The Yankees have activated righty Masahiro Tanaka, per a club announcement. He ended up missing about a month with dual hamstring strains suffered while running the bases.
It’s obviously good news for the Yanks that Tanaka is back in action in relatively short order. In particular, the timing means that they’ll get to see him for a few starts before making final decisions in advance of the coming trade deadline.
It seemed a boon when Tanaka decided to opt into the final three years of his contract over the winter. Though the 29-year-old has had his share of injuries, and struggled in the results department last year, he has also generally been a quality hurler in New York.
Unfortunately, Tanaka’s home run issues have carried forward from 2017 into 2018. He has allowed 16 dingers this year in his 72 2/3 innings, though he has still managed a 4.58 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. If he can finally figure out how to keep the ball in the yard, Tanaka could again be a major part of the Yankees’ staff.
Regardless of Tanaka’s form, of course, the Yanks are seen as a clear potential buyer of starting pitching. But depth is much less of a concern if Tanaka is a positive part of the picture, which could impact the targets the club pursues on the trade market.