If you are a Blue Jays fan, Masahiro Tanaka is a name you should be very excited about.
The 25-year-old Japanese pitcher posted a 24-0 record with a 1.27 ERA in the Japanese league last season. In any league that is not only respectable, it’s complete domination.
Yu Darvish had a 14-6 record with a 1.44 ERA the year before he entered the Major Leagues, and look what he has done in his time with the Rangers since: he’s posted a 29–18 record with a 3.34 ERA. As with Darvish, Tanaka will be a major asset to whatever team signs him.
The Blue Jays have reportedly been in the hunt for starters Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana, but those two will only apply some depth to an already average Blue Jays rotation. What the Blue Jays really need is an ace like pitcher heading into 2014, and Tanaka can bring that presence to the team.
A rotation with Dickey, Buehrle and (a hopefully healthy) Morrow will not do it if the Jays want to be a contending team in 2014. On the other hand, a rotation with Tanaka, Dickey, Buehrle, Morrow (and maybe Santana) will bring a new edge to the already exciting A.L. East. With the Yankees’s and Red Sox’s rotations aging and becoming more predictable, Toronto could finally become one of the top starting rotations in the Majors.
Lets face it Jays fans, we want to win and we want to win now! We’re tired of being bottom feeders to teams like the Yankees and Red Sox. Tanaka will only super charge one of those teams if we don’t sign him now. The Dodgers are irrevocably going to try to get him, but if they do they can’t afford Clayton Kershaw. So this is our time to make one of the biggest splashes we could in the 2014 offseason.
If we look at what our 1992 and 1993 World Series teams looked like, we weren’t full of superstars — we were made of guys who loved the game, but in this day of age we need to have a healthy mix of superstars and guys who love the game. Personally, I think Tanaka would fit in well with a mix of the young and old guys on this Jays roster.