The Yankees wanted a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. Masahiro Tanaka wanted top-of-the-rotation money. So, the pairing seemed inevitable since the sought-after pitcher gained the ability to negotiate with Major League clubs.
The Yankees signed the Japanese ace for seven years at $155 million after posting $20 million that goes to his former team in Japan. The club retains an opt-out after four seasons. Various outlets have reported the terms of the deal. Tanaka joins a rotation that includes CC Sabbathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Ivan Nova.
The new posting team worked as expected, with a higher percentage of the money paid to the Japanese player than the Japanese team. In contrast to the $175 million Masahiro Tanaka deal, the Rangers paid Nu Darwish’s Japanese club $52 million and paid the pitcher $60 million. So, not only does Masahiro Tanaka’s deal eclipse that of his fellow Japanese ace, the portion he gets to keep exceeds Nu Darwish’s haul, too. The posting period was scheduled to end on Friday.
Tanaka went a perfect 24-0 last season in Nippon Professional Baseball, boasting a 1.27 ERA and winning the Japan Series championship with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. The pitcher hasn’t lost since the 2012 season. The twenty-five-year-old leaves Japan with a 99-35 record and a 2.30 ERA after seven seasons.