Report: Yankees will be “serious players” for Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka

4 Comments

If you haven’t heard of Masahiro Tanaka yet, it’s time to get familiar with him. The bidding for his services is about to get serious.

According to George A. King III of the New York Post, the Yankees are going to be “serious players” for the 24-year-old right-hander this winter as they attempt to fill holes in their starting rotation. The team has done their homework here, as they sent assistant general manager Billy Eppler and scout Don Wakamatsu to watch him extensively this season. It’s safe to say they liked what they saw, as Tanaka went 22-0 with a 1.23 ERA during the regular season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League.

Known for his devastating splitter, Tanaka is widely considered the best pitcher in Japan now that Yu Darvish is in the states and at least one scout thinks that he might actually be better.

“He is better than Darvish because he is a strike thrower,’’ the scout said. “Overall, Darvish’s stuff might be a little bit better, but this guy knows how to pitch. He is like Kuroda, he has a lot of guts. He throws four pitches but when it gets to [stone]-cutting time, it’s fastball and splitter.’’

High praise. Like Darvish, Tanaka would have to go through the posting process in order to sign with an MLB team. The Rangers paid $60 million to secure exclusive negotiating rights with Darvish two offseasons ago and eventually signed him to a six-year, $51.7 million contract. A posting fee for Tanaka wouldn’t count towards a team’s payroll, which is something to keep in mind with the Yankees attempting to stay under $189 million next season.

Of course, the Yankees will have plenty of competition for Tanaka’s services. King hears from one source that the usual suspects like the Red Sox, Rangers, and Dodgers will also be in the mix.

A.J. Ramos to undergo season-ending surgery for torn labrum

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mets reliever A.J. Ramos has a torn labrum and will undergo season-ending surgery on Wednesday, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports.

Ramos, 31, has been out of action since late May. In his last two appearances, in Milwaukee against the Brewers, he walked both batters he faced in the 10th inning, then gave up three runs and recorded only two outs the next day. On the season, he owns a disappointing 6.41 ERA with a 22/15 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings. The shoulder issue explains his struggles.

The Mets acquired Ramos from the Marlins ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline last July. Ramos will be eligible for free agency once the season concludes.