Get ready for this one folks, it is going to be a huge shock. Japanese phenom, RHP Masahiro Tanaka, has finally chosen a home – a home in New York. This winter’s most coveted free agent has signed with the New York Yankees at least according to a source who passed the breaking news on to ESPN’s Buster Onley.
The contract is reportedly a seven year deal worth $155 million with a club opt-out after four years and is the fifth largest ever for a pitcher. Apparently the Yankees are sparing no expense in order to return to their former dominance. The Yankees missed the post season in 2013 for just the second time since 1995.
Having been on a winter spending spree by already signing OF Jacoby Ellsbury, OF Carlos Beltran, and catcher Brian McCann to lucrative deals, it’s no surprise that the Yankees went after Tanaka. All four of those contracts combined comes to around $438 million.
The season-long suspension of star third baseman Alex Rodriguez, saved the club an extra $25 million. The majority of that sum will go to Tanaka’s former team in Japan the Rakuten Golden Eagles in the form of the $20 million posting fee. Tanaka was still under contract for the next two years with the Eagles. He was posted by the team under the terms newly negotiated posting agreement between Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and Major League Baseball.
Although Tanaka has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues he was considered by almost everyone to be a top-of-the-rotation starter. The 25-year old righty went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in the Japanese League last season. Tanaka is 99-35 in 175 games for the Eagles where he has played since 2007. He over that span he has posted a 2.30 ERA, 1,238 strike outs and 53 complete games, including 18 shutouts.
The signing comes just days before the Friday at 5pm E.T deadline set under the posting system. Before that time, Tanaka had to decide on a team and pass a physical. It appears the former has been taken care of and two days is more than enough time for the young star to take a physical.
So does this make the New York Yankees the favorite in the AL East with a rotation of Tanaka, Sabathia, and Kuroda as their top-3 starters? Or was this just the Yankees spending money on someone who won’t pan out in MLB? Can Tanaka replicate the success of Yu Darvish and become one of the best pitchers in baseball? Please vote in the polls below and feel free to comment.
Can Masahiro Tanaka replicate Yu Darvish's success in MLB?
- Yes (73%, 8 Votes)
- No (27%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 11
Does the Tanaka signing make the Yankees the favorite in the AL East in 2014?
- No (60%, 6 Votes)
- Yes (40%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 10