The San Diego Padres have been one of, if not the busiest team in Major League Baseball this offseason. Apparently, the franchise isn’t done making moves in an effort to compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Padres are doing their homework on Masahiro Tanaka and other free-agent starters. Tanaka has connections with Padres pitching coach Larry Rothschild and right-hander Yu Darvish.
It’s unclear where Tanaka would fit into the rotation with Darvish and Blake Snell, who was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, onboard for 2021 and beyond. However, Mike Clevinger will miss the entire 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and Dinelson Lamet could miss time while recovering from a biceps injury that forced him to miss the 2020 playoffs.
Tanaka, who has spent his entire seven-year career with the New York Yankees, was initially reportedly considering returning to his native Japan if he didn’t re-sign with The Pinstripes. It was reported more recently that he would consider other MLB franchises.
During the pandemic-shortened season, Tanaka went 3-3 with a 3.56 ERA, 44 strikeouts and a 1.167 WHIP in 48 innings.