Latest Masahiro Tanaka update feels like reunion is in the works
The Yankees have remained in contact with Masahiro Tanaka.
The free agency silence has been broken! Aside from DJ LeMahieu rejecting the qualifying offer, the New York Yankees have been involved in next to zero notable bits of offseason buzz. No, we aren’t counting their reported interest in Andrelton Simmons, because that does nothing for them.
While we’re yearning for a legitimate and positive update on LeMahieu, we’ll settle for something heading in the right direction with fellow free agent Masahiro Tanaka, who should be a priority for the Yankees given their need for starting pitching and familiarity in the rotation.
Here’s the latest buzz surrounding the Japanese right-hander.
Not bad! The other buzz that involved the Yankees was their reported interest in Charlie Morton and Garrett Richards — again, potential moves that don’t really move the needle, but at least those focused on an immediate need. And if the Bombers are still considering one of those moves, it apparently won’t affect their dealings with Tanaka.
Bringing back Tanaka and adding one of those guys would be an upgrade of sorts, especially in an offseason in which premium starting pitching isn’t exactly available.
However, as we suspected, the Yankees will be nickel-and-dimers in their free-agent endeavors, so if Tanaka goes a penny outside their price range (or what they deem appropriate “market value”), this could get ugly.
You have to suspect negotiations between these two will be as respectful as you can imagine, however. The Yankees are the only MLB team Tanaka knows and he was paid handsomely after coming over from Japan. He’s certainly not going to take a lowball offer, but it’s safe to assume he’ll understand what’s fair and reasonable given the Yankees’ current financial situation (as well as their other free agent needs).
The fact that they’re in contact is enough to make fans feel optimistic. Since we haven’t heard anything about offers from other clubs, Tanaka could be exclusively talking to the Yankees before deciding to explore other options, which would really help this process move along smoothly.
Now let’s get some news on a signing, shall we?