Another day passes and another team is connected to Masahiro Tanaka, who has less than a month to sign with a Major League team if he wants to pitch in 2014.
According to Nick Caffardo of the Boston Globe, although many believe the Boston Red Sox may be wary of Tanaka after the failed Daisuke Matsuzaka signing, the team could end up being in on the 25-year-old.
“They have veteran pitchers in the final year or two years remaining on their deals,” one AL scout said. “They’ll be clearing out a lot of payroll soon. I know they feel they have good young pitching on the horizon, but Tanaka should be a very good No. 2 or No. 3 starter on any staff. I would think with their emphasis on pitching, they would get into it.”
The Red Sox were essentially the only big market team not linked to Tanaka so far this winter, but with the team coming off its third World Series since 2000, the goal remains the same at Fenway – win.
The Yankees have made several major moves this offseason, signing free agents Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, all of which should offset the loss of Robinson Cano, who left New York to sign a ten-year, $240 million with the Seattle Mariners earlier this month. Meanwhile, Boston has been largely quiet, re-signing first baseman Mike Napoli and adding reliever Edward Mujica and remaining in talks with shortstop Stephen Drew.
A report yesterday indicated that the Yankees have already made contact with Tanaka’s camp, making them one of the first to do so. The Rangers, Dodgers and Cubs are expected to be the most aggressive in their pursuit of the right-hander, and the Angels, Phillies, Royals, Blue Jays and Astros could also make a run at the Japanese pitcher.