is pitching this season?

Green and the way he has emerged and seemingly put it all together all at once reminds me of another young Yankees starter, although this starter came with a lot more projectability and promise than Green. Luis Severino is a recent example of a young pitcher who struggled to find his way in his first Major League season only to build confidence, command and control of his pitching and his game in the Yankees bullpen. New York switched Severino back to the starting rotation in 2017 and the right-hander is likely the team’s ace and best pitcher here in 2017 so why couldn’t the Yankees do the same with Green in 2018? When the team acquired Green along with Luis Cessa in the Justin Wilson trade with the Detroit Tigers both were starting pitchers in Triple-A so the possibility is at least there if the Yankees want to take advantage of it.

Before the series finale with the Orioles yesterday afternoon the Yankees RHP had posted a 3-0 record with a team leading 1.97 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 59.1 innings. That’s not dominance, that’s filth. Green hadn’t allowed a run in four straight appearances after pitching 2.1 innings against the Orioles on Monday after coming in to relieve Jordan Montgomery and getting out of a jam and has been just what the Yankees needed with a struggling Aroldis Chapman. Green wants to start though, he has said as much despite his political correctness, and if Tanaka opts out before the 2018 season Green may finally get his wish again.

If Green wants to be a starter he will have to work on his cutter and his curveball as Severino had to work on his secondary pitches last season but with the offseason and spring training to go before the 2018 season begins there is plenty of time for the young righty. If the Yankees can have Green pitching the way he has along with Severino, Montgomery, Chance Adams, Sonny Gray and others the New York Yankees may be a scary, scary team here in 2018. First things first though, 2017. 


  1. Sorry Daniel. I don't like the idea. Green never had the ceiling Severino had. Comparing the two is unfair. I compare him more to Warren. Great out of the pen, not in the rotation.

    1. That's fair enough and I do agree that Green never had the ceiling that Severino had, and I said as much in the article. I wasn't comparing the two as much as I was comparing their paths to the Major Leagues as a starter.

  2. Green and Severino depend so much on their fastball, will Greens stay with him for 6+ innings as does Severino's? IF not, he must have two more working pitches as a starter...can he do it? That is the big question! If he gets 3-2 counts will he trust his other pitches or will the hitters load up on his fastball all the time?
    As you pointed out, Severino and Green at the top of the order along with the other kids can be trouble for the East.
    Anyway you look at it, we need another Green, we may have that pitcher.

    Here is hoping "Ace" can get his C&C under control by spring training so he can take Greens place in the BP.
    Tommy Kahnle has been a find! Having Betances, Chapman, "Ace" etc., in the BP makes 2018 the year they win more than just a game in the play-offs.

    1. To be fair Kahnle was a find that the Yankees let go to Colorado in the Rule 5 Draft so they knew what he had and what he brought to the table somewhat. Obviously doing that in the Minor Leagues and doing that in the Major Leagues are two different scenarios but still.

      Ace could be a monster in the bullpen but with him throwing 103 MPH he may get every chance to fail as a starter much like Betances did. The Yankees only moved Betances, as I am sure you know, to the bullpen because he was in the final year of team control as a minor leaguer.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)