The Yankees have finally decided what to do with Derek Jeter. He’ll be playing in Scranton tomorrow night, and that will include five innings on the field. There’s no word on the rest of the timing of his rehab, but Joe Girardi did mention that they want to take this “day-by-day.” If I had to make a bet, the earliest we’ll see him is probably against the Blue Jays on Monday, but even that could be premature. The Yankees may be waiting until rosters expand on September 1st.
Last week I discussed a couple of international free agents that the Yankees could be interested in, and sure enough the team has sent their top evaluators to Japan to scout starting pitcherMasahiro Tanaka. I had more on him in my post last week, which included some video, but the starter has posted numbers very similar to Yu Darvish‘s performance in Japan. Granted, he earns slightly fewer strike outs, but Tanaka issues fewer walks, and there is less concern about how his control will translate to the major league level. With that said, Tanaka doesn’t have the same velocity, height, or pitch selection. He’s much more similar to the Yankees’ own Hiroki Kuroda, sporting a splitter, a slider, and two low-to-mid 90′s fastballs.
The Yankees are looking to get under the $189 million luxury tax cap, and using money on international free agents could be a lucrative maneuver. Instead of spending the $40 million they’re saving on the budget from 2013 to 2014, they could reinvest the money in the posting for Tanaka and avoid the money showing up on their payroll. Of course, they had the same opportunity to do so with Darvish and passed, so we’ll see how their international philosophy plays into this offseason.
Finally, Alex Rodriguez spoke to the media earlier today and basically said that he’s told his lawyer to shut up. Despite the big mess that Rodriguez’ camp created the past few weeks, it’s hard to argue that it hasn’t worked. The end results have brought sympathy the an otherwise polarizing character, but perhaps Ryan Dempster is behind most of that.