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Mets Rumors: Is Masahiro Tanaka a realistic option?

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 07: Masahiro Tanaka #19 of the New York Yankees heads back to the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 07, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 07: Masahiro Tanaka #19 of the New York Yankees heads back to the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 07, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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There are New York Mets rumors that are beginning to emerge regarding free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka as a potential option for the starting rotation.

The New York Mets rumors are beginning to run rampant around the league with the latest speculation surrounding free-agent starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. As many of you may know, the 32-year old right-hander has pitched for the New York Yankees for the previous seven seasons which makes this Mets rumor all the more fascinating.

An American League executive had recently shared their thoughts on the Mets potentially being a player for Tanaka this offseason which made the Tanaka to Mets rumors become a topic of interest over this past weekend. The executive had shared the following statement regarding the potential connection between the former Yankee and the Mets.

“We don’t know much about what their strategy is going to be, since [Cohen] has never done this before. And we have to wait and see what they do with the rest of the front office, but I don’t think you can rule them out on anything, and taking a known quantity who’s pitched in New York to a short-term deal I think would make sense, along with some other things,” stated the American League executive.

Tanaka is certainly an intriguing and legitimate option for the Mets to explore as they look to potentially add two more starting pitchers to their rotation this offseason. Many Mets fans and reporters are keeping their fingers crossed that starting pitcher Trevor Bauer is one of the big splash additions that the front office is planning this offseason. If Bauer is signed this offseason, Masahiro Tanaka or another similar pitcher would slide into the middle or back-end of the Mets rotation in a perfect world.

When looking at Tanaka’s 2020 season, the Japanese right-hander had started ten games for the Yankees and posted a 3.56 ERA with a really good 1.167 WHIP. Tanaka for the most part over his seven seasons in pinstripes has pitched very well during the regular season with a career 3.74 ERA. He also has long been considered an elite postseason pitcher, despite the two bad starts he had in the postseason for the Yankees this past season. Before 2020’s abbreviated season, Tanaka had posted a 1.56 ERA in the postseason for the Yankees over eight postseason starts.

What the Mets would be receiving with Tanaka would be a fearless starting pitcher who embraces the big moments and who thrives with pitching in the biggest market in baseball. It’s very hard to find many players on the open market who would embrace the spotlight of New York City, but Tanaka is built differently which goes back to his days as being one of the most dominant starting pitchers in Japanese baseball history.

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While the Yankees are certainly considered the favorites currently to lure Tanaka back, it would resemble the ultimate power move in this new era of Mets baseball for the organization to poach Tanaka away. While there has been no confirmation from anyone inside the Mets front office regarding these latest Mets rumors, it’s just another rumor for all of us to ponder and evaluate as we make our way into a promising winter.

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