The Yankees say they don't really want Holliday

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Frank Russo at the New York Baseball Digest blog gets some Yankee response to that story about Matt Holliday wanting to play for the Yankees:

Our main Yankees source down it Tampa informed us last night that, at this time,  Yankees management has no interest in getting involved in the Matt Holliday sweepstakes. “It’s way too early,” our source told us. “Brian (Cashman) has a lot of decisions to make, especially with Matsui and Damon.”I don’t care how bad the kid wants to play for the Yanks, Scott (Boras) will be asking for the moon and they’re not going to break the bank for him.”

Which may be true. Of course they said the same kinds of things about Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez and just about every other free agent they’ve pursued in the past.

Which is really smart.  The Yankees get a lot of crap for just going out and buying talent, but it’s not like they’re always out there setting the market.  They often let other teams weigh in, get a range of offers out there, and then come in and offer a bit more.  I think they bid against themselves with the Alex Rodriguez extension, but in all other cases, they waited everyone else out, as a smart bidder should.

I have no idea if Holliday will actually end up in New York, but if he does, it won’t be because the Yankees pursue him like some lovestruck teenager.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.