|The Grinch that kept Tanaka|
New York Times reporter Ken Belson, citing several Japanese news sources on Thursday morning, reported that the Rakuten Golden Eagles have decided to not allow star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to post to Major League Baseball.
Reports last night had Rakuten offering Tanaka 80MM yen ($8MM US) to remain in Japan for one more year. That figure could go as high as $12MM, three times the amount Tanaka earned in 2013.
The move would squlech the plans of the Yankees and other teams that were hoping to add a pitcher of Tanaka's magnitude to their starting rotation.
The Yankees should look for a short term fix - a deal for a quality pitcher that will not receive guaranteed money past the 2015 season. This is likely Hiroki Kuroda's last season, though it's been said before, so he could be replaced in 2015 by a pitcher acquired for this coming season. The Yankees should stay away from pitchers like Bronson Arroyo, who are looking for 3-4 year deals.
I'll repeat what I said earlier this week - Yovani Gallardo, MIL or Justin Masterson, CLE. I prefer Masterson.