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4. What about Tanaka? The Yankees are pessimistic on Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka being posted, because, a source told ESPN New York, the $20 million maximum fee for his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, might not be worth it for them. Instead, they can just keep him in Japan for two more years, at which time he would be eligible to come to the States without a posting fee.
Back to NY!— Jessica Beltran (@ivanalenin) December 7, 2013
#Yankees #goingafterthatring @carlosbeltran15 http://t.co/NLB49X8hPV
According to three people who know Cano, he didn’t enjoy playing for manager Joe Girardi and that may have factored into the decision, though the Mariners giving him $60 million more than the Yankees offered ($175 million) likely had more to do with him leaving.
“Robbie didn’t like batting second, he wanted to bat in the middle of the order," one person said. “The Yankees wanted him second because that was best for the team. He wanted to hit in the middle of the order to drive in runs [to increase his value]."
Through the middle of June, Cano shuttled between second and third in a lineup that didn’t have Derek Jeter to hit second or Rodriguez in the cleanup spot.
For the season, Cano batted third in 110 games, hitting .319 with 16 homers, 73 RBIs and an OPS of .886. As the No. 2 hitter in 42 games, he hit .308 with 10 homers, 30 RBIs and a .955 OPS.
“He told me he didn’t want to play for [Girardi]," a friend of Cano’s said.
He's a possible Hall of Famer and still a potent hitter from the left side, but the Yankees just signed him for his age 37 through 39 seasons even though he's showing signs of decline and is probably best suited to DH, if not right away then certainly before this contract is over. They've boosted their offense and added a marquee player, but they haven't filled a critical need the way they did with McCann -- second base, the rotation, maybe third base if you-know-who is suspended for all or most of 2014.
Beltran does make the Yankees better, though, just not as much as his contract seems to indicate. He remains an offensive force against right-handers, hitting .315/.362/.509 against them in 2013, and his propensity for making hard contact bodes well for his future at the plate both in hitting for average and for power.