Friday, January 3, 2014

Week two of the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes could mean a lot for the Yankees and the rest of Major League Baseball. The Yankees, who "need Tanaka," now have a fierce competitor for the 25 year old Japanese righty and now that Tanaka's agent, Casey Close, is coming back from vacation, he is ready to get down to business.

The Seattle Mariners are said to be "in love" with Tanaka and are going to be making a strong push at the 2013 Nippon Professional Baseball Pacific League MVP. The big question is: how will these two teams affect the Tanaka sweepstakes?

Now the Yankees are in a tough situation. The Mariners have already beat out the Yankees once this offseason by signing Robinson Cano, can they do it again?

Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle's number two starter behind Felix Hernandez played for the Rakuten Golden Eagles and won the MVP while playing for them. The two, Tanaka and Iwakuma, played together in Japan for four years and had a good friendship. This friendship is a good negotiating tactic for the Mariners and can prove to increase their odds in landing Tanaka.

The only thing that could prevent Seattle from bringing in Tanaka is the money. People around baseball have been reporting that by signing Cano for $240 million they do not have a lot of money left to sign Tanaka to a big contract. That being said, even with the money issue, they are still expected to go in big for Tanaka.

The Yankees have their own money issues that could potentially hold them back from signing the number one starting pitching free agent. Thy have said that they still do not want to go over the luxury tax threshold of $189 million and signing Tanaka would almost surely do that. Now if that is true, the Alex Rodriguez appeal case will have a big impact in the Tanaka sweepstakes.


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