The Mariners could add intrigue to the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes

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Japanese pitching star Masahiro Tanaka will be courted by a handful of interested teams, including the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Rangers, and Diamondbacks, but as ESPN’s Andrew Marchand details, it may be the Mariners who emerge victorious by the January 24 deadline.

Marchand cites some reasoning laid out by Dan Szymborski also at ESPN — that Seattle has been a comfortable place for Japanese players in the past and that the team still has money to spend. Marchand adds that Seattle would be closer to Japan than any other location, and that current Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma was previously a teammate of Tanaka’s with the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

The Mariners were expected to make at least one more noteworthy move after signing Robinson Cano to a ten-year, $240 million contract, such as trading with the Rays for David Price, or signing free agents Nelson Cruz or Matt Garza, but nothing has materialized other than adding Logan Morrison and Corey Hart. Adding Tanaka would make them a legitimate threat in the AL West.

Tyler Anderson to undergo knee surgery

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Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports that Rockies pitcher Tyler Anderson will undergo surgery on his left knee. It won’t be known until after the procedure if Anderson will be able to return at some point this season.

Anderson, 29, struggled over five starts this season, allowing 27 runs in 20 2/3 innings. He had been bothered by discomfort in his left knee since very early in the season. The Rockies demoted him to Triple-A Albuquerque earlier this month, but he hasn’t actually pitched for them due to the knee issue.

Jeff Hoffman is a candidate to take Anderson’s spot in the rotation. He has made one start in the majors this year and has otherwise pitched at Albuquerque.