Updated 08:11 AM EST, Tue, Mar 02, 2021

MLB Free Agents 2014: NY Yankees Get More Money To Spend On Masahiro Tanaka With Alex Rodriguez Suspension

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The New York Yankees may have some more spending money coming their way for free agency after arbitrator Fredric Horowitz recently handed New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez a 162-game suspension for his involvement in the well-publicized biogenesis scandal.

Rodriguez was initially banned for 211 games before Horowitz decided to reduce the number of games to 162. But while the decision is expected to hurt the Yankees next season, it could also be a blessing in disguise for them this offseason.

With the third baseman out of their lineup next season, USA Today reported that roughly $27.5 million in salary and taxes will be removed from the Yankees' books, which will give them more money to spend on free agent Masahiro Tanaka, who is expected to command more than $100 million on the market.

The Yankees are expected to make a strong bid to acquire the highly-coveted Japanese pitcher, who could boost their starting rotation currently composed of CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Ivan Nova.

The Yankees, who are trying to stay under the $189 million luxury tax threshold, are committed to just over $150 million in salary next season with Rodriguez's salary off their books.

They were considered as the favorite to sign Tanaka even before the decision on Rodriguez's suspension was issued and the odds are expected to increase dramatically now that they have much more salary cap room.

Aside from having more money to offer to Tanaka, the Yankees are also reportedly planning to use Kuroda as one of their main selling points for the 25-year-old pitcher, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Japanese League this season.

The bidding war for Tanaka is expected to get tighter, as previous reports suggested that more than one-third of major league teams are expected to talk to Tanaka, who started negotiating with teams on Thursday. Several teams have already made their pitches, including the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox.

Big market teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and the Seattle Mariners are also expected to express strong interest in signing Tanaka, while teams like the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies are considered as dark horses in the race to land the righthander.

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