Brian Cashman says it’s “asking too much” to expect Masahiro Tanaka to be an ace

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Yankees GM Brian Cashman is doing his best to temper expectations for his $175 million pitcher. Per ESPN’s Andrew Marchand, Cashman says it would be “asking too much” to expect Tanaka to perform like an ace. Instead, he sees Tanaka as “a really solid, consistent No. 3 starter.”

Cashman expects Tanaka to experience “some growing pains” transitioning from baseball in Japan to baseball in the United States. Specifically, Cashman cited pitching on five days’ rest rather than seven, a different strike zone, and stronger lineups. Yu Darvish, by all accounts a superior pitcher to Tanaka, posted a 3.90 ERA in his first year in the U.S. in 2012, but lowered it to 2.83 this past season with improvements across the board.

On January 22, the Yankees signed Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract which also required them to pay a $20 million posting fee to the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japan Pacific League. He was one of many big signings the Yankees made during the off-season. They also signed center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year, $154 million deal, catcher Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million deal, right fielder Carlos Beltran to a three-year, $45 million deal, and Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year, $16 million deal.

Dodgers seen as likely to land Manny Machado

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Dodgers are “increasingly likely” to land Manny Machado. He says that other teams who have been linked to Machado — including the Phillies and Brewers — believe that that’s what was going to happen.

Against that backdrop a couple of Dodgers players at the All-Star Game — Matt Kemp and Ross Stripling — made comments this afternoon suggesting that, yeah, they thought Machado was coming their way too, even if there was no specific inside information on their part.

As I wrote earlier today, it sounds like this is a done deal and everyone is just waiting for the All-Star Game to be over to announce it.