This whole slideshow is only possible if the Yankees are in the same boat they were in on August 1 of 2016.
This move, along with lack of contention, will only happen if Cashman was 110 percent certain that Masahiro Tanaka will opt out of his seven-year, $155 million contract.
The organization could even use Tanaka the same way they used Aroldis Chapman. Trade Tanaka for prospects at the deadline, then re-sign him a free agent the following offseason — when Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia’s combined $46 million come off the books.
Keep in mind what kind of prospects Cashman could pry from a team primed in contention that’s in need of starting pitching.
Tanaka is coming off a year in which he finished third in the American League in ERA (3.07), 11th in ground ball rate (48.2%) and ninth in home run rate (0.99) while batters hit a mere .166 off his splitter.
With that, there’s no doubt that the Yankees should get a modest haul, even with the looming opt-out. Especially considering the fact they earned Gleyber Torres and more for the free-agent looming Chapman.
What do you think fans? Are these some of the names that could be thrown around next season? Is it too early to even think about this? Join the conversation in the comments below.