Friday, December 20, 2013

We still don't know if Masahiro Tanaka will be posted the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan, but recent reports are making it seem like he won't be. He's been the Yankees' top target this offseason, but because of the uncertainty that is surrounding Tanaka, they might be ready to find a starting pitcher somewhere else.

The Yankees have spent a lot of time and money this winter to adds some big bats to the lineup, but they still need to add a starting pitcher to help them compete in 2013.

They were able to re-sign Hiroki Kuroda on a one-year deal, bringing him back into the rotation that is currently headed by CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Kuroda and a group of younger pitchers -- being a healthy Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Adam Warren, Vidal Nuno and David Huff -- that will battle for the fifth spot during the spring.

Tanaka, who is only 25-years-old, would be the young-stud pitcher that they're looking for to lead them into the future. He might not be a top of the rotation starter, but some have compared him to Yu Darvish, and he would probably make a great 2 No. 2 or 3 starter in most big league rotations.

But it's starting to look less and less likely that the Yankees will even have the chance to sign him, meaning they'll have to start searching the free-agent market for a fourth starter.'s Wallace Matthews wrote a story Thursday night suggesting that the Yanks took take a risk in signing the once great Johan Santana, who missed the entire 2013 season because of shoulder surgery. And I completely agree.

What would be the harm in offering Santana a minor-league with an invite to Spring Training? Nothing. When healthy -- and that seems to be a big if with him -- he can be a big asset in the rotation. If he pitches well in the spring, he makes the team. If he pitches poorly, no big deal, he doesn't have to be on the roster.

Paul Maholm has been a name that people are throwing out there. He could be a cheap fix as a southpaw in the rotation.

The three biggest free-agent pitchers on the market -- Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza and Ervin Santana -- don't interest the Yankees very much.

There are a lot of other decent pitchers still available. Bronson Arroyo, Jason Hammel, Tommy Hanson, Jeremy Hefner, Colby Lewis, Paul Maholm, Jason Marquis and Roy Oswalt still don't have homes as we head into the christmas week.

Matthews also noted in his story about Santana that Oswalt could be an interesting name to watch. He's been on a career path very similar to Santana. A once great pitcher that has been dealing with injuries over the past couple of seasons, the Yanks could take a risk on him and see what he shows in the spring.

We saw them do that when signing Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia on minor league deals a couple years ago, and they really paid off. I wouldn't be surprised to see them do it again this season.


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