Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka #17 of Japan pitches during the World Baseball Classic. He has been posted to the MLB by his home team, Rakuten.
Remember when the New York Yankees spent $20 million to negotiate with Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka? Remember when they made him the fourth highest paid starting pitcher in the game when they gave him a $155 million deal? It wasn't that long ago. You should.
OK, well now, get a load of this.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman is now telling local media that he expects Tanaka has "the potential" to be "a really solid, consistent No. 3 starter," according to ESPN.
So maybe that's why Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers never seriously got involved with Tanaka after scouting him for years. It's absolutely crazy to spend that much money on a guy you don't see being an ace, or at worst, a very good No. 2 pitcher. The Yankees have CC Sabathia coming off one of the worst years of his career, an aging Hiroki Kuroda and a yet-to-pan-out Ivan Nova. To think Tanaka wouldn't be seen as at least a No. 2 out of that group, something is seriously wrong.
And just remember this, folks. Tanaka's countryman, Yu Darvish, is in the middle of a six-year, $56 million deal and is coming off a second-place finish in the AL Cy Young running.