Something to watch for as you and your kids finish your leftover Halloween candy. On November 1st, the posting process for Japanese free agents to begin. That will include pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, the soon to be 25 year old right hander, with the big curve and the ridiculous numbers. Oh yeah, his fastball reaches 95 too.
The Yankees are going to have to get creative in order to fill out their rotation (and their roster) in 2014. The Yankees thought Manny Banuelos would be ready, however, he had Tommy John surgery and missed last year. There’s also that whole Michael Pineda trade that hasn’t really worked out for either side.
Tanaka had insane numbers this season. He went 20-0 with a 1.24 ERA, his third straight year of a sub-2.00 ERA. He had a .93 WHIP.
The New York Post had a whole report on the Yankees pursuing Tanaka. In it, George A King III talks to a scout who prefers Tanaka over Darvish:
“He is better than Darvish because he is a strike thrower,’’ the scout said. “Overall, Darvish’s stuff might be a little bit better, but this guy knows how to pitch. He is like Kuroda, he has a lot of guts. He throws four pitches but when it gets to [stone]-cutting time, it’s fastball and splitter.’’
On the plus side, his posting fee won’t count if they stick to the $189 million plan. His contract will though.
Look, I’ve never seen the guy. All I’ve seen are clips on youtube like the one below. To me, if he’s better than Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa it’s a plus. If he’s close to what Darvish is it’s a steal. The Yankees need to get creative. Why not go after the 25 year old?