The writing was on the wall most of the offseason when it came to the Yankees’ future of Masahiro Tanaka.
As Tanaka remained on the free agent market, the Yanks interest drifted elsewhere. Eventually, New York signed Corey Kluber to a one-year deal worth $11 million and then traded lower-tier prospects to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jameson Taillon.
While both Kluber and Taillon have high upside. They both missed the majority of the last two seasons due to injury. So why did the Yanks go for Kluber and Taillon while opting to not re-sign Tanaka, who has been a sure thing?
“Ultimately, we feel like this is the best course as we move forward here in the 2021 season,” GM Brian Cashman told reporters Friday via Zoom. “We’ll see how it plays. Fitting in two for — in theory — the price of one is maybe a better strategy. UFABET”
Cashman saying the Yanks were able to get “two for the price of one” makes sense, with Kluber ($11 million) and Taillon ($2.25 million) combining to make less than what Tanaka was seeking.
But the risk level is high.
“All you can do is your due diligence,” Cashman said. “There is risk, but we did as much due diligence as we could in terms of the medical evaluations. … Hopeful is certainly an appropriate word in this. We made the commitment because we believe that, despite the risk, it was a position worth taking. And now we’re going to test drive that, for better or worse.”
As far as a potential reunion with Tanaka if he returns from Japan, Cashman left the door open.
“We’re always open to evaluating opportunities that present themselves,” he said. “There’s no doors closed, let’s put it that way, from my perspective.”
Cashman, who called Tanaka a “tremendous Yankee” and “great teammate,” also said. Tanaka might have been robbed of a chance to pitch in the World Series due to the Astros’ sign-stealing in 2017.
“In that small window that we don’t want to talk about. He probably would’ve gotten into a World Series if we weren’t run in to some shenanigans,” Cashman explained.”