Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Whenever a number of people I follow on twitter follow a user, retweet, etc., I get a notification on my cellphone. Tuesday's notification was that Masahiro Tanaka was on Twitter. The prized Japanese right-hander, whose deadline to choose a team is this Friday, tweeted (in Japanese) a few words that were misinterpreted by the Twitter translation.
"It does is decided" was the incorrect translation that led many to believe that Tanaka had decided where he wanted to play. In fact, it was just the opposite. Tanaka had said deciding was very hard.
Hell, using freetranslation.com I tweeted "最高のフランチャイズ-ニューヨーク・ヤンキース" to Tanaka. "Best Franchise - New York Yankees".
Rumors flew throughout the day. At one point the YES Network reported that Tanaka was deciding between the Yankees and the Chicago Cubs. Others said the Los Angeles Dodgers were a lock. Until Tanaka actually announces his decision you might as well stop speculating.
Tanaka's pay will most likely put the Yankees over the magic $189MM mark even if they only pay Alex Rodriguez 1/8th of his contracted salary. In avoiding arbitration the Yankees signed Brett Gardner ($5.6MM), Ivan Nova ($3.3MM), David Robertson ($5.125MM), Shawn Kelley ($1.8MM), and Francisco Cervelli ($700K, not all guaranteed).
Gardner's salary nearly doubled from last seasons, $2.85MM and I have to admit the increase amount surprised me. I was thinking more along the lines of $3.5MM, but perhaps the Yankees were concerned about the figure Gardner would bring to arbitration and the possibility of losing the case.
Robertson got better than a 68% raise, while Nova's increase was more than five times the amount he earned in 2013. Kelley received an 88% bump and Cervelii got a modest increase from last year's $515,350 salary.
The Yankees will continue to work on Plan 'B' and 'C', etc., and apparently that includes trying to talk Brett Tomko out of retirement. The 40-year old hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2011, but did play for the York Revolution in the independent Atlantic League.