Skip to content

Report: Yankees will be “serious players” for Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka

Oct 12, 2013, 3:49 PM EST

Masahiro Tanaka AP AP

If you haven’t heard of Masahiro Tanaka yet, it’s time to get familiar with him. The bidding for his services is about to get serious.

According to George A. King III of the New York Post, the Yankees are going to be “serious players” for the 24-year-old right-hander this winter as they attempt to fill holes in their starting rotation. The team has done their homework here, as they sent assistant general manager Billy Eppler and scout Don Wakamatsu to watch him extensively this season. It’s safe to say they liked what they saw, as Tanaka went 22-0 with a 1.23 ERA during the regular season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League.

Known for his devastating splitter, Tanaka is widely considered the best pitcher in Japan now that Yu Darvish is in the states and at least one scout thinks that he might actually be better.

“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.’’

High praise. Like Darvish, Tanaka would have to go through the posting process in order to sign with an MLB team. The Rangers paid $60 million to secure exclusive negotiating rights with Darvish two offseasons ago and eventually signed him to a six-year, $51.7 million contract. A posting fee for Tanaka wouldn’t count towards a team’s payroll, which is something to keep in mind with the Yankees attempting to stay under $189 million next season.

Of course, the Yankees will have plenty of competition for Tanaka’s services. King hears from one source that the usual suspects like the Red Sox, Rangers, and Dodgers will also be in the mix.

Latest Posts
  1. Phillies GM told Ryan Howard they’d be better off “not with him but without him”

    Dec 20, 2014, 1:30 PM EST

    Ryan Howard Getty Getty Images

    With the Phillies in the middle of a rebuilding effort, they are facing some tough (and long overdue) truths with their veteran players.

  2. Troy Tulowitzki trade between the Rockies and Mets is “not happening”

    Dec 20, 2014, 12:16 PM EST

    San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies Getty Images

    Tulowitzki would immediately take the Mets from a “maybe” contender to a “legitimate” contender, but don’t get your hopes up.

  3. Jimmy Rollins writes goodbye message to Philadelphia after trade to Dodgers

    Dec 20, 2014, 11:01 AM EST

    Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

    Rollins was officially traded from the Phillies to the Dodgers yesterday in exchange for right-hander Zach Eflin and left-hander Tom Windle.

  4. Trea Turner’s agent is unhappy his client is in limbo after trade to Nationals

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:59 AM EST

    Nationals cap logo

    As part of this week’s three-team Wil Myers trade, the Nationals acquired right-hander Joe Ross and a player to be named later. However, the player to be named later isn’t a mystery. It’s shortstop prospect Trea Turner, who is now in limbo after the trade.

  5. Chase Utley wants to go down with Phillies’ sinking ship

    Dec 19, 2014, 11:30 PM EST

    Chase Utley AP AP

    Chase Utley plans to wear Phillies red until his contract runs out.

  6. Padres expected to host 2016 All-Star Game at Petco Park

    Dec 19, 2014, 10:25 PM EST

    Petco Park

    Everything’s coming up Padres lately.

  7. Dodgers release Brian Wilson

    Dec 19, 2014, 9:31 PM EST

    Brian Wilson Getty Getty Images

    Brian Wilson and his beard are back on the free agent market after the Dodgers released him on Friday.

  8. Red Sox sign Craig Breslow to $2 million deal

    Dec 19, 2014, 9:20 PM EST

    Craig Breslow Getty Getty Images

    The Red Sox have brought back lefty Craig Breslow on a one-year deal for $2 million.

  9. Wil Myers could play center field for the Padres

    Dec 19, 2014, 8:15 PM EST

    wil myers getty Getty Images

    The Padres’ outfield should hit a lot of homers in 2015, but they may give back a lot of those runs on defense.

  10. Orioles hire hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh

    Dec 19, 2014, 7:10 PM EST

    orioles logo

    The Orioles have settled on a new hitting coach: Scott Coolbaugh.

  11. Giants acquire Casey McGehee from the Marlins

    Dec 19, 2014, 6:05 PM EST

    casey mcgehee getty Getty Images

    The Giants are looking to solve their third base dilemma with Casey McGehee.

  12. Report: David Ross to sign with the Cubs

    Dec 19, 2014, 5:18 PM EST

    David Ross Getty Images

    Jon Lester now has a personal catcher.

  13. More from the underbelly of the A-Rod Conspiracy Industrial Complex

    Dec 19, 2014, 4:47 PM EST

    Alex Rodriguez Getty Getty Images

    All baseball moves the Yankees make must be construed as pro-A-Rod or anti-A-Rod. There are literally no other reasons the Yankees make baseball moves.

  14. Baseball will lobby to have Congress exempt minor leaguers from the Fair Labor Standards Act

    Dec 19, 2014, 3:25 PM EST

    Minor League baseball

    Minor League Baseball’s top lobbyist wants minor leaguers classified as if they were babysitters and seasonal farm workers.

  15. A’s release Nick Punto, eat $2.75 million

    Dec 19, 2014, 3:10 PM EST

    Nick Punto AP

    He’s owed $2.75 million for 2015.

  16. If you ever wanted to make “Darryl Strawberry money” now you can. Quite literally.

    Dec 19, 2014, 2:30 PM EST

    New York Mets Getty Images

    It’s complicated. But you can bid on his deferred compensation, payable by the Mets.

  17. Pirates sign Corey Hart

    Dec 19, 2014, 2:14 PM EST

    Corey Hart Getty Getty Images

    Hart was one of the best right-handed power hitters in baseball for the Brewers from 2010-2012.

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. W. Myers (4628)
  2. M. Kemp (3684)
  3. M. Cabrera (2903)
  4. J. Kang (2672)
  5. M. Morse (2595)
  1. J. Upton (2559)
  2. A. Rios (2236)
  3. W. Middlebrooks (2205)
  4. C. Headley (2181)
  5. C. McGehee (2072)