Masahiro Tanaka Signs with the New York Yankees
The Yankees certainly have had a busy offseason with the signing of free agents Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. These additions helped their offense but there was something missing. Their offseason activities were compared to baking a cake but leaving off the frosting and that was largely true. In signing Masahiro Tanaka the Yanks put plenty of delicious frosting on the cake they baked this offseason.
The Yankees’ signing of Masahiro Tanaka to a 7 year $155 million deal puts them one step closer to rebuilding their brand and restoring their reputation as favorites to reach the playoffs and compete for a chance to win the world series every year. The signing of Tanaka also shows how little faith Yankee management has in it’s farm system. Yankee fans have heard about the potential of Manny Banuelos and we’ve reported on the battle for the 5th spot in the Yankee rotation between Vidal Nuno, David Phelps, Michael Pineda and Adam Warren, but the Yankees clearly did not believe that they had a pitcher within the organization who was ready to provide them with a quality start every fifth day.
The Tanaka signing does not come without any risk. Although he is still in his prime, Tanaka has thrown more innings by age 25 than anybody in the majors in the past 35 years. Some baseball experts think that Tanaka’s right arm might have too much mileage on it and they question how effective Tanaka will be against major league hitters. In Tanaka’s defense,an inning restriction isn’t always beneficial for a pitcher – think back to the “Joba Rules” and how much they helped Joba Chamberlain's career.
The bottom line is that if you are the New York Yankees and you think that you are thisclose to fielding a championship caliber team and you have the chance to sign a 25 year old pitcher who is coming off of a season where he went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA you need to seize that opportunity. If Tanaka is truly as good as his career 99-35 record, 2.30 ERA and 1.108 WHIP imply, then he could help the Yanks and your fantasy baseball team compete for a championship in 2014!
For more on the Yankees offseason moves, check out our Hot Stove Review.