Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oh Really... ?

Via Jon Heyman:

"The Yankees are now considering free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew, which could potentially put another dent in the rival Red Sox's up-the-middle alignment only weeks after the Yankees signed Boston star center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury."

Huh.  That's interesting.  I thought the Yankees were done spending.

Masahiro Tanaka Signing Thoughts & Afterthoughts

(Courtesy of Mike Eder/IIATMS/TYA)

For a while there it didn't look like Masahiro Tanaka was even going to be posted.  The dragging out of the new NPB posting rules put his availability and the Yankees' plan to upgrade their rotation in jeopardy.  When he finally was posted it looked for a time like maybe the Yankees weren't going to win the competition for him.  Every day for the last week or so there has been a new team that was reported to be the favorite for Tanaka.  Last week it was the D'backs, Monday it was the Dodgers, and Tuesday, the night before the reported soft deadline set by Tanaka and his agent to make their decision, it was the Cubs.

Once again though, the reputation, history, and checkbook of the Yankees overcame all and was the deciding factor in Tanaka's choice.  The time and effort the Yankees put into scouting and targeting Tanaka as their true #1 free agent target paid off and in the end the Yankees got their man.  Their rotation has the jolt it needed, the last piece of their offseason puzzle is in place, and the Yanks are once again at the top of the conversation regarding AL contenders.  After the jump, my take on the signing and what it means for Tanaka and the Yanks going forward.

Reconsidering The Yankee Rotation With Tanaka

(Courtesy of MLB's Twitter feed)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

Before the news of the Masahiro Tanaka signing came out yesterday morning, the Yankee rotation was in big trouble.  At least that's the spin that was being put on the majority of the conversations, reports, and blog posts around the Yankosphere.  CC Sabathia was coming off a terrible year and was going to be another year older with no indication that he could ever rebound to become a good pitcher again.  Hiroki Kuroda was also going to be another year older and potentially ready to break down and regress after a poor second half in 2013.  Ivan Nova was a big, inconsistent question mark, Michael Pineda was an even bigger question mark in bold font who might never be a starter again, and the rest of the 5th starter competition contingent was nothing special.  There was no way the Yankees were going to compete for anything with that crew.

Hal Names D-Rob The Closer, Scores Another Point With Me

(From fireman to chief of the house.)

On any other day, this would have been bigger news.  When Masahiro Tanaka signs a 7-year deal worth over $22 mil a year, it gets swallowed up in the wake.  While commenting on the Tanaka signing and the team's plans for the remainder of the offseason, Hal made the first public declaration that David Robertson will indeed be the Yankee closer this season.  Via Joel Sherman:

“I have a lot of confidence in Robertson and so does Joe. Robertson is going to be our closer, and I believe he will do a good job."

Now whether Hal has the final say to make that call or if he discussed it beforehand with Cash and/or Joe, I don't know.  What I do know is that it's the right decision and I support it 100%.  I've been saying for a long time now that D-Rob is the man for the job and the team should commit to him and props to Hal for finally manning up and doing it.  I swear it's like the guy reads this site and is trying to change my opinion of him.  Now somebody hit the music!