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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Four weeks, four names, four questions

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 17, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Blue Jays Yankees Baseball

I don’t really like counting down to spring training. The day-by-day, one-at-a-time thing just isn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it, but I don’t get especially worked up about pitchers and catchers being 50 days away, and then 40, and then 30, and then…

Today is four weeks before camp opens in Tampa. And four weeks doesn’t seem like a lot of time considering all that’s left to do.

The Yankees seem to have, essentially, their lineup in place. They might add some potential role players here and there — and there’s still some chance of an impact trade — but there’s also a chance that all of the guys who will be in the lineup on Opening Day are already on the 40-man roster. The pitching staff, though, is still a bit of a mystery. And there’s the ongoing A-Rod soap opera that’s 12 months old and still going strong.

So with four weeks to go before camp opens, here are four names of interest and four questions that need to be answered before pitchers and catchers show up in Tampa.

MASAHIRO TANAKA
Where will he end up?
Might as well start with the obvious. Hard to imagine any one player and any one question having more impact between now and the start of spring training. The destination of Tanaka — whether it’s the Yankees or not — will significantly steer the course of the remaining days and weeks. If the Yankees get him, they’ll have the young starter they badly want and need. If they don’t, then what? Would they take a shot on someone like Matt Garza or Ubaldo Jimenez? Would they try to trade for a starter?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ
Is he really out of the picture?
There’s a lawsuit pending — I guess there are actually a few lawsuits pending — and Joe Girardi himself has said he’s not entirely certainly he won’t have Rodriguez on the roster this season. Of course, there’s also the ever-present question of what exactly Rodriguez will do next. What’s his next move? Is there another trick up his sleeve? And if the suspension holds, is he really going to show up for spring training?

DAVE ROBERTSON
Who’s joining him in the bullpen?
Look, we know Robertson is going to be there. What we don’t know is whether he’s going to be the overwhelming favorite to be the closer — which he clearly is right now — or if he’s going to be one of multiple guys auditioning for the part. When Hal Steinbrenner said this week that the pitching staff needed work, surely he wasn’t speaking only in reference to the rotation. Grant Balfour. Andrew Bailey. Fernando Rodney. Do the Yankees have plans for an impact reliever, or is Matt Thornton going to be their big bullpen addition?

BRETT GARDNER
Is he sticking around?
Whether Derek Jeter can still play shortstop, how many games Brian Roberts can play at second, and whether Mark Teixeira can still hit home runs are not questions we’re likely to answer between now and February 14. What we will find out is whether the Yankees intend to open camp with Gardner locked in as their everyday left fielder, or if they’ll ultimately decide he’s more valuable as a trade chip for either an infielder or a pitcher. For that matter, I guess we’ll find out whether Ichiro Suzuki can be traded (and whether the Yankees can find another significant infield option without trading anyone).

Associated Press photo

 
 

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169 Responses to “Four weeks, four names, four questions”

  1. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Chad-

    #5- Will the Yankees go with the IF they have ?

    ;)

  2. blake January 17th, 2014 at 9:06 am

    “Disagree on just about every count.

    That’s not to say that pitching for the Yankees isn’t a challenge. But there are bigger ones.”

    why? what pressure is there in pitching for the Cubs? They literally may not win 65 games in 2014……I guess there is the team goal there to try and help them win a WS…..but that’s a hefty goal for 1 pitcher given where they are.

    The Cubs have the potential to be good sometime in the next 5 years…..but there is no guarantee of that.

  3. Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 9:07 am

    MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:03 am
    YT-

    Suk min-yoon.
    —————
    I Am Not. You can get banned for that! :)

    Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 9:04 am
    MTU

    His wife wants to do a movie with Woody Allen-lives in NY

    She wants front row tickets to the US Open- in NY

    She wants a better seat at the home games-NY

    She wants to live in a restored Brownstone-NY

  4. blake January 17th, 2014 at 9:08 am

    so with this new replay thing are they going to have an umpire in NY per game being played? How many replay umpires will there be?

    I can imagine them calling NY and an automated Bud Selig answering: “Thank you for your call, your play is 5th in the que to be reviewed, please remain patient, your call is very important to us and will be answered as quickly as possible….Thank you. Elevator music starts.

  5. Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Blake

    Who has the better defensive infield and count the catcher and one backup infielder?

  6. Doreen January 17th, 2014 at 9:09 am

    The movie business is not as dependent upon being in Hollywood as it was years ago. Most movies are made on location; I would think most agencies have both east and west coast presences. Not to mention there is a pretty good entertainment industry here in NY. ;)

  7. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Doreen-

    I was just being sarcastic.

    I’m tired of all the waiting this OS has thrown our way.

    A lot of it has been unpleasant FWIS.

    ;)

  8. Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I know this means little but here are the Fielding %’s the last two years. Yankees listed first:

    2012 .987, 74 errors vs. .984, 98 errors

    2013 .988? 69 errors vs. .992, 109 errors

  9. yankee21 January 17th, 2014 at 9:19 am

    My prediction is he will choose the LAD.

    I hope I’m proven wrong.

    The Yankees really need a young pitcher with upside, if they don’t get Tanaka, the other options pale in comparison.

  10. blake January 17th, 2014 at 9:19 am

    “Who has the better defensive infield and count the catcher and one backup infielder?”

    of who? the contenders for Tanaka. Well the Yankees right now has to be the worst unless Ryan plays SS…..the Yankees infield is probably the worst defensively in the AL….maybe the whole league…..

  11. blake January 17th, 2014 at 9:21 am

    fielding % is probably the most useless stat there is…..and this is coming from someone who is only moderately sold on Defensive Metrics.

  12. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I’m hoping the Yankees have Ubaldo and or others on tap just in case MT decides on someplace else.

    If they don’t they’re fools IMO.

    There seem to be no guarantees with this dude.

    ;)

  13. blake January 17th, 2014 at 9:22 am

    given that Close has kept this thing so tightly under wraps…..any speculation on where he’s going is just that….speculation. I dont think anyone really knows…..

  14. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Boston Dave hit the nail on the head for me this morning. This reminds me of the Cliff Lee fiasco. We waited and waited and hoped and hoped only to end up holding the bag. My sense is we don’t win these contests anymore, but maybe it is me not wanting to get my hopes up.

  15. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:24 am

    “if they don’t get Tanaka, the other options pale in comparison.”

    Perhaps they do but life will go on.

    If he doesn’t want to be a Yankee there is nothing we can do about it.

    With or without him we have a Team to build.

  16. Doreen January 17th, 2014 at 9:24 am

    MTU -

    Agreed. It’s been a very tedious off-season (at least since around Thanksgiving).

    The next 4 weeks are going to fly by — well, not this week, but the three after that, because once Tanaka is off the table (one way or the other), a whole lot of other stuff (should) happen(s).

    My mind keeps going to the place where the Yankees win the battle for Tanaka, but end up losing the war, because he can’t make the adjustment. So I am not on board with Tanaka at any and all costs. On the other hand, I hope they get him, because how bad could he end up being? Shhh.

  17. blake January 17th, 2014 at 9:24 am

    “I’m hoping the Yankees have Ubaldo and or others on tap just in case MT decides on someplace else.

    If they don’t they’re fools IMO.”

    or they could save that money and spend it on somebody better next year! Ubaldo would be like a rebound after getting dumped by Tanaka…..the problem is that you’d have to pay this rebound millions of dollars.

  18. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Of course I still check all relevant papers in the morning just in case. I can tell you the news from LA, Seattle and Chicago on most days. Sigh.

  19. Wave Your Hat January 17th, 2014 at 9:27 am

    blake-

    You have to get to the ball before you can make an error, right?

  20. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I spend my life dealing with human nature. If Drew is like most people, he would like nothing more than to pay the Red Sox back for tendering him and them low balling him. The Yankees are the perfect way to do it.

  21. blake January 17th, 2014 at 9:27 am

    “Boston Dave hit the nail on the head for me this morning. This reminds me of the Cliff Lee fiasco. We waited and waited and hoped and hoped only to end up holding the bag. My sense is we don’t win these contests anymore, but maybe it is me not wanting to get my hopes up.”

    I see the comparisons….the only difference though is that we really haven’t heard anything at all about which way he’s leaning. There were rumblings with Lee that he preferred to stay in texas if the money was there even before Philly jumped in. Lee is the only player in recent memory I can think of that the Yankees really wanted and didn’t get in free agency…..he just picked somewhere else. Tanaka could do the same…..but hopefully the Yankees will make him choose on things other than the money.

  22. Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Blake

    Between the Dodgers and Yankees defensively

    McCann > Ellis
    Teixeira slightly> Gonzalez
    Roberts vs Guerrero?
    Ramirez> Jeter but not Ryan
    Uribe> Whomever

    Yankees OF defense is better and a single to LF with a runner on 2nd is more likely to be thrown out at home by Gardner than Crawford.

    Is it clearly lopsided, favoring the Dodgers? What if the Yankees do get Drew? Then what?

  23. blake January 17th, 2014 at 9:28 am

    “You have to get to the ball before you can make an error, right?”

    correct….

  24. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Blake-

    I don’t see them as a playoff Team w/o improving their rotation.

    Of course, I believe they will.

    Doreen-

    Every day that this thing drags out I lose more and more interest.

    I don’t think we should ever feel like there is only one player that we must have.

    That is not a good way to run a Team.

    That said, I hope he chooses us but I’m ready to move on quickly if need be.

    If he doesn’t want to be a Yankee then we’re better off w/o him.

    ;)

  25. blake January 17th, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Trader,
    the Yanks OF D has a chance to be special if they keep Gardner…..it’s mainly the left side for the Yankees that’s a big issue. Roberts used to be a decent fielder…..I have no idea what he can do now though. Jeter is a big X factor…..I just have no idea what to expect from him as a defender now.

    If the Yanks got Drew and talked Jeter into moving to 3B it’s a game changer for me defensively…..I think it could significantly improve their defense because Drew is a huge upgrade from Jeter at SS defensively and Jeter could potentially be ok at 3B where lateral movement isn’t as critical.

    That’s what they should do IMO…..won’t happen….but it’s what they should do and I’ve been saying that for a long time.

  26. Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Doreen

    Doubt Tanaka will be another Igawa

    However, Ubaldo Jimenez could be another Jeff Weaver

  27. Captain Clutch January 17th, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I think it’s still between the Yanks and Dodgers like everyone expected all along. The Yanks need him and the Dodgers want him. Now the Yanks have to show him how much they need him and have to outbid the Dodgers. I think if the money is the same or close he will pick the Dodgers. It looks like this is going to go down to the last minute and we won’t know until Tuesday or Wednesday.

  28. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Yes, I see the differences beween Lee. My psyche connects them.

    I agree we have absolutely no clue what Tanaka has been offered, what he wants and what non-economic issues matter to him. We know no more today than we knew the first day he was posted.

  29. Wave Your Hat January 17th, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I hope the Yanks are the high bidder. I don’t have a lot of faith in intangibles.

  30. Captain Clutch January 17th, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I could still see the Yanks signing Drew, Balfour and a starting pitcher. Drew’s price is dropping everyday that he is out on the market.

  31. blake January 17th, 2014 at 9:34 am

    I would sign Ubaldo if they miss out on Tanaka if we can text him and break it off a week later.

  32. blake January 17th, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Drew is waiting on something…..it could be the Yankees. You’d think the Mets would have signed him by now if they were going to and Boston is probably only offering 1 year.

  33. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 9:35 am

    The guys at MLB radio were now predicting three years and $42M for Jiminez. That doesn’t seem like too big a risk, if true. he is definately a risk to me. If they don’t sign Tanaka, they have to take some other risks or not compete.

  34. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Most all of us, including myself, have succumbed to a certain psychology regarding MT.

    It’s really pretty ludicrous too since he has never even thrown a pitch in the Majors yet.

    So I’m snapping myself out of my self-induced trance and bringing myself back to reality.

    The reality is that no one player is what is going to make or break our Team.

    And if they could we would have a real problem.

    So Masahiro, if you want to be a Yankee we would glad to have you and welcome you to NY and the
    Yankees but if not I wish you well in your future endeavors and hope you have no regrets.

    ;)

  35. bigdan22 January 17th, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Well done Chad. I think you’ve broken this down very nicely by pointing out that the precursor to spring training is very different and separate and apart from spring training. That’s a helpful way to look at.

    And I agree, these are the four main open questions that will dominate the Yankee universe over the next fours weeks with Tanaka and Arod taking center stage, and the starting pitching and perhaps the bullpen flowing from there. I think history is about to speed up.

  36. Captain Clutch January 17th, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Drew is waiting on something…..it could be the Yankees
    ———

    Tanaka is obviously holding up the whole free agent market. I definitely think that Boras is waiting for Tanaka to sign to see what the Yanks move will be after that. I am sure Cashman has told agents that they aren’t doing anything until Tanaka is resolved.

  37. Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 9:37 am

    If money were no issue and the Reds still wanted to free up the 50 million of Phillips remaining salary, and will pay him to change uniforms, if they took Ichiro and his 6.5 million, would you do it?

  38. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:39 am

    mac-

    “If they don’t sign Tanaka, they have to take some other risks or not compete.”

    You and I agree.

    Not so with many others.

    Fortunately, I believe Hal does and he’s the only one whose opinion counts.

    ;)

  39. Tackelberry January 17th, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I would sign Ubaldo if they miss out on Tanaka if we can text him and break it off a week later.

    _________________________________________

    All things being equal I’d rather sign Garza since he doesn’t require draft pick comp.

  40. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 9:40 am

    It doesn’t seem unreasonable to think Drew is waiting to see what happens with the Yankees. Boras has now said publicly he was willing to play other positions. That seems possibly Yankee directed.

    I have never minded grasping at straws.

  41. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:42 am

    YT-

    Moot point.

    Phillips wants a renegotiation of his contract to waive his NTC to the Yankees.

    Not happening.

  42. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:44 am

    If we happen to lose out on MT I really don’t care which of the FA guys they chose to fill the void just that they do.

    They are all about equivalent FWIS.

  43. bigdan22 January 17th, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Drew and Nunez seem to have one thing in common. Neither apparently will go away.

  44. Doreen January 17th, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I also feel that all we can ask the Yankees to do is to make their best effort, be willing to go maybe a little higher in dollars than they might be 100% comfortable with. The choice is Tanaka’s which really takes the entire process out of the hands of any one team (as long as they were committed to trying to get him in the first place).

    IOW, you really can’t get ticked off at the Yankees if they don’t get him (unless they didn’t make a more than competitive offer, which I’m really doubting.) The Yankees themselves aren’t saying much, which is usually a good thing as far as their efforts go.

  45. coney1 January 17th, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Tackelberry January 17th, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I would sign Ubaldo if they miss out on Tanaka if we can text him and break it off a week later.

    _________________________________________

    All things being equal I’d rather sign Garza since he doesn’t require draft pick comp.
    ——————
    Who cares? It would be the Yanks 4th rounder anyway as they already have to turn over picks for McCann, Ellsbury, and Beltran.

  46. Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I think if the money is the same or close he will pick the Dodgers. It looks like this is going to go down to the last minute and we won’t know until Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Captain

    That would be cutting it way too close, for Casey Close.
    The winning team, if they are going to be thorough with their 100+ million dollar investment better be very thorough in their physical exam and lab plus other studies,,since the initial exam during his short stay in LA. Was likely focused mostly on his right arm.

    Let’s say he comes back and there is a significant abnormality in a blood test and they have to draw it again after an 8 hour fast.

    I would Hope that Casey Close will be announcing it soon, when Tanaka wakes up in Japan, as it’s Saturday already.

  47. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Doreen-

    No one player makes or breaks a Team.

    If they do the Team is not properly constructed in the 1st place.

    So if we miss out on MT then life will go on. We’ll grab the next guy in line is all.

    ;)

  48. Tackelberry January 17th, 2014 at 9:48 am

    coney1 January 17th, 2014 at 9:45 am
    Tackelberry January 17th, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I would sign Ubaldo if they miss out on Tanaka if we can text him and break it off a week later.

    _________________________________________

    All things being equal I’d rather sign Garza since he doesn’t require draft pick comp.
    ——————
    Who cares? It would be the Yanks 4th rounder anyway as they already have to turn over picks for McCann, Ellsbury, and Beltran.

    ___________________________________________

    NO, it would be their 2nd rounder. They lost their 1st rounder, and 2 comp. round picks for those signings.

  49. Tackelberry January 17th, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Still think we won’t have a decision from Tanaka til Tuesday at the earliest.

  50. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:50 am

    YT-

    You’re just losing your patience is all and making up excuses as to why it has to happen sooner.

    It happens when happens unfortunately.

    I’m sure old Casey has it figured out. Or at least he should.

    He knows how much time he needs to get ‘er done.

    ;)

  51. Doreen January 17th, 2014 at 9:51 am

    It sounds like most of us are preparing ourselves for some disappointment.

    MTU, I agree. Life and baseball will go on and the Yankees will figure something out (or not). All I know is that you can’t predict today what the situation is going to be on October 1st. So I won’t count our Yankees out before a pitch has been thrown, no matter what else they do or don’t do.

  52. bigdan22 January 17th, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Everyone needs to keep this in mind. If you ignore the anonymous sources (Sherman, etc) and just limit yourself to statements for attribution, virtually very thing said by the Yankee FO has come true this off season. Cashman: Cano loves money, Jeter is our SS; Eppler: We’ll solve are infield issues internally; Hal: We need starting pitching.

    I don’t think they are trying to confuse us. Sometimes we just have to listen.

  53. UpState January 17th, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Afraid of Mrs. Tanaka.

    Likely has watched American TV while in Japan.

    Hollywood had highlighted the “Law & Orders” for NY.

    …”Baywatch” for LA.

    Who wouldn’t want to find David Hasselhoff at the beach. (???)

    (Germans love David Hasselhoff, too !

  54. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Doreen-

    Good idea.

    They do need some pitching though IMO.

    Sounds like Hal agrees which is good.

    :)

  55. Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 9:53 am

    While we are waiting anxiously here’s a profile on Greg Bird from Ponstripe Alley this morning

    http://www.pinstripealley.com/.....first-base

  56. Tackelberry January 17th, 2014 at 9:55 am

    I just hope that if Yanks don’t get him this board doesn’t turn into a year long Tanaka mourning fest like it did when they traded Montero 2 years ago. Of course that depends on who we get as a fallback option

  57. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:56 am

    YT-

    I am prepared for whatever happens.

    I suggest you do the same.

    ;)

  58. Tackelberry January 17th, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 9:53 am
    While we are waiting anxiously here’s a profile on Greg Bird from Ponstripe Alley this morning

    http://www.pinstripealley.com/…..first-base

    _______________________
    BIRD is the WORD!

  59. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 9:57 am

    The news out of Japan today is Tanaka will start narrowing his choices in a few days. Well, that is encouraging. What exactly have they been doing if not that?

    I would like to know how this works. Does Close talk daily or not at all with interested teams/ What could they say with frequent talks? It seems like your case would all be said on the first visit.

    After learning this I would then like to start getting 5% of these deals as an agent. Someone please call Scherzer and tell him I’m available.

  60. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 9:57 am

    tackle-

    If we don’t you’ll see me shift gears faster than Lance Armstrong.

    ;)

  61. bigdan22 January 17th, 2014 at 9:59 am

    While we are waiting anxiously here’s a profile on Greg Bird from Ponstripe Alley this morning

    http://www.pinstripealley.com/…..first-base

    ——–

    Probably the best season for a Yankee position player since the great Nick Johnson. It seems the Yanks’ minor league home ballparks, and even the leagues they play in (except the Int’l League) really disfavor hitters.

  62. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Upstate,

    I’ll skip Hasselhoff at the beach. Maybe Tanaka would prefer his wife do so as well.

  63. 86w183 January 17th, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Good morning all —-

    I’d love the Yanks to sign Tanaka, but realize the total cost of signing him is more than the likely total cost of signing Garza, Balfour and Baker…. and maybe Ubaldo too.

    YT — I’m a big Phillips fan so if it’s just Ichiro or Ichiro + Phelps I’d do it in a heartbeat. The no-trade ramifications might make it un-doable however.

    People infatuated with Drew really need to look at his track record. He’s only played in 289 games the last three years. His career OPS+ is 98. He was really good last year — though he missed 38 games — but the previous two seasons were below mediocre and he only played about half the time in each campaign.

  64. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Mac-

    That is roughly my position.

    This isn’t launching Apollo.

    Or splitting the Atom.

    Or unlocking the genetic code.

    Or inventing the Transistor.

    It’s a guy deciding where he wants to play baseball for a few years.

    :)

  65. Jerkface January 17th, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Probably the best season for a Yankee position player since the great Nick Johnson. It seems the Yanks’ minor league home ballparks, and even the leagues they play in (except the Int’l League) really disfavor hitters.

    On base wise yea but Montero’s 09 was the best position player prospect season in recent memory.

  66. Bret The Hitman January 17th, 2014 at 10:01 am

    The mourning for Montero is still in effect, tackelberry

  67. Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 10:02 am

    MTU
    If I was the Team Doctor and my employer was investing the kind of money they are going to invest in Masahiro Tanaka I would do a million dollar work up .

    I’d have him on a treadmill and check an Echocardiogram. Remember Lenny Bias first round NBA pick?

    I’d check for an accessory rib- the same condition that Marcum, Kennedy, Cone and JR Richard had, with Richard throwing an embolus and suffering a massive stroke.

    I’d do blood work. Remember Ernie Davis, the next Jim Brown out if Syracuse

  68. UpState January 17th, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Bret The Hitman January 17th, 2014 at 10:01 am
    The mourning for Montero is still in effect, tackelberry
    =============================================

    But there’s always hope for him….

    …he’s now dropped to 5th on the Seattle depth chart after they signed ex-Met John Buck yesterday…

    Big hope !

  69. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:05 am

    YT-

    I agree about being thorough.

    Just have no idea how long it would take to wrap it up.

    Other thing to consider that insurance covers a lot of the risk.

    Be sure they will insure him for the max.

    ;)

  70. Bret The Hitman January 17th, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Oh you’ll see Upstate! You’ll see and you’ll be sorry, so so sorry, you’ll see, someday, you’ll see, mark my words!

  71. Captain Clutch January 17th, 2014 at 10:09 am

    That would be cutting it way too close, for Casey Close.
    ————

    Agree but if he is first going to “narrow his choices” it doesn’t sound like we are going to hear anything soon. I think Monday-Tuesday at the earliest. I am sure that Close has flights picked out already for Tanaka to either LA or NY. He knows what day this will most likely go down so everything is figured out already. They are going to wait a little longer to see if a team gets more desperate and ups their offers.

  72. UpState January 17th, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Bret The Hitman January 17th, 2014 at 10:05 am
    Oh you’ll see Upstate! You’ll see and you’ll be sorry, so so sorry, you’ll see, someday, you’ll see, mark my words!
    =====================

    Just hope we dont trade them one of our ‘excess’ catchers…

    …that would drop him down to #6…..

  73. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:12 am

    When Russians 1st started coming over to the States years ago can you imagine how overwhelmed they were when they first started going food shopping ?

    One walk down the aisle at a Walmart would have been enough to make them crazy.

    Especially after being used to seeing so little.

    :)

  74. Yankee Trader January 17th, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Time to go.

    Wish list is still:
    Tanaka
    Balfour – what’s up with the knee now?
    O’Flaherty- the Braves apparently are not resigning their lefty, recovering from TJ last May.
    Baker

    Have a great day.

    We will know later today or first thing Saturday morning, with Tanaka boarding a plane from Narita Airport, hopefully to Kennedy to sign with the Yankees

  75. LathamJoe January 17th, 2014 at 10:13 am

    I believe that NYYs have still have their 2nd (56th) and 3rd rounders (92nd)since they lost Granderson & Cano.

    I have a bad feeling that NYY will lose the Tanaka bidding because some Franchise like Seattle, LA, or Anaheim offers him 8,9,10 years.

  76. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Clutch-

    I agree with that.

    Be surprised if there is anything sooner.

    The way this show was going to run appears to have been thoroughly scripted and well thought out from the start.

  77. UpState January 17th, 2014 at 10:16 am

    “…One walk down the aisle at a Walmart would have been enough to make them crazy…”
    ======================

    One walk down the aisle at a Walmart doesn’t make you crazy (or horrified or ill) ?

  78. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:17 am

    US-

    Nope. Shop there all the time.

    :)

  79. Jerkface January 17th, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I thought we’d have an inkling of where Tanaka was going to sign by today but I think with him finishing his workouts in Japan he will probably fly to the US this weekend and we’ll know around monday. Very surprised that Close has managed to keep all the teams under wraps on this.

  80. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I don’t expect we will hear anything until Monday or Tuesday either. I expect a team paying $100M+ would even hire a private jet to get him for a physical on time.

    I believe it is all an evil plot to drive me crazy. Sorry, too late. :)

  81. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:20 am

    JF-

    Steve pointed out yesterday that Renteria made a comment(s).

    And that by doing so he endangered the Cubs chances.

    So it sounds like Close has given out very specific instructions to the participants w possible penalties attached for not observing them.

    ;)

  82. AAA January 17th, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I believe that NYYs have still have their 2nd (56th) and 3rd rounders (92nd)since they lost Granderson & Cano.

    ============================

    This sounds right. They lost their 1st rounder and the 2 sandwich picks with the signings of Ellsbury, McCann and Beltran

  83. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:21 am

    mac-

    I have little to worry about either.

    :)

  84. 86w183 January 17th, 2014 at 10:22 am

    I doubt Tanaka wants a super long deal. He could get around $ 100 M for five years and be a highly valued free agent at age 30.

  85. AAA January 17th, 2014 at 10:22 am

    And that by doing so he endangered the Cubs chances.

    ===============================

    Those comments were no different than Hal’s comments yesterday. Basically acknowledging that they met with him in LA.

  86. Mottsx January 17th, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Shouldn’t Magic J be spending his money on his HIV meds instead of baseball salaries? Too Harsh? Go yankees!!!

  87. AAA January 17th, 2014 at 10:23 am

    I doubt Tanaka wants a super long deal. He could get around $ 100 M for five years and be a highly valued free agent at age 30

    ================================

    I would think he’d take a super long deal with an opt out after 4 years.

  88. blake January 17th, 2014 at 10:25 am

    “I would think he’d take a super long deal with an opt out after 4 years.”

    yup….I’m thinking a 6 or 7 year deal with an opt out after 3 or 4.

  89. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:25 am

    AAA-

    I was just offering up what Steve had said in response.

    Important point is that Close wants this to be a tightly controlled process and I believe it is.

    I also believe there might be consequences for breaking the rules as set forth.

    The seller is in the driver’s seat here.

  90. blake January 17th, 2014 at 10:27 am

    for Kershaw and Tanaka at their ages it’s wise to not lock themselves into anything too long…..the way salaries continue to rise….who knows….they could get a lot more money in 3 or 4 years than they would now.

    If Tanaka does a 6/120 deal now with an opt out after 3 years then he can be a FA again at age 28 after already making 60 million bucks.,….or he has 120 million already in the bank.

    opt outs are great for the player…..gives you security and options at the same time. It sucks for the team but you have to do what you have to to get the players you want and more and more agents are using that against the teams.

  91. AAA January 17th, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I was just offering up what Steve had said in response.

    Important point is that Close wants this to be a tightly controlled process and I believe it is.

    I also believe there might be consequences for breaking the rules as set forth.

    The seller is in the driver’s seat here.

    ====================================

    I’d agree if anything of substance was talked about. That hasn’t been the case here. Nothing Renteria said was any different than what Girardi said the other day at his event at the Harvey School.

  92. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Does the rain fall mainly on the Plain in Spain ?

    If Tanaka trims his Bonsai tree in Japan does anyone in America hear the falling branch ?

    If you had but one wish would you wish for a million more ?

    etc.

    :)

  93. JobaTipsHisCap January 17th, 2014 at 10:32 am

    with or without Tanaka, Yanks are not able to make the postseason in 2014.

  94. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:33 am

    AAA-

    Maybe they are both stupid ?

    This whole process has a comic book quality to me anyway.

    You think Close were protecting State secrets.

    :)

  95. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:34 am

    ed: you’d. sorry.

  96. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Where are Assange and Snowden when you really need them ?

    :)

  97. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Who cares about the NSA.

    We need Tanaka secrets.

    :)

  98. Ys Guy January 17th, 2014 at 10:38 am

    good morning guys, gals!

    Time for a Tanaka Poll!

    Guess the # of years guaranteed (to the player) and the guaranteed money and which team he will sign with.

    so it would be like;

    Tanaka poll: dodgers 6/125

    just make sure the word poll appears so i can seach it easy.

    so here’s mine: tanaka poll yankees 7/145

  99. Ys Guy January 17th, 2014 at 10:40 am

    the winner gets to bask in the esteem of his or her fellow lohudders as no monetary prize could compare to that!

  100. blake January 17th, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Yankees 6/120 with an opt out after year 3.

  101. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Y’s-

    Throw in a case of my favorite beer and I’ll give the benefit of my wisdom.

    :)

  102. Ys Guy January 17th, 2014 at 10:42 am

    mtu, lets make it my favorite beer!

    oh, yeah….i dont drink, sorry.

  103. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Ys,

    Seven and $154M. Plus, posting fee. Opt out after four.

  104. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Y’s-

    Lets’ negotiate.

    I’ll settle for a six pack and bag of chips.

    :)

  105. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Ys,

    I must read directions–Cubs.

  106. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:45 am

    I’ll offer the winner a hike thru the Utah desert.

    ;)

  107. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Or a free Family portrait.

    :)

  108. Cashmoney January 17th, 2014 at 10:47 am

    7/168, YS

  109. Mike Ri January 17th, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Ys ,

    7 years $140M ….. no opt out

  110. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:47 am

    or a couple of free Mops.

    :)

  111. 86w183 January 17th, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Yankees:

    7 years, $ 160 M (including posting fee), performance based opt out after four years (100 starts or 800 innings)

  112. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:50 am

    What if MT isn’t any good ?

    :(

  113. Ys Guy January 17th, 2014 at 10:50 am

    mike ri, what team?

  114. yankee21 January 17th, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Poll. 7/154. LAD

  115. Ys Guy January 17th, 2014 at 10:53 am

    oh, damn, i forgot about the posting fee, leave the posting fee out.
    so 86, ill change yours to 140

  116. AAA January 17th, 2014 at 10:53 am

    AAA-

    Maybe they are both stupid ?

    This whole process has a comic book quality to me anyway.

    You think Close were protecting State secrets.

    ===============================

    Nah! Neither guy is stupid. Again both expressed interest in the player, but none overstepped, IMO.

    Close doesn’t want the negotiation part played out in the media. Nothing wrong with that. It’s a little frustrating for fans looking for some hope to cling too, but it keeps crazy rumors from being promoted too.

  117. Cashmoney January 17th, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Yanks 7/168, without posting fee. probably opt out in 5th year if that’s part of it.

  118. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Rakuten Eagles.

    8 mil. 1 year deal.

    He doesn’t come to terms w anyone in the States.

    :)

  119. Ys Guy January 17th, 2014 at 10:54 am

    so to be clear(er), just the guaranteed years/money tanaka gets, not including the posting fee.

  120. AAA January 17th, 2014 at 10:56 am

    For kicks, Ill the take the Cubbies for 7/$154, 4 yr opt out.

  121. Ys Guy January 17th, 2014 at 10:56 am

    i heard steve somers brought up a good one that someone sent him:

    arod is suspended for 162 plus the postseason.

    if the yankees tie for the division and play a playoff game, its regular season game 163.

    arod must be eligible, as its past his 162 RS games and it’s not the PS.

  122. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:59 am

    y’s-

    complete the fantasy.

    And AR hits the game winning walk off.

    :)

  123. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 10:59 am

    as a pinch hitter.

  124. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:01 am

    I’m out of guesses I just want it over and done with.

    The sooner the better.

    ;)

  125. Mottsx January 17th, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Extra Gummies for that game!

  126. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:03 am

    All I can say is with all of the hype and anticipation MT better live up to his billing wherever he goes.

    ;)

  127. Wave Your Hat January 17th, 2014 at 11:04 am

    MTU-

    I don’t want it over and done with until the Yanks win.

  128. BoJo January 17th, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I’m disappointed that once again the Yankees FO has not been at all creative in their pursuit of Tanaka. This is NYC! Right next to NJ! Why hasn’t the team conspired with the Jersey mob to kidnap Mrs. Tanaka until he signs here?!?! Bada-bing bada-boom! Forgetaboutit! Use what we got!

  129. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:04 am

    It’s hard to believe that this kid is going to command more than Darvish.

    Yikes !

  130. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 11:04 am

    AAA,

    Inadvertently, you purloined my guess. We can be wrong together.

  131. Ys Guy January 17th, 2014 at 11:05 am

    mtu if he doesnt sign with the yankees, (especially if it’s another AL team) ill be fine with tanaka crashing & burning.

  132. Ys Guy January 17th, 2014 at 11:06 am

    multiple winners is fine, we had 5 winners in the arod poll (it was the most popular guess)

  133. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:06 am

    WYH-

    With every passing day I care less and less.

    ;)

  134. Ys Guy January 17th, 2014 at 11:07 am

    mtu, you were the craziest tanaka guy in the beginning.

    you have to work on pacing yourself, you’re outta gas and not through the 6th inning yet!

    :)

  135. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Y’s-

    Here’s another contest for ya’.

    Have everyone guess MT’s 1st year stats and his ultimate floor and ceiling ?

    ;)

  136. Ys Guy January 17th, 2014 at 11:09 am

    guys i think we have to decide whether to move MTU to the pen!

  137. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:11 am

    y’s-

    It just my particular psychology.

    Sometimes you can want something too much and it’s better to just back off on the throttle.

    I over did it with Holliday so I’m backing off a bit.

    You carry the torch for a while.

    ;)

  138. Mottsx January 17th, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Ubaldo at 4/56 with an 5th year option making it 70 plus Garza with the same 4/56 with 5th year option making it 70 = Tanaka minus $20m posting fee is not a better deal option? 2 for the price of one?

    CC
    Kuroda
    Ubaldo
    Garza
    Nova

  139. BoJo January 17th, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I really never understand why people here seem to forget that rosters aren’t final until August 1st in Yankeeland. Our team will find a way to stay close enough until then, and if we can pick up a Homer Bailey or some other arm for the stretch run, we’ll be fine.

  140. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:13 am

    CC
    Kuroda
    Oil can Boyd
    Satchel Paige
    Pineda

    ;)

  141. bbb51 January 17th, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I guess it’s taking Tanaka a while to convince his wife to move to NYC. Unless there is a Japanese version of El Mundo in LA, I don’t think his wife is going to find much work in the entertainment industry.

    I don’t think the Dodgers are going to push their payroll to 260 mil.

    I don’t think he’ll want to play for the Cubs who haven’t won a World Series in 105 years, plus I don’t think they are going to blow away other offers monetarily.

    So it should be the Yankees.

  142. LathamJoe January 17th, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Close & Tanaka have until Jan 24th to decide. Its like ebay bidding – the longer it goes, the more bidders’ interests are peaked, the higher the stakes. Unless they get blown away by a phenomenal deal, they’d be crazy not to take it down to the wire.
    Darkhorse: Seattle 8/$180 (excluding posting fee) with Opt Out after 5.

  143. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:15 am

    CC
    Kuroda
    Valenzuela
    Nomo
    Irabu

  144. Shame Spencer January 17th, 2014 at 11:17 am

    BoJo January 17th, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I’m disappointed that once again the Yankees FO has not been at all creative in their pursuit of Tanaka. This is NYC! Right next to NJ! Why hasn’t the team conspired with the Jersey mob to kidnap Mrs. Tanaka until he signs here?!?! Bada-bing bada-boom! Forgetaboutit! Use what we got!

    ————–

    This.

    Everyone is too worried about some football game…

  145. Howler January 17th, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Let me guess…Tanaka hasn’t signed yet.

  146. Howler January 17th, 2014 at 11:18 am

    What’s that MTU…the almost all fat team?

  147. LathamJoe January 17th, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Mark Reynolds is off the boards. Signs a Minor League deal with Brewers for $2 Mil w/ incentives.

  148. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Bojo,

    Two- thirds of the season is gone by August 1st. One wants their team to be in a position to buy. I’m not sure this team will realistically be there.

    I prefer to improve my team for the entire year.

  149. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Berroa/Nunez
    Jeter
    Apaparicio
    Giambi/Franco

    ;)

  150. Howler January 17th, 2014 at 11:21 am

    threaten her with 7-11 sushi…

  151. macintosh January 17th, 2014 at 11:21 am

    yankee fans right now are as hopeful and nervous as bret the hit man
    at ladies night at his friday night local hotspot.

  152. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Howler-

    It’s the MTU has lost the rest of his marbles Team.

    Wasn’t much there to start with though.

    ;)

  153. Howler January 17th, 2014 at 11:22 am

    you’ll have to save me…she grew some more last night.

  154. UpState January 17th, 2014 at 11:23 am

    MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:20 am
    Berroa/Nunez
    Jeter
    Apaparicio
    Giambi/Franco
    =====================

    Berroa over Nunez.

  155. Howler January 17th, 2014 at 11:23 am

    now that the marbles are gone…no worries on your part.

  156. MTU January 17th, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Time to walk the Mops.

    Sanity saving time.

    :)

  157. UpState January 17th, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Gas Station sushi….frequently, not a wise choice.

  158. austinmac January 17th, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I hope we do better than Bret usually does.

    Sorry, Bret. Couldn’t resist.

  159. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 17th, 2014 at 11:28 am

    “I don’t really like counting down to spring training. The day-by-day, one-at-a-time thing just isn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it, but I don’t get especially worked up about pitchers and catchers being 50 days away, and then 40, and then 30, and then”

    Absolutely agree. But mine comes from another place. We’re whisked through life by retail as it is. There’s something to said about living in the moment. That’s the way I live my life because I think it’s almost depressing to live from event to event!

    ********

    While this is probably not necessary, I’m going to say it anyway. Everything in baseball is a crap shoot, as we know. For every Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda, there’s a Kei Igawa and yes, even a Dice-K Matsuzaka. (And a Carl Pavano and a Jose Contreras). We rave and lament about the Yasiel Puigs and Yu Darvishes of the world, but truly we don’t know that they would be the same players in NY.

    I am TOTALLY jazzed about the thought of getting Tanaka. It’s so exciting to think about the possibilities. That said, I hope we all give him a chance WHEN we do get him. While he may come to the Bronx and throw nothing but no-hitters, he may also come to the Bronx and take a while to adjust. Or he may come to the Bronx and take forever to adjust, if you know what I’m saying.

    I just hope that those of us who are so high on getting him now don’t turn on him at any point.

    If he’s in pinstripes, and he is trying his best (and not doing anything to hurt the game or the team) he deserves all of our support – no matter who he is.

    Only alley cats turn on their own.

    :)

    GO YOU YANKEES!!!!!

  160. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 17th, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Also – looking for the silver lining in every cloud – it’s sometimes nice to sit back and enjoy a sporting event without having your stomach in nerves. The Pats fans around me are all so apprehensive. My sister told me her nerves are “jangly” about the game.

    Of course I will be watching in the hopes that Peyton Manning kicks their butts to China (closeted of course since I will be at a family kid’s birthday party while the game is on), but other than that, I won’t be suffering the kind of nerves you suffer when your team’s bacon is on the line.

  161. Wave Your Hat January 17th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    “There’s something to said about living in the moment.”

    I agree, which is why I am for Tanaka now. But if it turns out he’s not good, I won’t be for him then.

    That’s living in the moment for you…

  162. Howler January 17th, 2014 at 11:43 am

    He’s going to have a hard time living up to the hype and contract he gets now if it goes in the direction it seems to be. We’ll see when he gets here…wherever that may be.

  163. Jerkface January 17th, 2014 at 11:51 am

    He’s going to have a hard time living up to the hype and contract he gets now if it goes in the direction it seems to be. We’ll see when he gets here…wherever that may be.

    I don’t think so. Kuroda, Darvish, Matsuzaka, Iwakuma, Uehara, Nomo all came over and were successful from the start. Think it will be very easy for Tanaka to come and have a good debut season. Elite japanese players have actually had a pretty nice time transitioning to the majors.

    I think the question is really how good Tanaka will be, not whether he will bust or not bust. As with most good pitchers the question will be health going forward. Can he avoid that TJS or shoulder issues that is the difference between a CC Sabathia and a Brandon Webb.

  164. macintosh January 17th, 2014 at 11:53 am

    “Only alley cats turn on their own.”

    the problem is enabling.

    enablers are a real menace.

    they keep the bad thing going .

    supporting a team is a complex thing.

    if a fan gives money to hal when he’s doing a lousy job and it just encourages him to keep doing the bad job.

    now hal could make everyone happy and sign tanaka.

    this is his moment to unite all sides.

    tanaka isn’t a slam dunk. he’s a gamble, but a high upside gamble.
    signing tanaka is really the only get out of free jail card hal has right now.

    if hal doesn’t use it, he’s going to lose a lot of fans and be exposed as someone afraid to act when action is required .

    sign tanaka, change his image just like that.
    george would be all over tanaka.

  165. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 17th, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Wave, I’m going to quickly explain bolding and italicizing to you. Then I’m headed out to meet with a client. :(

    You know what a karat (sp?) is on the keyboard. One’s above the comma, the other is above the period. The reason I have to explain it this way is because if you try to show the symbol in quotes, it seems to disappear! But I’ll try this way.

    For bolding, you want to enclose the letter b in between those two symbols, in front of the word or words you want to bold. For italics, you do the same thing, only with the letter i.

    It’s important to turn off the bolding/italicizing because if you don’t, it will use the emphasis for the entire post.

    Here’s how you turn it off. For bolding, when you are through with the word, words, sentence, paragraph, whatever, you are going to use the same symbols, the two karats with the b inside, only in front of the b you are going to put the symbol that is under the question mark on the keyboard – /

    To turn off italics, you do the same thing, only using the letter i.

    Hope this is clearer than mud!

    Now I want you to try it.

    :)

  166. Wave Your Hat January 17th, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks, trisha.

    Here goes nothing…Get Tanaka!. Let’s see if it worked.

  167. Wave Your Hat January 17th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks again. I feel this is going to pep up my commneting.

  168. Mottsx January 17th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Gardner agrees to $5.6m MLBTR projected $4m.

  169. pete2 January 28th, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    If Drew ends up with the Red Sox instead of the Yankees he makes the Red Sox 2 games better and the Yankees 3-4 games worse for a differential of 5-6 games. Yankees division hopes hinge on getting Drew. Right now they look like an 89 W team (I predicted 93 on the assumption they land Drew)

    It would be a shame to have spent 450 million just to miss out because they get frugal and won’t commit to a 3/35 deal. Its not like Drew would not be a tradeable commodity if they decided to go another direction after 2014.

    I’d also like to see another arm in the pen, but they can wait on that.


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