Yankees Hot Stove: Tanaka or bust - Lady Loves Pinstripes Yankees Hot Stove: Tanaka or bust - Lady Loves Pinstripes Yankees Hot Stove: Tanaka or bust - Lady Loves Pinstripes

Yankees Hot Stove: Tanaka or bust

Finally…. Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka has stated he wants to pitch in MLB in 2014.

Rumor has it that MLB teams are expecting Tanaka to be posted later this week.

And New York fans will finally find out whether Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is a man of his word or not thanks to the newly revised posting system.

Last week, MLB and the Nippon Professional Baseball league (NPB) agreed to revised posting system that caps the fee to talk with a Japanese player at $20 million instead of the blind bidding free for all it has been.

The amended protocol will open up the market for smaller MLB teams to go after Japanese players because the cap levels the playing field. And just as before, the posting fee will not count towards the team’s payroll as the money directly goes to the respective Japanese team as a “releasing fee.”

Ding, ding, ding…., and this is what the Yankees were banking on.

See originally the Yankees were planning to throw the kitchen sink at the Rakuten Golden Eagles for the right to talk with Tanaka by blowing out the competition money-wise. The fact that not a cent of that money would count towards payroll probably had Hal drooling all over himself.

English: Masahiro Tanaka finishes his delivery.

English: Masahiro Tanaka finishes his delivery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The problem Hal is facing now is for the first time thatnumber has a $20 million limit, which in turn means the player’s individual contract price will be much higher. And a player’s money does get docked on the payroll.

What Yankees fans will find out is whether Hal goal is actually a mandate, and how much he really cares to field the championship caliber team he promised.

CBS New York is just one of many media outlets that reported of the Yankees serious interest obtaining 25-year old Tanaka.

Back in November, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports quoted a Yankees source as saying the plan was “going to be bold” to acquire the Japanese ace that posted a 24-0 record last season in Japan.

I wonder if all these sentiments about Tanaka were financially driven, or actually about making the 2014 Yankees a contender.

When you think about it the Yankees have a huge advantage to entice Tanaka, actually they have three.

Icihiro Suzuki, Hiroki Kuroda and Hideki Matsui.

GM Brian Cashman made no secret about hiring ex-2009 Yankee Eric Hinske as a pro scout for a month to help in luring catcher Brian McCann, so can’t he do the same with Matsui?

These guys are living icons in Japan and have to be HUGE selling point in baiting Tanaka to the Bronx.

The bottom line here is it is time for the Yankees to step up to the plate.

Getting a player, under the age of 30 to get excited about, and who also happens to fill a huge hole in the starting rotation legitimately would make me believe this ownership wants to win. And I am not alone in my sentiments.

And please…. no faking this time, as you are the Yankees for crying out loud, and it is about time people get reminded of that.

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  1. Garry says:

    Seattle has had the better success of Japanese players. Ichiro hasn't done anything in NY since being traded, and his Hall of Fame #s come from Seattle. Seattle had great Closer success with Kaz, and now Iwakuma ranked 3rd in AL Cy Young voting in 2013. Plus Tanaka and Iwakuma pitched together.

    If I were to bet where he lands…my money is on Seattle…with all the past success with Japanese players and Seattle being a LOT closer flight to Japan than NY.

    • Richard Griffith says:

      NY if he wants the Big Stage.

      Matsui didn't do bad, but concede your pitching point.

    • Ted says:

      Seattle is the Asian hub of the US and we love our international community and players

      • NYC is the hub for every culture and this might be when the lure of the Yankees pinstripes plays a big part.

        And Ted….baseball loves international players considering they make up more than 40% of the league. Every team has a foreign favorite…Mo, Posada etc.

      • Richard says:

        Sure Ted. Try the 2010 Census of Asian Americans:

        NY 21M
        LA 16M
        Seattle 3

        Some Hub.

    • Garry – Ichiro couldn't wait to get out of Seattle. He has said being a Yankee is like nothing else, as he could have finished his MLB career as a Mariner but waived his no trade clause.

      Mariners might have success with Japanese players, but the Yankees have had even more success as an organization.

      Being closer to home didn't matter to Cano who is going to a city with a 1% Dominican population, which is probably King Felix, doesn't have Washington Heights and is a lot further from the DR too. The length of the baseball season doesn't allow for quick trips home until the off-season anyway.

  2. mike says:

    if the yanks are truly serious about contending they have to make this deal,No matter anything else..

  3. beb says:

    Do not forget that the dodgers are also willing to spend some money and have shown it.