What does the Tanaka signing mean for the Yankees 35

Masahiro Tanaka 4

When the Yankees signed Masahiro Tanaka to a 7 year, $155 Million contract, fans rejoiced and the organization let out a sigh of relief. Their number one free agent target had been signed, and on paper the Yankees finally became serious contenders. Although the Yankees signed Tanaka, you’d have to wonder what it means for the ball club in 2014. So, let us ask ourselves, what does the Tanaka signing mean…

1) For The Rotation: The rotation is finally shaping together. CC Sabathia would still be your Yankees ace, Hiroki Kuroda would still be your number two starter, Masahiro Tanaka would slot into the number three spot which was previously occupied by Andy Pettitte and finally Ivan Nova would occupy the fourth spot. With those four pitchers, the Yankees now just have to slot one more pitcher and they plan on doing so between Adam Warren, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Michael Pineda. You have to admit though, the rotation looks better on paper now than it did two months ago.

2) For Brett GardnerWhen the Yankees were in limbo on whether or not Tanaka would sign with the Yankees, it seemed possible for Brett Gardner to be a trade chip in order to bring in a starting pitcher. Now, it looks as if Gardner stays with the Yankees in 2014 as their every day left fielder and team up with Jacoby Ellsbury as the 1-2, 1-9 punch in the lineup.

3) For The Payroll: When Alex Rodriguez was placed on the restricted list, it freed the Yankees approximately $27.5 Million to spend on Tanaka. With the Tanaka signing, the Yankees are now above the $189 Million luxury tax. Hal Steinbrenner repeatedly said throughout the offseason the $189 Million tax was a “goal, not a mandate.” Between you and me, I knew the Yankees were going to go over the luxury tax. After all, this is the Yankees we’re talking about.

35 thoughts on “What does the Tanaka signing mean for the Yankees

  • Gonzalo Hiram

    Something I really like from signing Tanaka is keeping Gardner, therefore, having one of the best outfields in MLB

    Ellsbury, Gardner, Beltran, Soriano and Ichiro. OMG You have power, speed, patience, experience, youth, etc etc etc

  • Dave Guarnieri

    This team does not have an infield. Drew, Headly, Phillips. Nunez, Steven Drew–3rd Base, 3 years $40million should do it, don't have to lose a player (but lose a draft pick). Chase Headly and Brandon Phillips for Brett Gardner. Headly for Gardner——rental for rental. Headly at 3rd for a season and Alex back for 2016——I am chuckling but he is under contract and don't think AROD will go away. Anyway, if they get Headly, we will see how it plays out. Gardner for Phillips—-extends line-up, Jeter moves to 3rd and they can carry Ryan's lack of hitting. That is killer up the middle defense, Ryan/Phillips would be awesome. Plus there is depth, if Yank Fans can be at least a little objective, we see that Nunez's defense was dramatically improved last year and he can certainly spell Jeter or Ryan. Roberts also as a back-up. If they want to hold on to Gardner then extend him and SHOW IT & sign Drew.

  • olie

    If the Yankees keep Ichiro, Gardner becomes 4th outfeilder and the only way he hits at top of order is if Ellsbury, Jeter or even Roberts are injured. So why not trade him?

  • Dave Guarnieri

    If Gardner is not traded he is obviously the left fielder this season. But if he does not fit into their plans beyond 2014 trade him now to bring a guy in (like Phillips or Headly) to tighten up the infield. If he is, in the opinion of the Yankee front office, part of the long term plans for this team, extend his contract NOW to avoid overpaying him, or letting him get away next off-season.

  • olie

    There is nothing obvious about Gardner being the left fielder and I would say that if he were part of long term plans they would not have signed Ellsbury. Traditionally, as I am sure you know Dave, left field is normally reserved for a player with pop in his bat. I suspect Soriano will be playing some games in left especially when they use Jeter to DH which they will!

  • Balt Yank

    Yanks could solve some problems by putting Jeter at 3rd base and playing no-hit, all field at SS. I love Gardner but could see trading him for some prospects or a 2nd baseman. When did a 260 hitter (Stephen Drew) deserve anything but league minimum? Right now, we have two similar players in Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson. That Drew is better than those two says not much.

  • Rob Abruzzese

    I don't see Jeter at 3rd base. For one thing, he has never given any indication that he can be unselfish enough to consider such a thing. And his instincts, his first step, and weak arm don't make me excited to see him try to learn a new position. The guy can barely move out there and he's gonna be able to make those split second diving plays? He's going to be able to go deep in the hole at third to throw out a runner at first? Not a chance. Besides, he's not even healthy yet. He might not even be ready to play shortstop so there is little chance that he'll have enough time to learn a new position.

  • Dave Guarnieri

    Jeter's arm strength is not an issue in discussing a possible move to 3rd. Think of that jump throw he makes on balls in the hole. His momentum is carrying him in the opposite direction of the throw, meaning the throw is ALL ARM, and against the grain.

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