Thursday, January 12, 2017


Source: Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images North America
Perhaps we are a bit pre-mature in this whole Masahiro Tanaka contract extension talk but nevertheless it is news.  Both and The New York Daily News are reporting that Tanaka will have some deciding to do at the end of next season.  "The Yankees won't discuss a contract extension with Tanaka this season, Cashman said. The 28-year-old righty, who finished in eighth in the 2016 American League Cy Young vote, can opt out of his deal and test free agency after next season."

Source: Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images North America
If he pitches well, there may be a story.  If he doesn't pitch well, there may be no story.  But right now, Brian Cashman is speculating and it could be nothing than just some mindless chatter.  "We made a significant investment and he was a Cy Young award candidate last season and we certainly hope he does again," Cashman said. "But at this stage, we've had no discussions internally to pursue any type of extension."

Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America
 Frankly, I don't blame Cashman.  

Tanaka was too expensive and has too many innings in him for a mere 28-year-old starting pitcher.  He's been injured which affects his longevity in the big leagues where pitchers have a shorter life-span than big name hitters.  "In 2014, Tanaka suffered a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. If it tears further, he will likely need Tommy John surgery. The procedure typically ices pitchers for between 14 and 18 months," reports

Source: Rich Schultz/Getty Images North America
Let's not forget that Tanaka may want to move closer to home as we reported last week in our piece TANAKA'S LAST STAND.  But with the present right in front of him, Tanaka has to focus on conditioning for a strong season, one where he anchors the Yankee pitching staff and leaves the game in the capable hands of what is being touted one of the best bull pens in the game. "To combat the lack of proven arms in the rotation, Cashman bolstered the bullpen, bringing back Aroldis Chapman and adding him to a solid back-end that already featured Dellin Betances and Tyler Clippard. Tommy Layne (3.63 ERA, 44.2 IP) will be relied upon as a left-handed option," reports The New York Daily News.

Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America
But for right now, there is not talk of a Tanaka extension and we will have to wait and see if he has done enough to ready himself for a strong spring and an equally strong summer in 2017.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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