On-Base Perception

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Masahiro Tanaka makes Yankees 'a third-place team', Steve Phillips says

Japan's Masahiro Tanaka throws against the Netherlands in

Japan's Masahiro Tanaka throws against the Netherlands in the fifth inning of the second-round Pool 1 game in the World Baseball Classic tournament at Tokyo Dome. (March 12, 2013) (Credit: Getty)

It's Super Bowl week here in New York, which means media members (myself included) are hanging around at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan. On one of my several trips down to Radio Row, I happened to run into Steve Phillips, co-host of SiriusXM's "Evan and Phillips in the Morning" show, and we had a nice chat about the upcoming game. (You can read his prediction for the game here.)

At the end of the conversation, I asked him about his thoughts on the baseball offseason up until this point, since I'd be remiss if I didn't ask a baseball guy a question or two about the sport.

Here's his take on the Yankees, who just signed Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155-million megadeal:

"I think from the Yankees' perspective, Tanaka's a big move. There's some shift in power -- it takes the Yankees from being a fourth-place team to a third-place team, from my perspective. I think they're still short with their pitching staff, and offensively, they've got a chance to [have a] shortage of power in that lineup. If you end up with Ellsbury, Ichiro and Gardner in the outfield, with Roberts at second, Jeter at short and Kelly Johnson at third, they're going to have to lump a lot of singles together to be able to score runs. There are some questions about that offense for the Yankees going in."

Phillips also quickly talked about his old team, saying the Mets "keep trying to build this thing back again," adding that "I do have some hope that in the next couple of years they're going to get this thing back on track."

Watch the full video below. (Mobile users can watch at http://t.co/OEfzdu2Dgu.)

Tags: Yankees , Masahiro Tanaka , Mets , Steve Phillips

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