The Yankees offseason has revolved around waiting for the results of Alex Rodriguez‘s appeal and the Masahiro Tanaka Sweepstakes. The Yankees should have a clearer view of their 2014 budget after they hear the results of Rodriguez’s appeal but Rodriguez’s appeal won’t matter much when it comes to the $189 Million luxury tax.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, if the Yankees do sign Tanaka, the Yankees will go over the $189 Million luxury tax mark regardless of what happens to Rodriguez. With the past two seasons, the Yankees have operated as if they were in “luxury tax jail”, passing on the inexpensive Russell Martin and the big free agents in the past two seasons Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton. Now that the Yankees missed the postseason in 2013, they seem ready to go over the $189 Million mark. The Yankees “desperately” need Tanaka given the current state of the Yankees rotation.
Although the Yankees are interested in Tanaka, there is some concern about his workload, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. In the past five seasons, Tanaka has averaged 113 pitches per start. Passan also adds Tanaka’s age into the equation as Tanaka was in his low 20’s while averaging 113 pitches an outing. But, Passan also added that it doesn’t mean Tanaka will fall apart once he signs a big league contract–he pointed out Yu Darvish as the success story.
The Yankees are aware that acquiring Tanaka will improve their teams chances of postseason contention, but they also know the Tanaka sweepstakes will be insane. If the Yankees play their cards right, it could be the Yankees that have the biggest free agent signing of the offseason and not the Seattle Mariners.
(Yes, Tanaka even one-ups Robinson Cano when it comes to the biggest free agent signings of the offseason).