No one knows exactly what type of major league pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be, but the Yankees' scouts think he will be a very good one.
And, no one knows if Tanaka will even be posted. But if he does, it'll be on a somewhat even playing field that won't allow the Yankees to use their non-luxury tax financial might.
If Tanaka is posted, the Yankees could be very well positioned to throw some dough at him as a consequence of not spending the money on Robinson Cano. If Cano had returned, the Yankees may have ended up at a disadvantage because it would not have fit into their $189M salary goal.
Now, they'll have a full wallet when they and other clubs spend $20 million in the potential Tanaka free-agent derby.
If this plays out and Tanaka ends up in the Bronx, the Yankees who are on the verge of retaining one Japanese pitcher might remember Friday as the beginning of picking up two.
PITCHING WINS: My tag team partner, Wallace Matthews, opines the Yankees need pitching more than Cano, anyway. He also has this little nugget saved up from one Yankee insider:
"You think the guy doesn't run out ground balls now, wait until he has a guaranteed 10-year contract."
MONEY MAN: Cano got the third largest baseball contract ever and is the highest paid second baseman in the game by a large margin. Mark Simon blogs about it all.
It far surpasses any deal given to a second baseman, free agent or otherwise. In terms of average value, Cano will be making $24 million, or $9 million more than the second baseman with the next largest contract (Ian Kinsler, $15 million per year through 2017).
Jay Z: Jerry Crasnick has a good look at $240 and the world's most famous baseball agent, who has a second career, as well.