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Friday, February 07, 2014

Cashman: Yankees view $155M pitcher Masahiro Tanaka as a No. 3 starter

Well, number 3 is the atomic number for lithium.

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told ESPN radio Friday that newly-acquired Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has potential to a No. 3 starter.

Tanaka, 25, recently signed a seven-year, $155 million deal with the team, which is the fifth-largest contract ever for a major-league pitcher and the biggest for an international player. He can opt out after four years.

But Cashman downplayed Tanaka’s potential impact.

“We view him to be a really, solid consistent No. 3 starter,” Cashman said. “If we to get more than that, all the better. He’s got a great deal of ability.

“There is definitely some unknown because of the transition. We scouted him extensively. Certainly, we look forward to adding him into the mix with the rest of our rotation. That’s what we look at him as: A solid, potential No. 3 starter in the big leagues.”

...Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Japan last year. The Yankees outbid several other teams to land Tanaka after scouting him for several years. Despite that, Cashman said he is not expected to be a staff ace.

“That’s asking too much,” Cashman said. “Clearly, he is going to have to transition from Japan to the States. Obviously, by the fierce negotiating competition for him, the scouting reports from all clubs involved speak for themselves.”

Repoz Posted: February 07, 2014 at 05:30 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: February 07, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4653452)
Cashman said he is not expected to be a staff ace.

“That’s asking too much,” Cashman said. “Clearly, he is going to have to transition from Japan to the States.
I might be misremembering (from a long time ago), but I thought research showed pitchers generally have the advantage over hitters in unfamiliar matchups, as compared to familiar matchups?

I'm certainly not disagreeing that it's too much to ask (of basically anyone) to be a staff ace, but the phraseology here seems like "it's too much to ask because he'll have to adjust", i.e. he has more of a chance to be an ace after hitters get used to him, whereas if I'm remembering correctly the typical pitcher would have less of a chance after hitters get used to him.
   2. gehrig97 Posted: February 07, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4653454)
Ok, Cashman is trying to manage expectations for the kid but... man, how many agents are going to use this quote come arbitration/free agent time? The Scott Kazmirs of the world are celebrating tonight.
   3. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 07, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4653460)
I might be misremembering (from a long time ago), but I thought research showed pitchers generally have the advantage over hitters in unfamiliar matchups, as compared to familiar matchups?


He may be talking more about the cultural/language stuff than on-the-mound things.
   4. Gamingboy Posted: February 07, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4653464)
Have to also wonder if this is a way of setting low expectations so that if he is as good as advertised it looks all the better.
   5. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: February 07, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4653471)
Cashman is trying to prepare Yankee fans for the possibility that Tanaka's W-L record doesn't improve.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 07, 2014 at 08:08 PM (#4653478)
Low balling expectations is pretty much standard operating procedure for first-years players, but Cashman probably would have been better off avoiding specifics.
   7. Publius Publicola Posted: February 07, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4653479)
He may be talking more about the cultural/language stuff than on-the-mound things.


He may be remembering the Igawa experience.
   8. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 07, 2014 at 08:26 PM (#4653482)
I saw this quote as more like his Rafael Soriano quote of "I didn't want to sign this guy."
   9. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: February 08, 2014 at 04:08 AM (#4653572)
Cashman is trying to prepare Yankee fans for the possibility that Tanaka's W-L record doesn't improve.


RDF.
   10. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: February 08, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4653688)
Low-balling expectations is pretty much standard operating procedure for first-year players


Kei Igawa says kon'nichiwa.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: February 08, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4653696)
Low-balling expectations is pretty much standard operating procedure for first-year players


Not for "the Japanese Greg Maddux."
   12. BDC Posted: February 08, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4653698)
The Yankees usually keep a #1 and #2 around who can go 31-0 with an ERA of 0.75, that's all he's saying.
   13. BDC Posted: February 08, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4653708)
Seriously, I just leafed through some winter thoughts that the Rangers execs had about Yu Darvish in 2011-12, and though they added various cautious qualifications, they were basically saying, yes, we think he's an ace, a #1. Caution is fine, but rhetoric is usually also adjusted to the amount of money you're spending. You don't drop $200K on a car and say "it's just transportation" unless you're José Canseco, though now that I pursue that analogy and realize these are the Yankees, seriousness begins to recede :)
   14. AT-AT at bat@AT&T Posted: February 09, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4653925)
Cashman said Tanaka has several adjustments to make, including pitching every five days instead of seven, the differences with the baseball and the strike zone, and the batters he will face.


I think these are all just way too tough to overcome. He should give up right now.
The couple of videos I have seen of him made me think the following :

1. Oh Jesus, if he throws that 97 mph straight fastball down the middle ... good night !
2. If he hangs that 73 mph curve ... good night !
Small sample size, given !

I wish the season would start right now ! Curiosity !
All in all I think #3 ACE is realistic !


   15. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 09, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4653939)
Lots of money for a #3 guy.

I get the tempered expectations, but #13 is spot on here. He's projected to be very good. Why not give him a little boost and say something like, "sure he's got #1 stuff and eventually that's what we are hoping, but to start let's see how he makes adjustments and for the sake of being cautious, we are slotting him at #3...to start" type of thing.

Look you've just spent $155 mil, if he's only a #3 guy, you'll be disappointed. You can't baby him. He accepted the deal to go to NY, he's got know that he's expected to perform really, really well.
   16. Lars6788 Posted: February 09, 2014 at 09:39 PM (#4653985)
Isn't the popular comp for Tanaka Dan Haren?

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