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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Cashman expects D-Rob to close

By Andrew Marchand

We have updated our Masahiro Tanaka news story with Brian Cashman's comments. Here is the new info:

The Yankees are over the $189 million mark, which means they will be taxed at a 50 percent rate in the future. They had hoped to slip under the number to reduce their tax rate to 12.5 percent.

"This is an exclamation point that's been made today that our work was not complete or finished in terms of trying to put in a team that people could at least talk about having a shot to take a run at qualifying for the playoffs and playing into October," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said.

Cashman said it is not realistic to think there will be anymore "heavy lifting" that can take place, but quickly added they will still look to improve themselves in a much "cheaper" way the rest of the winter. He said he expects David Robertson will be the team's closer.

Cashman said the Yankees have been scouting Tanaka since 2007. They paid close attention to him during the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In 2013, the Yankees had scouts at 15 of his games.

"We made a determined effort to know as much as they possibly could," said Cashman, who later admitted there are no guarantees on success, noting Japanese starters pitch on seven days rest and use a different sized ball.

Cashman said during the summer the Yankees made a video to try to lure Tanaka, which included Hideki Matsui.

"We put together a video about our ballpark, kind of an MTV Cribs type situation," Cashman said.

Ultimately, Cashman said Close told him the Yanks provided the highest offer, but others were in the vicinity. Before that, Cashman said he was in the dark, because Close kept all the information private.

Meanwhile, CC Sabathia has weighed in.

@THEsportsGUY_6: @CC_Sabathia how u feeling with Tanaka on board?” Excited looking forward to a great season!!!

— CC Sabathia (@CC_Sabathia) January 22, 2014
QUESTION: How are you feeling?