Monday, January 27, 2014

The World Must Be Ending Now That Tanaka Is A Yankee

You mean Masahiro Tanaka chose the biggest truckload of money rather than a team besides the Yankees? You can't wrap your head around that? When you're talking about a minimum nine digit contract, going for the biggest payday can seem a little excessive and tacky.

Like it or not, the Yankees are one of the few teams that can throw insane amounts of money at a position and overpay for needs, wants and luxuries. Does this make them an automatic lock for the World Series? Hardly. It doesn't even make them a lock for the playoffs. The Yankees have a few more holes to fill before they can become a well rounded team and one man (no matter how good he is, unless his name is Bugs Bunny) can win a game all by himself.

The Yankees won't be the dominant force that some people think they will be with Tanaka in tow, nor will they be the 1972 Phillies with Masahiro Tanaka playing the role of Steve Carlton. Somewhere, a middle ground will play out. One thing that will be for certain, Tanaka will not repeat his past season's amazing run. Will he be good? Yes, he should be. Will he be the second coming of Cy Young? Doubtful.

I expect the rest of MLB to catch up with Tanaka around June, if not sooner. If he's a smart pitcher, he will make adjustments. I expect Masahiro to break down at some point during the duration of this contract. The Eagles excessively used him in Japan. It will be a miracle if he doesn't experience some arm issues.

Mind you, this is just pure speculation. Tanaka could be the rare gem that pitches a lengthy career with no major speed bumps. If that happens, it would be awesome and a nice coup for the Bronx Bombers. Chances are his career will not be that smooth. Unfortunately, baseball is a team sport and you are only as good as the team around you. Masahiro could be lights out and throw no-hitters every start in the Yankee pinstripes. Just ask Andy Hawkins how easy it is to lose a no-hitter for the Yankees.

The truth is we haven't seen Tanaka play in the majors yet. Time will tell how good he will be. Is he worth the money laid out? Not really, but I don't think any player is worth that much. I guess in a roundabout way, I'm just trying to say, keep calm, let things play out and enjoy the ride. However Tanaka fares in MLB, it should prove very interesting.

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