Updating Yankees' Top 5 Backup Plans If They Lose Masahiro Tanaka Battle

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Updating Yankees' Top 5 Backup Plans If They Lose Masahiro Tanaka Battle
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The New York Yankees need starting pitching. Unfortunately for them, this happens to be a less than ideal offseason for a team to find itself in that position. Sure, Masahiro Tanaka is out there, and the Yankees are reportedly after him, per Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, but even the pursuit of a Japanese star is no longer tilted in the Yankees' favor, as it arguably once was, due to the changes to the posting system that went into effect for the first time this winter.

You could argue the Yankees badly need to land Tanaka, because after him their options to reinforce their starting rotation are less than ideal or simply unclear.

The crop of available free-agent starters is checkered with question marks, and the trade market for pitchers—if there's one at all—appears murky at best. If the Yankees choose to go the latter route, they could find themselves at a marked disadvantage in bargaining power.

Nonetheless, if the Yankees whiff on Tanaka, they may pivot to other options.

Here are five possible strategies they could employ, based on recent reports as well as my own analysis. As you'll see, each scenario is problematic to some degree, which in my opinion makes it that much more obvious that the Yankees must emerge victorious in the Tanaka sweeps.

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