What’s a hundred fifty-five million dollars when you’re the New York Yankees? In 2014 it’s enough to get you one unproven (by MLB standards) pitcher. Spoiler alert: the Steinbrenners won the Mashiro Tanaka Sweepstakes, and the world remains unsurprised.
Let’s face it, Yankee pitching was bad last year and looking worse going into this season. The once-huge (and once effective) C.C. Sabathia was as hittable as Joe Buck’s face. Hiroki Kuroda fell apart, winning just one of his final ten starts in August and September. Pettitte’s supplements had a good year but he retired again. Hughes and Phelps each had ERAs around five. That leaves Ivan Nova. Let’s not forget Mo Rivera ain’t walkin’ through that door either.
So, how does Tanaka’s 24-0, 1.27 ERA in Japan translate in the AL East? For me, it smells a lot like the gyro-ball hype of a few years ago. I’m hoping Cashman’s headwarmer will have something to say about this soon.