Masahiro Tanaka, the Japanese all star pitcher, is headed to the New York Yankees according to several new sources. The hard throwing right hander reportedly has come to terms with the Yankees for $155 million over seven years with an opt out clause that can be triggered after the 2017 campaign.
The contract agreed to with Masahiro Tanaka is the fifth largest ever offered to a major league pitcher according to MLB.com. The size of the contract is even more outstanding considering that Tanaka has never pitched a single inning in the major leagues. It isn’t like Masahiro Tanaka comes without a pedigree. Tanaka went 24-0 and a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Golden Eagles last season in Japan.
The Yankees made Tanaka a top priority heading into the 2014 season. The New York Yankees are suffering with a rotation that is not ready to truly contend for the World Series and Tanaka will be a big addition to help with that goal. Tanaka will be joining CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova in a starting rotation that will be backed up by some of the biggest bats in the game.
Masahiro Tanaka was not just coveted by the Yankees. He was also being persued by the Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, White Sox and Diamondbacks.
The New York Yankees will have to pay $20 million dollars to the Rakuten Golden Eagles for the acquisition. Under the new posting system put up by Nippon Professional Baseball teams are no longer required to submit blind bids with huge sums in order to negotiate with a player. Under the new system teams had until 5:00pm on Friday in order to close a deal with Tanaka. Tanaka will still have to sign a contract and complete a physical by then.
Masahiro Tanaka has a 99-35 record with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. He has also thrown 1,238 strikeouts and played in 175 games.
The Yankees have tried to stay under a payroll target of $189 million dollars for the 2014 season, a figure that will be impossible to meet after they signed Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran and catcher Brian McCann and now Tanaka.
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has repeatedly said that while the $189 figure was a goal it would not be met at the expense of a championship caliber team. Masahiro Tanaka will be a huge step towards that goal.
Will Masahiro Tanaka help the Yankees win the World Series this year?