I was already bracing myself for bad news as the result of Tweets from Steve Gilbert earlier on:
Not sure where Tanaka is headed, just know that the #Dbacks are no longer in the running.— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) January 22, 2014
Now, this was still the un-named "baseball source" talking, but Gilbert is pretty conservative about speculation and rumors, so the fact he went to press with a story as well, seemed to indicate it was time to put away the hand-painted Arizona-shū e yōkoso, Tanaka-san signs [that's "Welcome to Arizona, Tanaka" pumped through Google Translate. So based on yesterday's little fiasco, the Japanese version probably actually says something unpleasant about Tanaka's mother and Godzilla]. Oh, well, never mind: guess it's time to shift into post-season mode with regard to him, i.e. anyone but the Dodgers.
However, barely had I time to make a small offering to my earthquake shrine, than news quickly broke that he would be heading to the opposite coast instead. As first reported by Ken Rosenthal:
BREAKING: Tanaka to #Yankees, seven years, $155M, opt-out after fourth year.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 22, 2014
My reaction to that is part-relief - hey, it's not the Dodgers - and part surprise that it went so high. Include the $20 million posting fee, and the Yankees will be shelling out $25 million per year for a pitcher who has never pitched in the major leagues. I think that's more than all but the highest speculation - both in terms of years and cash - when this saga began, just after Christmas. To me, it certainly seems too much, but then, I've never been one for over-spending on shiny new toys, just because everybody else wants one.
So, the Diamondbacks now have to regroup, and decide what to do. The removal of the Japanese logjam should mean that the rest of the pitching free-agent market will now fall into place pretty quickly, with barely a couple of weeks until the Arizona pitchers report at Salt River Fields. Will we pursue an alternative, such as Matt Garza? Do we pencil prospect Archie Bradley in to a spot in our rotation? Or do we sit it out, and start off 2014, with the same guys who ended the 2013 campaign? Time enough to think about that.
At least it's all over now. Never wanted Tanaka anyway....