An ESPN Insider article by AJ Mass adds the Philadelphia Phillies to the list of suitors who could add Tanaka to their rotation.
Citing Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Mass indicates that Ruben Amaro, Jr., Phillies’ GM could be doing more than just due diligence on the Japanese export.
With the recent TV deal in place with Comcast SportsNet, Philadelphia looks to have extra money to spend after acquiring Marlon Byrd and Carlos Ruiz as free agents. At one point earlier in the off season, the team had offered to put any of Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Johnathan Papelbon in a trade without absorbing any of their salaries. Those talks have cooled considerably in the wake of the TV deal.
Adding Tanaka behind Lee and Hamels could immediately catapult them into the contender category, giving them a rotation to compete with the Nationals’ Strasburg, Gonzalez, Fister, and Zimmerman.