Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees come to terms on 7-year, $155 million deal
And the rich keep getting richer. First reported by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and later confirmed by the New York Daily News through an executive aware of the agreement, the New York Yankees apparently are the big winners in the Masahiro Tanaka Sweepstakes, inking the Japanese import to a 7-year deal for a reported $155 million.
The highly sought-after 25-year-old right-hander, posted a 24-0 record last season with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japan Pacific League to go along with a 1.27 ERA while amassing and 183 strikeouts in 212 innings.
During his seven-year career with the Golden Eagles, Tanaka went 99-35, had a 2.30 ERA, a 1.108 WHIP and struck-out 1,238 in 1,315 innings.
The average yearly payout on the deal is $22.14 million, but the contract contains an opt-out clause that Tanaka can invoke after the fourth season. In addition to the major chuck of change that the Yankees committed to Tanaka, the team must pay Rakuten a $20 million posting fee upon the signing of the contract.
In the end, big money — and an added year — appeared to make the biggest difference, as Rosenthal reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks all made offers to Tanaka, but most of those contracts were in the six-year, $100 million range. Although the opt-out clause may have been a sticking point in those offers as well.
Tanaka joins a sturdy Yankees rotation that also features a leaner, meaner CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova.
The only unfortunate aspect for Tanaka that goes along with the signing with the Yankees is that he’ll never be able to throw a beanball at teammate Alex Rodriguez once the pariah is done serving his suspension. Probably.