This morning Japanese pitcher MasahiroTanaka accepted a contract to play for the New York Yankees having been offered a deal of $155 million. Tanaka has been of great interest to the Yankees, who spent most of last year scouting Tanaka during his season in Japan. After keeping a watchful eye on the Japanese pitcher, Yankees scouting agents were positive that Tanaka would have a major impact in the MLB, as to how Tanaka finished the season 24-0, with a 1.27 ERA.
Although Tanaka has never thrown a pitch for the MLB, the Yankees offered the pitcher deal, with his seven year contract worth $155 million. Considering how Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is more than likely reaching the end of his career, Tanaka will prove to be a very valuable asset for the Yankees should this happen.
In addition, Tanaka’s contract includes the option to opt-out of the deal after four years. Furthermore, the Japanese team the Takuten Golden Eagles, which was Tanaka’s previous team, will be paid $20 million as a posting fee.
For the New York Yankees, the task of acquiring Tanaka proved to be challenging, and yet very rewarding. When Tanaka’s agent Casey Close made the announcement that Tanaka would be in Los Angeles, meeting with teams that were interested in the Japanese pitcher, the Yankee staff seized the opportunity. They realized that this would be the only opportunity that they had to meet with the pitcher, so they made the trip to Los Angeles.
The team talked for Tanaka for a period of two hours. When discussing the matter, the Yankee’s general manager Brian Cashman stated, “Whether it was two hours or it wasn’t, it was our plan to pack the room with everybody that we could to make sure that he was comfortable and that none of his questions went unanswered. The way in which we did it might’ve been overkill, and we did take it very seriously. However, it was our only opportunity, and we wanted to do it right.”
During the two-hour conversation that the team had with Tanaka, the New York Yankees showed the pitcher a recruiting video, which consisted of the New York Yankees projections of how they thought Tanaka would fit into their team.
The New York Yankees were not the only team that had been pursuing Tanaka. The Japanese pitcher was also sought after by the Dodgers, Cubs, White Sox, and Diamondbacks, however, the Yankees pulled through as to how they offered the pitcher the highest salary. Cashman expressed his relief when Tanaka’s agent called him in the early morning to inform the general manager that there were some close offers, but he has chosen to play for the Yankees.
Once the $155 million deal with Tanaka was sealed, Cashman commented, “Our team is going to do whatever it takes for us to win. This deal was the team’s way of expressing that with an exclamation point and that we aren’t finished creating a team which will give fans both something to talk about and that will take us to the playoff’s come October.”
With the addition of Tanaka, it seems that the Yankees have big plans in store for this season, however they are no were near having a complete roster at this point.