Yankees News/Rumors: Yanks could lose Masahiro Tanaka to West-Coast rivals

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka
Sep 29, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) leaves the field during the game between the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees in the final home game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It seems as if every other team is making moves but the New York Yankees. General manager Brian Cashman continues to take his time, inking minor league deals instead of adding starting-caliber talent to the roster.

It is no secret that Cashman believes the Yankees can win with their current team, consisting of players like Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole, and Aaron Judge. However, they are on the brink of losing star infielder DJ LeMahieu and don’t have a starting pitching rotation capable of overcoming deeper clubs. They lost three starters in the rotation this off-season, including James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and JA Happ.

There were reports that indicated the Yankees could bring back Tanaka on a shorter contract, but with Cashman looking to save as much money as possible, that seems unlikely.

Other clubs have inquired about his services, and it is more likely he leaves than stays in pinstripes. The Yankees seem to feel confident with Domingo German and Luis Severino returning in 2021, but considering neither have pitched in over a year, I don’t feel very comfortable they can hold it down over the course of a 162 game season. German was being batted around in the winter league down in the Dominican Republic last time I checked, and Severino hasn’t pitched any significant inning numbers in over two years.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the San Diego Padres are looking at potentially adding Masahiro Tanaka to their ranks.

Even after trading for left-hander Blake Snell and righty Yu Darvish, the Padres are doing background work on multiple free-agent starting pitchers, sources say. One of those pitchers, righty Masahiro Tanaka, has connections to two significant members of the organization – Darvish and pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Darvish and Tanaka are friends and Rothschild was Tanaka’s pitching coach with the Yankees from 2014 to ’19. Tanaka suffered a partial elbow tear in ’14, chose rehabilitation over Tommy John surgery and remained largely durable, ranking 18th in the majors in starts since ’15.

The problem is Tanaka will be a bit pricey, so the Yankees might look for a business or bust candidate like Corey Kluber, who is coming off two years of injury-riddled performances. I don’t know if it’s fair to blame Cashman or ownership for the lack of spending this off-season.