After months of uncertainty, the saga is finally over. Masahiro Tanaka agreed to a seven-year, $155 million deal with the Yankees this morning.
According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the deal includes an opt-out clause after four years. Tanaka will step in as the #2 starter for the Yankees, who were desperate for a starting pitcher.
The deal is the fifth largest ever for a pitcher, and the largest ever for an Asian-born player. The Yankees will now pay a $20 million release fee to the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan, Tanaka’s former team.
In landing Tanaka, this is a huge signing for the Yankees, as they desperately needed young talent, as well as a frontline starting pitcher. They got both of those things with Tanaka. The other finalists for Tanaka were the Dodgers and Cubs, who both really wanted him. Look for the Dodgers to sign another starter, potentially Bronson Arroyo, while the Cubs likely will stand pat and continue their rebuild.
Look for the other top starters available, such as Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez, to sign soon now that Tanaka has finally signed.
The biggest storyline of the offseason has finally ended, and while the Yankees have finally got their top target in Tanaka, the question remains is, is he worth it?