The New York Yankees have had a very active off-season so far, adding position players Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian Roberts and Carlos Beltran tot he roster. However, today the Yankees off-season plans were dealt a blow by the news that Japanese pitching star Masahiro Tanaka will not be making his way to the United States next season. It was no secret that the Yankees were interested in bidding for the 25 year old right-hander and it is also no secret that this team could use at least one more starting pitcher going into the season.
Tanaka put up simply ridiculous numbers last year in Japan for the Rakutan Golden Eagles. He pitched to 24-0 record with a 1.27 ERA and a 0.943 WHIP in 212 innings. Those stats are almost unfathomable. I am not a person who puts too much stock into wins and losses but 24-0 means, to me, that Tanaka didn’t have one day last year. You couple the wins with a sub 1.5 ERA and a sub 1 WHIP and you can see why he was sought after. I understand that those numbers didn’t happen in the Major Leagues, but no matter where you posted numbers like that it’s very impressive and worthy of being coveted by teams at the highest level.
With Tanaka out of the mix where will the Yankees go for back of the rotation help? They already have the top of the rotation settled with CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, but will certainly be looking to add an arm behind them. As the roster stands now the rotation would include Sabathia, Kuroda, and Ivan Nova for sure and the remainder of the 5 man stafff would be filled out by two unproven commodities coming from the pool of Michael Pineda, Adam Warren and David Phelps. General Manager Brian Cashman will most likely go out and find a reliable starter in free agency or via trade very soon. I don’t think Cashman, or the Yankees faithful, would be comfortable coming to a season with that many question marks in their starting rotation.