It may be a while before everyone stops holding their breath and crossing their fingers whenever Masahiro Tanaka takes the mound, but so far at least the Yankees ace’s decision to hold off on Tommy John elbow surgery is going well.
Tanaka has thrown 5.2 scoreless innings in two spring training starts, striking out five and allowing just two hits despite pitching with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that he’s “pleased with the way he’s throwing” and Matthews writes that Tanaka “looked free, easy, and in control” in his most recent outing.
Prior to his elbow giving out last season Tanaka was in the mix for the Cy Young award, going 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA and 141/21 K/BB ratio in 136 innings.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.