Masahiro Tanaka has reportedly agreed to a record-setting deal with the New York Yankees, and the expectation will be, in some circles, that the winter freeze will finally end and the phones will start to ring for Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza and others.
But what if this isn't the case? What if the bidding on Tanaka is almost completely isolated from the rest of the pitching market, as some team officials strongly suspect?
"I'm not in the camp that thinks [Tanaka] is related to the others," said one evaluator. Rather, he said, what will generally happen is that it will come out that "most of these guys were asking for too many years, and too much money."
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who wanted Tanaka, have a spot to fill in their rotation, but they might well pass on Garza, Santana and Jimenez.