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2014 MLB Free Agency : Masahiro Tanaka, Headed to the Yankees

Tanaka delivers pitch vs Cuba
Tanaka delivers pitch vs Cuba

For Rakuten right-hander Masahiro Tanaka signs big deal with New York Yankees winning the bidding battle once again. A peak at the lead players when it came to his final decision and landing the prize free agent.

Chicago Cubs Perspective

The latest reports show the Cubs are emerging as one of the favorites, but their status as a losing team could stand in the way of landing Tanaka. Monday it was reported that Tanaka could agree on Tuesday or Wednesday this week to give his new club time to do the necessary physical and paperwork to make things official. The industry source believes that the Cubs will outbid the field in terms of years and dollars to land Tanaka, tweets Bruce Levine of Levine adds that at this point, no team knows how much its competitors have bid.

However, not so fast  Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes the Cubs may need Tanaka more than the Yankees or Dodgers, but he doesn’t feel that Tanaka is interested in coming to America to pitch for a losing club.

He feels Chicago would have to overpay to land Tanaka, which he says is not the Ricketts family’s style.

The Dodgers present the best set of circumstances in terms of available money, proximity to Japan, weather, a competitive team and a pitcher-friendly environment, Morosi writes

Los Angeles Dodgers Perspective

Even after signing Clayton Kershaw to a record-breaking deal, the Dodgers stay in active talks with Masahiro Tanaka’s agent. General Manager Ned Colletti said he has spoken with agent Casey Close every day this week except Thursday.

Close also represents Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Kershaw said he hasn’t been asked to help recruit Tanaka to the Dodgers.
New York  Yankees Perspective

In saying that, one National League executive pursuing Masahiro Tanaka believes the New York Yankees will bid more money than other teams in their quest to land the Japanese pitching star, The New York Times reports.

“There is a feeling in some circles that the Yankees will not be outbid,” according the newspaper.

They were right, early Wednesday morning the Yankees and prized Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka agreed Wednesday to a $155 million, seven-year contract.

Looking at his impressive stats, Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for Rakuten. Amazing, but that’s not all. Tanaka also had a game where he threw 160 pitches — but he came back the next day to get the save and lead his team to win their first championship. Yankees made the right decision I am sure he will fit quite well into their weekly rotation.


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