Is anyone else sick of hearing rumors about where Masahiro Tanaka is going to land?
The New York Yankees know that they need to land this 25-year old Japanese phenom.
Yes, signing a pitcher who has never faced MLB hitters is risky. And the Yankees know this first hand after signing Kei Igawa back in 2007 to a five-year, $46 million contract. Igawa played in just 16-games at the Major League level before being exiled to the Yankees farm system where he stayed.
Igawa’s acquisition has haunted the Yankees, hence steering clear of signing international players like Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman and Yasiel Puig, who all have panned out to be the real deal.
But the Igawa excuse is old, and Yankees fans are sick of watching these stars help competitors win. And Tanaka way more Darvish, than Igawa and the overall consensus is that this guy is the real deal.
Yes, Tanaka posted a 24-0 record in Japan last season; yes, he owns a split-finger fastball that has been called the best ever; and yes, he is as competitive as they come but that doesn’t mean he will shine in the Majors.
Regardless, Tanaka would be any team’s gain and the Yankees are in dire straits for some young talent to add to a roster that could pass for Old Timer’s Day.
Dissecting Tanaka’s Japanese stats to see if he will fair in the Majors is almost pointless, also it has been done over and over from every angle possible.
I wish there was a more efficient and quicker way for Japan and the US to do baseball business, as this way is awfully tedious. It has put a damper on all other free agent starting pitchers; as everything is on hold awaiting the Tanaka’s decision.
Teams have until January 24th to woo Tanaka, which feels like forever considering how much coverage this, has gotten already.
Hopefully, Tanaka gets the hint and makes a quick decision out of respect for his peers, his new team, the other bidders and baseball fans everywhere.