The suspense of what team will eventually sign Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka is baseball’s biggest storyline to start the New Year.
And it is no secret that the New York Yankees need Tanaka’s service badly.
As of today, the Yankees starting rotation is headlined by CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. Sabathia is coming off the worst season in his career, and Kuroda is 39-years old so expecting more than he gave in 2013 is a stretch.
Adding Tanaka to the roster will make the predictions on the Yankees to win the AL East this season more likely. You can read more great MLB betting news and odds this season here.
The Yankees can’t afford a second straight year out of the playoffs, as New York fans do not want to watch another 85-win season or another dark October.
Ratings took a dive last season in both game attendance and on TV, as The Wall Street Journal reported that the Yankees tool a $58 million loss in ticket sales. You can bet that number will only inflate if Tanaka is not donning the pinstripes.
ESPN’s Dan Szymborski ranked the top six teams in need of Tanaka services, and the Yankees came in second behind the Seattle Mariners. This had to be a close call as the Yankees do not have a definite ace like King Felix, but it is the Mariners so hard to justify ranking them as better in any category just yet.
Yankees fans would be pretty angry losing Tanaka to the Mariners after Seattle already signed our best player already this off-season in Robinson Cano. Even the delusional Yankees fans might turn if this ever happened.
Tanaka in the Bronx will bring that excitement that was lost in 2013 and fans will not even blink about paying the insane ticket prices to see him. Not to mention the international draw Tanaka would bring.
Now the question is will Hal Steinbrenner come through and make Tanaka an offer he can’t refuse, or risk seeing even more empty blue seats at the Stadium in 2014?
There is really no debate on whether the Yankees should sign Tanaka, and no excuse from the front office will suffice if somehow the right-hander slips through the cracks.
I think the one thing everyone would agree on is when the Yankees want a player; they will do everything in their power to get him.
“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.” - John F. Kennedy