Dec 11, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Rakuten Golden Eagles president Yozo Tachibana (right) walks through the lobby during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Tachibana has not decided whether or not to allow Masahiro Tanaka (not pictured) to sign with a MLB team now that Nippon Professional Baseball and the MLB have agreed on a $20 Million maximum posting bid. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Rakuten To Post Masahiro Tanaka, Likely Impacting Yankees/Stephen Drew

A few days ago, Kevin Kernan of the New York Post speculated that the Yankees could have interest in free agent shortstop Stephen Drew.

That seemed unlikely, since Drew has never played anywhere but shortstop and the Yankees have two players on the 25-man roster who play the position (Derek Jeter and Brendan Ryan).  Still, the Yankees are known to be reckless with their money, so a pursuit of Drew didn’t sound outlandish.

If the Yankees have any interest in Drew, it will likely be as their third baseman (if Alex Rodriguez‘ suspension is upheld).

If signed by the Yankees, Drew will have to learn a new position, and the Yankees will be spending a premium for an unknown quantity.

That was before Rakuten of the Japanese league reversed course and decided to post star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka is viewed as someone the Yankees will go all out for, and his presence on the market will likely preclude them from joining the fray for Drew.  The posting fee for Tanaka is $20 million, and that won’t count towards the luxury tax.  His contract, that’s expected to be around $80 million dollars, will.

Things have been quiet on the Drew front over the last few days, but with the new year approaching, things will probably start to get clearer soon.  To date, the Red Sox and the Mets are the only teams whose interest in Drew has been confirmed.

I feel like I’ve written this ten times, but if the Red Sox refuse to offer more than one year to Drew, the Mets will be in prime position to land the soon to be 31 year old on a two year deal.


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Tags: Masahiro Tanaka New York Mets Stephen Drew

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