Yup, the Toronto Blue Jays are expressing interest in former New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
If there was a scenario in which the Yankees could bring back Masahiro Tanaka, fans would be all for it. He’s been one of the most beloved players over the last decade and he’s been the top stabilizing force in the Bombers’ rotation since 2014 — until, of course, the acquisition of Gerrit Cole.
But now that general manager Brian Cashman went out and signed Corey Kluber and traded for Jameson Taillon, it’s more than likely Tanaka’s run in New York has ended. And if the latest reports are any indication, he may not be going far.
After signing George Springer, the Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly expressing interest in Tanaka as they look to bolster their very weak starting rotation.
Now, we hate this for a number of reasons. It’d be really sad to see Tanaka go to a division rival in … Canada. We thought if he was going to another country, it’d be back to his native Japan. Secondly, the Blue Jays are probably shaping up to be the second-best team in the division when all is said and done. They have an incredible young core and are making the necessary veteran additions.
But the worst part? You can’t tell us that the Yankees wouldn’t absolutely bludgeon Tanaka when they face him. Though he was good in pinstripes, Tanaka never really faced a lineup as potent as the Yankees’ during his seven years in the Bronx, and we’ve seen him get shelled by much lesser competition.
That would be a really depressing way to officially end this relationship.
The only good news for Tanaka here? He’s had a very successful career at Yankee Stadium (3.88 ERA in 88 starts) and is pretty good at the Rogers Centre (3.50 ERA in 10 starts). Then again, he didn’t face the Yankees, who have arguably the deepest lineup in Major League Baseball, in all of those appearances. Those numbers could very well change in a flash.
So please, for the sake of memories, we can’t have Tanaka sign with the Blue Jays. It won’t end well for anyone. Whether it’s Tanaka dominating us and giving Toronto some sort of upper hand, or the more likely option in which Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit tee off on his flat splitter and average fastball, we just don’t want any of it.