This may be stating the obvious, but any chance the Yankees had of re-signing Masahiro Tanaka likely went out the window with Sunday’s acquisition of former Pirates ace Jameson Taillon. New York’s pitching staff is all but set with Taillon joining Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber (signed to a one-year deal earlier this month), Jordan Montgomery and Domingo German (recently reinstated from an 81-game domestic violence suspension) in what should be a stacked starting rotation. Stud 21-year-old Deivi Garcia could also work his way into that mix.
Things might be different if Tanaka were amenable to a hometown discount, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Per SNY’s Andy Martino, Tanaka is seeking a one-year deal worth $15-20 million. That’s an aggressive sum for a 32-year-old, particularly when the Yankees have allotted over $100 million to Kluber and DJ LeMahieu in the last week. If the Yankees are intent on staying under the $210-million luxury tax (they’re at $206 million right now), Tanaka wouldn’t fit within their budget constraints. There’s been chatter of the Blue Jays and Padres potentially having interest in Tanaka while others have speculated the two-time All-Star could return to his native Japan for a second go-round in NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) should his offers dry up stateside.
If his Yankees tenure is indeed over, Tanaka had a great run in pinstripes, amassing a 78-46 record over 174 appearances (173 starts) for the Bombers. Tanaka’s 78 career victories are the third-most by a Japanese-born pitcher in MLB history, trailing only Hideo Nomo and Hiroki Kuroda, the latter also a former Yankee.