<
>

What's Next: A-Rod & Tanaka

NEW YORK -- The Carlos Beltran press conference was pretty interesting with Beltran professing his love for the Bronx and his disdain with how Mets' upper management treated him.

So with the Yankees now three press conferences in and Christmas around the corner, it seems like as good a time as any to go into what is next.

1) WAITING ON TANAKA: While the Yankees have felt for a while that Masahiro Tanaka may not post, nothing is official yet. If Tanaka does post, the Yankees will be all in.

Tanaka can only be posted until Feb. 1 so a decision is likely sooner than later. If he is posted, he will be a free agent for 30 days and can sign with any team willing to fork over the $20 million fee.

2) WAITING ON A-ROD: Did you forget about Alex Rodriguez? We didn't think you did. The A-Rod 211-game suspension decision is due after the New Year. There is no set date for arbitrator Fredric Horowitz's verdict to be announced, but it is expected within the first two weeks of January.

If A-Rod's full suspension is upheld, then the Yankees have a chance at getting under $189M. If not, there is no chance. Either way, by cutting payroll they are saving money. They would just save a ton more if they could cut their luxury tax from 50 percent to 12.5.

3) SIGNINGS: The Yankees will make it official with Brian Roberts and Matt Thornton soon.

4) TRADES: Brett Gardner could still be dealt for a starter. The Yankees will probably wait to see what officially happens with Tanaka before making a move. If not, Ichiro Suzuki or Vernon Wells -- maybe both -- could very well be goners. They won't bring back much, if anything, in deals.

5) PINEDA: If the Yankees don't bring in another starter, Michael Pineda will be a renewed focus. Pineda is healthy, according to the Yankees, but Joe Girardi reiterated that Pineda must win the job.