PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks took on the big boys of Major League Baseball in the competition to land Japanese pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka only to see him sign, hardly to anyones surprise, with the New York Yankees. Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers, speaking to a handful of reporters in a conference call on Wednesday, thanked the teams ownership for allowing him, for what he said was the first time, to "sit at the table in a high stakes poker game for one of the elite free agents." Towers said the Diamondbacks made "a very competitive offer." But not competitive enough. The 25-year-old right-handers deal with the Yankees pays him $155 million over seven years, in addition to the $20 million due as a posting fee to his Japanese club. Now Towers moves on in search, via free agency or a trade, of help for the Diamondbacks rotation, seeking either a No. 1 starter or a strong No. 2. And, he said, those are hard to find. The Diamondbacks contingent of managing partner Ken Kendrick, Towers, manager Kirk Gibson and star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt met with Tanaka and his entourage about three weeks ago. "All you can do is put your best foot forward, which is what we did," Towers said. The Diamondbacks emphasized their family atmosphere, the weather, the fact that the team trains in Arizona. Tanaka would have been the unquestioned No. 1 pitcher on the staff. That and what undoubtedly was a substantial money offer, certainly by Diamondbacks standards, wasnt enough. There is no large Japanese community in Phoenix. Towers said international players often are lured by the "Yankee pinstripes." He noted the Yankees have two veteran Japanese pitchers who can ease Tanaka into his new life. The Diamondbacks will continue to see what the possibilities are for landing a pitcher. "It doesnt stop just because we didnt get Tanaka," Towers said. But the Diamondbacks dont want to sign any pitcher to a contract longer than three years, Tanaka being an obvious exception. Unsigned free agent starters include Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez. Towers insisted that if Arizona does not acquire another starter, hes comfortable with the returning staff, specifically mentioning the possibility of talented young flame-thrower Archie Bradley competing for a spot in the rotation this spring. Because of their early-season trip to Australia to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Diamondbacks will be the first team to gather for spring training. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 6 with the full squad due on Feb. 11. Drew Lock Youth Jersey .com) - Former New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya is joining the Major League Baseball Players Association staff as a senior advisor to executive director Tony Clark. Gary Zimmerman Broncos Jersey . On Sunday, head coach Patrick Roy said the teams leading scorer will skate at Mondays morning practice and the club will make a decision on his status for Game 6 at that point. http://www.thebroncosstoreonline.com/Youth-joe-flacco-broncos-jerseys/ . (AP) -- The head of the committee that developed Major League Baseballs plan to expand instant replay says he is optimistic the system will be in place this season, even though owners and unions for players and umpires have yet to approve. Shannon Sharpe Broncos Jersey .com) - Driphus Jackson had three touchdown passes, including two in a 19-second span in the opening quarter, to guide Rice to a 30-6 rout of Fresno State at the Hawaii Bowl. Dennis Smith Womens Jersey . - Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson sat on the scorers table at Oracle Arena on Wednesday morning.Toronto Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel left practice early Saturday, one night after sitting out the teams final exhibition due to a lower-body injury. He came out and tried it and didnt feel it was 100 per cent, head coach Randy Carlyle said. Kessel has not missed a regular season game in the last four years. Tyler Bozak (lower-body), Cody Franson (knee), and Josh Leivo (lower-body) also sat out Saturdays practice.dddddddddddd Bozak has been bothered by a lower-body issue but has been working out off the ice. Franson skated gingerly post-practice on Saturday for the first time since injuring his left knee, but his status remains a question. Leivo blocked a shot in Fridays game and suffered a bruised foot, but no broken bones. ' ' '