The New York Yankees spent a lot of money this off-season. Around $471 million to be exact.
The biggest splash, though, was when the team made international news by signing Japanese fireballer, Masahiro Tanaka. New York brought him in to be one of their future starters and the expensive right-hander will draw quite a bit of attention from the fantasy baseball world this spring.
Tanaka pitched in the World Baseball Classic, but it was what he did after that caught the attention of the rest of the globe. Tanaka finished the 2013 season with a flawless 24-0 record and a glimmering 1.27 ERA with the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
Tanaka has one of the deadliest cutters in league, and he hasn’t even thrown a pitch in the majors. He loves to pummel hitters inside with his heater/cutter combo and has an identic pitching motion with everything he throws. Tanaka should be able to instantly become a viable strikeout pitcher in all fantasy formats.
New York brought in a handful of bats that include OF Jacoby Ellsbury, OF Carlos Beltran, C Brian McCann, 2B/OF Kelly Johnson, and 2B Brian Roberts. The team even signed OF Brent Gardner to a four-year extension worth $52 million. The amount of newly acquired firepower will instantly help the team score runs and will give the starting pitcher a steady amount of run support each game. Tanaka could easily walk into a top rotation spot this spring and finish with between 12-15 wins.
Tanaka won’t be a fantasy ace right away, as the team will likely be very cautious with him in the early months of the season, but expect him to improve with each passing start and end up being a low-end SP2 by the time the season is done.
Draft Tanaka inside the top-25 starting pitchers this spring and enjoy the ride.