Thursday, November 2, 2017
The end of the World Series on Wednesday means the clock is ticking on Masahiro Tanaka.
The Yankees’ right-hander has until Saturday to decide whether to opt out of the final three years and $67 million of his contract.
It figures to be the second significant move of the offseason for the Yankees, who are already looking for a new manager to replace Joe Girardi after his contract wasn’t renewed last week.
If Tanaka doesn’t opt out, he would remain in a rotation that should include Luis Severino, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery.
CC Sabathia will be a free agent and is a possibility to return, or prospect Chance Adams may get a look.
Tanaka, who turned 29 on Wednesday, may elect to join Sabathia in free agency, where Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta figure to head a class that is not particularly strong.
Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn also will be on the market.
The Yankees also could offer Tanaka an extension, like they did with Sabathia when he had an option to become a free agent in 2011.
Among the factors that figure to enter into Tanaka’s decision will be his strong finish to the season — and whether his performance in the playoffs outweighs his terrible first half and the small tear in his elbow that he’s been pitching with since July 2014.
I’d be wary of extending Tanaka given the aforementioned elbow tear, but you have to figure he will opt out. Someone is going to give him more than the $67M remaining on his deal, be it a fourth year or even more than that.
It’ll be interesting to see if the following tidbit from a Jon Heyman article at the end of August is true.
The Yankees won’t “chase” Masahiro Tanaka, sources close to the situation say. Of course, if Tanaka should actually opt out, things could change. But for now, someone in the know insisted that they wouldn’t bid above what’s left on Tanaka’s deal — $67 million, three years,
I wonder if that’s still true given the way Tanaka pitched in the playoffs?
Anyway, I’d be happy if Tanaka does not opt out. I don’t think the Yankees need him, but I think it would be nice to have him back.
Page 1 of 1 pages: