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Masahiro Tanaka rumors: Yankees officials divided on the Japanese right-hander

Koji Watanabe

Apparently, not everyone in the Yankees front office is all-in on Masahiro Tanaka. The New York Post reported yesterday that one Yankee official, who of course was not named, is not that confident that the phenom from Japan will live up to all the hype he's gotten over the past few months. " 'Just because he had great success over there doesn't mean he's going to be lights out over here,' one official said. We'll find out soon enough, but it's not like he's a sure-fire thing. I'd like to think so, but I'm not convinced.' "

While all of this is true - there is no guarantee that Tanaka is the next Yu Darvish - it is still a bit troubling that not all of the Yankees brass seems completely committed to signing him. But what may be even more troubling is that they are expressing their doubts about Tanaka to the media. Comments such as these are certainly not going to help entice Tanaka to come to New York, which is too bad, because the Yankees desperately need Tanaka.

With him, the Yankees could potentially have one of the best rotations in the league (if CC Sabathia bounces back and Hiroki Kuroda displays his first half of 2013 form, not his second). Along with the additions of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran, he should help New York contend for the AL East title. Without Tanaka, there will be a lot less room for error, and the Yankees will more than likely underwhelm like they did last season. Since they've already said they aren't interested in Matt Garza or Ubaldo Jiminez, and have barely even noticed that Ervin Santana is on the market, not adding Tanaka would also put a lot of pressure on young pitchers like Michael Pineda and David Phelps.

It's time to take a risk that could pay off, and pay off big. So let's just open up that checkbook, like the Yankees always used to do, and bring Tanaka to the Bronx.