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Frank Sinatra never said it better.
The much-anticipated Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes came to an end Wednesday morning for the Arizona Diamondbacks and other suitors when news broke the highly coveted Japanese ace agreed to terms on a seven-year, $155 million contact ($175 million after salary and posting) with the New York Yankees. The deadline for MLB teams to reach a deal was Friday at 3:00PM Arizona time.
The Dbacks, reportedly among the “finalists” to land Tanaka’s services came up short financially, were outbid by the free-spending Yanks. Other teams interested in acquiring the 25-year-old starter who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA were the Dodgers, Cubs and White Sox.
“The Yankees realized they were in a desperate situation and they just blew everybody out of the water with their offer,” ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Wednesday. “It was evident that they know their weakness if their rotation.”
Gomez believes if the Dbacks had landed Tanaka and he did not project to be the top-of-the-rotation elite ace many feel he will, it would financially bind the organization for the next five to eight years. The free-spending Yankees don’t have to worry about future implications.
The trickle-down effect from landing Tanaka would been monumental both on the field and off as Arizona looks to establish their worldwide brand. Tanaka would instantly be the ace of a young, talented staff and likely add a big push at the box office when he took the mound at Chase Field.
So were does this leave Arizona in the NL West with spring training just weeks away?
“The Dodgers clearly are the frontrunners once again, that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody,” Gomez explained. “That’s a five-man rotation that’s going to be very difficult to beat on a consistent basis. The Giants will probably be able to rebound a little bit…you look at the Diamondbacks and hoping for second-place is probably the best thing you can do and hoping to get one of the wildcard spots but you know you’re going to have to win probably 90, 91 games or so to get one of those wild card spots now and that’s not going to be easy.”
If Arizona doesn’t add another arm via trade or free-agency the staff will be likely be made up of Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy and possibly Randall Delgado or top prospect Archie Bradley.