Gosuke Katoh is expected to start the year at Single-A Staten Island, according to an interview the LoHud's Chad Jennings conducting with Mark Newman, Yankees vice president of player operations.
The latest on Masahiro Tanaka from Tuesday, January 21, 2014.
- Tanaka threw his fastball, slider, cutter, fork, and curve during his thirty-nine-pitch bullpen session on Monday. [Daily Sports 1/21/2014]
- Tanaka threw what may have been a rising cutter while playing catch with Rakuten Eagle Manabu Mima on Monday (he threw it just once). Of the thirty-nine pitches he threw in the bullpen, eighteen were breaking balls. [Sports Hochi 1/21/2014]
- Tanaka started throwing the cutter partway through last season. He was not happy with it and continued to work on the pitch into the off-season. The MLB baseball is changing some of the properties of his pitches. His two-seamer had added sinking movement, in addition to its normal horizontal movement. His cutter is also probably benefiting in a similar fashion by adding "rising" movement. [Sponichi 1/21/2014]
- UPDATE @ 9:43pm - Tanaka worked out at Kobo Stadium today. He looked relaxed during workouts. He did not make any comments about the posting process. [Sports Hochi 1/21/2014]
Headlines from the US via Japanese media.
From the New York Time's David Waldstein:
...But there is a feeling in some circles that the Yankees will not be outbid. One official with a National League team involved in the negotiations, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said his team believed that the Yankees would "do what the Yankees do and bid more than any other team."
Tanaka, though, does not have to choose the team making the highest bid. Under the new posting system between Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball, Tanaka can negotiate freely with interested teams and, regardless of the money, select the club he prefers to pitch for. The deadline to come to terms on a contract is Friday afternoon.
From ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers:
... Going into the weekend one major league source told ESPNChicago.com that the Cubs were willing to go as high as $25 million per year for between 6-8 years. Another source indicated the years were right but the price was lower. Both agreed the Yankees would be the stiffest competition unless the Los Angeles Dodgers blew everyone away at the last minute.
From the New York Daily News' Andy Martino:
... Agent Casey Close and the interested clubs have conducted a remarkably private process, striking for its lack of leaks in an industry where information usually sneaks out somewhere.
Close has declined to comment on any aspect of the process throughout, and on Sunday he continued to do so.
Although Tanaka’s deadline is Friday, it is more than possible that he will choose a team earlier in the week. That would allow time for details of the contract to be finalized, and for a physical examination to take place.