Dodgers Rumors: Dodgers, Yankees Leading For Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro TanakaWith just 11 days before the January 24 deadline to sign with a team, Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is back in Japan after meeting with several major league teams in Los Angeles. Both teams in Chicago along with the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers all met with the 25-year-old pitcher along with agent Casey Close.

For the Dodgers, news broke Friday afternoon that they wouldn’t be outbid for his services, but that report was refuted by others suggesting they wouldn’t engage in a bidding war with another team. However, according to David Waldstein of the New York Times, the Dodgers and Yankees are in the lead as it stands right now:

All off-season long, the Dodgers have been very quiet about their pursuit of Tanaka as GM Ned Colletti mentioned they talked to Close right when he was posted, but they were in the “feeling out” process. The Dodgers still have extensions to work out with Hanley Ramirez and Clayton Kershaw, which could be a reason why they won’t “break the bank” for Tanaka.

Meanwhile, the Yankees will save close to $20 million now that third baseman Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the entire 2014 season. Coming into this off-season, owner Hal Steinbrenner wanted to keep payroll under $189 million, but signing Tanaka would take them well past that threshold.

If the Dodgers do sign Tanaka, he’d give them the best rotation in baseball and a surplus of starting pitching to either trade or hold onto in case of injury. In recent years, the Dodgers have been trailblazers in acquiring international talent as Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu starred last season an newcomer Alexander Guerrero is expected to start on Opening Day.

While the Yankees might offer him a bigger payday, if he wants to play on the West Coast and for a winning team, he’ll be suiting up in Dodger Blue.


ICYMI: Here’s the latest on the Dodgers and their pursuit of Masahiro Tanaka

Ross Gasmer

Ross Gasmer is a Social Media Producer for @TheHerd and was a contributing writer and editor for Dodger Nation. Follow him on Twitter @Ross_Gasmer12

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