The Yankees got the guy they had to get.
Masahiro Tanaka is going to the New York Yankees on a 7-year contract worth $155 million dollars, according to Fox Sports’s Ken Rosenthal. The deal also includes an opt-out after the 4th year.
It was reported earlier in the week that there were 5 teams left in the hunt for the Japanese phenom. Reports this morning surfaced that one of those teams, the Diamondbacks had pulled out.
The deadline for Tanaka, 25, to sign with a team was Friday at 5pm. The Yankees going to a 7th year and over $150 million dollars was the likely deal breaker.
The biggest need for the Yankees entering the offseason was starting pitching especially with Andy Pettitte retiring, and Phil Hughes leaving to join the Twins.
Now, Tanaka will join CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Hiroki Kuroda, and a 5th starter that remains to be seen in the rotation.
Tanaka was the best starting pitcher on the market and Brian Cashman made it happen, something he’s done all off-season. The Yankees missed the playoffs for just the 2nd time in the last 19 years, and Hal Steinbrenner appears determined to not let that happen again.
Cashman has significantly improved the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury away from the Red Sox, Brian McCann as a legitimate starting catcher, and Carlos Beltran as another power bat in the middle of the order.
Last season in Japan, Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA.
You can bet Cashman was a bit reluctant to make this move considering the last Japanese pitcher he signed: Remember Kei Igawa??