SPORTS

No talk of Tanaka extension

NY Daily NewsMIKE MAZZEO
YANKEES GM Brian Cashman says he hasn't had any discussions with ace Masahiro Tanaka's representatives about a contract extension. Tanaka, who is slated to make $22 million in 2017, can opt out of his deal at season's end.
"We have a significant contract with Masahiro Tanaka," Cashman said Tuesday night at the opening of Orangetheory Fitness in Manhattan. "Hopefully he has a great year, and then he'll have a decision to make. If he doesn't, then he won't. I think he pitched like a Cy Young award candidate last year, and I certainly hope he does so again this year. But at this point we've had no discussions internally to pursue any kind of extension." Tanaka, 28, is in Year 4 of a sevenyear, $155 million contract he signed in 2014.
During his first three years with the Yankees, the right-hander posted a 39-16 record with a 3.12 ERA.
Last season, he went 14-4 with a 3.07 ERA in 31 starts. He was especially effective pitching on extended rest, going 8-1 with a 2.41 ERA in 13 starts with five days in-between outings instead of the standard four.
Tanaka does have an injury history, which caused him to make a combined 44 starts in his first two seasons in pinstripes. Most significantly, he suffered a slight tear of his UCL in July 2014 and underwent elbow surgery to remove a bone spur in October 2015.
The Yankees will need Tanaka to be at his best given the rest of their rotation is filled with question marks. Michael Pineda went 6-12 last season with a 4.82 ERA, although advanced metrics show he pitched better than that, while CC Sabathia is coming off a knee procedure and entering his age-37 season. Sabathia (9-12, 3.91) is set to make $25 million in the final year of his deal.
"I would think that because he had the cleanup, we'll be careful with him coming out of the gate," Cashman said of Sabathia. "I know it's a big year for him -- his free-agent walk year -- and I'll sign up for what we got out of him last year. He was very effective."
TRUMP CARDS
A high-powered meeting of baseball minds took place Tuesday at Trump Tower, where Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred and Yankees president Randy Levine met with President-elect Donald Trump, the Daily News confirmed.
The pow-wow was nothing more than a meet-and-greet between the commissioner and the soon-to-be leader of the free world, according to sources. -- Christian Red
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