Yankees will be 'serious players' for Masahiro Tanaka

Koji Watanabe

The Dodgers, Red Sox and Rangers are also expected to bid on the Japanese pitcher.

The New York Yankees are expected to make a large big for Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka next month, reports George A. King III of the New York Post.

New York is looking to add pitching depth this off-season. Andy Pettitte retired at the end of 2013, and Hiroki Kuroda may not return in 2014 either. Phil Hughes will test free agency, while young pitchers Michael Pineda and Manuel Banuelos have injury question marks.

The Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers are also expected to bid on Tanaka. The winning team will likely bid a posting price around $60 million dollars, then have to sign Tanaka to a deal likely in the five-year, $60 million dollar range, according to King.

Tanaka may be worth the price; a scout told King that he preferred Tanaka to Yu Darvish:

"He is better than Darvish because he is a strike thrower. Overall, Darvish's stuff might be a little bit better, but this guy knows how to pitch. He is like Kuroda, he has a lot of guts. He throws four pitches but when it gets to [stone]-cutting time, it's fastball and splitter.''

The Rangers bid $60 million to sign Darvish, then signed the starter to a six-year, $51.7 million contract.

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