Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka still believes in NYY based on latest comments


The New York Yankees are a starting pitcher, several bullpen pieces, and a few powerful lefty bats short thus far in 2021.

They could’ve rectified one of those issues by extending Masahiro Tanaka a short-term contract entering the season.

Instead, the Bombers let their beloved fan favorite walk in the name of the almighty luxury tax.

Consider us among those who thought there was probably an unsentimental way to upgrade Tanaka’s rotation spot while still saving some of the $15 million AAV he reportedly demanded. However, the Yankees chose to do very little with that money, rendering the decision indefensible.

We’ve heard rumblings that Tanaka’s time in MLB might not be quite over with, and he could explore an out clause in his contract with the Rakuten Golden Eagles this offseason.

Will he reengage the Yankees once the CBA expires and the luxury tax resets? He’s certainly keeping an eye on the team from overseas — and apparently staying positive, based on his latest comments, which we thought was impossible with this group of guys. Guess it’s different if you really know them.

Ex-Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka thinks the team can change its fate.

So … what was Tanaka hinting at? Does he think the men in that locker room simply aren’t clicking, and could accidentally click over the course of the season’s final 60 games? Or does he believe there’s a move coming?

Without the pedigree to pitch in the postseason (which they willingly sacrificed when they let Tanaka walk) we’re still not sure this team is going anywhere beyond the outer borders of the playoffs. We’re ready for the journey (we guess), and appreciate the optimism and faith-keeping from a pitcher who definitely still keeps in contact with his old squad.

As recently as the Astros series on the road, Tanaka was still speaking to Gerrit Cole regularly, congratulating him on his max-effort complete game prior to the break.

The rumors we’ve already heard a bit of regarding Tanaka’s willingness to come back and pitch in the states aren’t going to disappear this winter.

Until then, though, it helps to know we’ve got a watchful eye asking the team to stay the course from overseas.