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Yankees heavily scouting Japanese ace Tanaka

Koji Watanabe

With the success of international free agents such as Yu Darvish, Aroldis Chapman, Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig, many major league teams have begun to spend more resources scouting players from outside the US.

The Yankees have historically been a team that has been willing to spend money on hot, young, international talent (Jose Contreras, Hideki Irabu among many others).

While their last big international free agent signing (Kei Igawa) was a flop of a major proportions, the Yankees have their eyes set on another Japanese ace. According to a report from Mark Hale and George A. King III of the New York Post, the Yankees have heavily scouted Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka.

The Yankees have heavily scouted Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. According to a person following Tanaka, the Yankees have seen a lot of Tanaka’s starts. Assistant general manager Billy Eppler and special assignment scout Don Wakamatsu watched Tanaka pitch for the Rakulen Eagles last week.

Tanaka, 24, will have to go through the posting process because he isn’t eligible for free agency. He is 75-35 with a 2.50 ERA during his career in Japan.

The 24-year old righty projects to many scouts as a number two starter that can immediately help a rotation. Tanaka will likely garner the interest of the Giants, Red Sox, Athletics and Twins in addition to the Yankees.

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