Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal was the first to report this morning that Masahiro Tanaka, the top free agent pitcher on the market this offseason, has signed with the New York Yankees for $155 million over seven years. As a Dodgers fan, I am a little disappointed, but they already have one of the better starting rotations in the game, so not signing him won't hurt them like it would the Yankees had he signed elsewhere. The Yankees were desperate for a top line starter and they got one.
For me, I ranked him as my #34 starting pitcher in my Top 100 Starting Pitcher rankings earlier this offseason, but according to ESPN's Keith Law, I may be too pessimistic on Tanaka. Here is an excerpt on his scouting report published this morning:
His control is plus and he commands his fastball well to both sides of the plate, although he likes to pitch up with his fastball -- an approach that works in NPB but won't work as well in MLB, where more hitters swing for the fences rather than just for contact. I think he'll be the Yankees' best starter in 2014 and one of the top 20-25 starters in the league.
I probably won't change my ranking as a result of the signing or after reading the excerpt above, as I thought I was pretty optimistic as it is.
It is obvious that Tanaka should be owned in all leagues, and should be one of the top 20-30 starting pitchers off the board in most drafts. Then again, if you are in a league with a bunch of Yankee fans, he may go off earlier. He was 30th starting pitcher drafted in the recent FSTA draft of experts in Las Vegas, and the signing could boost his ADP as a result. You can read my write up on the FSTA draft here.
So, where are you comfortable drafting Tanaka this season? Let us know in the poll and comments below.
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