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Monday, June 18, 2018

Masahiro Tanaka signs with Yankees for seven years, $155 million

Masahiro TanakaJapanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has never thrown a pitch in an MLB game, but he is already the fifth-highest paid starting pitcher in league history. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Tanaka has signed a seven-year, $155 million contract with the New York Yankees.

A report last week indicated that the Chicago Cubs were prepared to “blow away the field” to sign Tanaka, but that was apparently not the case. Tanaka’s contract with the Yankees also reportedly includes an opt-out after the fourth year, similar to the deal they worked out with CC Sabathia. New York will also have to pay a $20 million posting fee.

Tanaka’s contract is the fifth richest for a pitcher in MLB history, behind only Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez and Sabathia.

The Yankees are in need of starting pitching and obviously decided to make Tanaka a priority. We knew they had extra money to spend after letting Robinson Cano leave, and — while risky — Tanaka makes sense. He posted a 24-0 record and a 1.27 ERA in Japan last season. While former Rakuten Golden Eagles teammate Andruw Jones said Tanaka does not have the same arsenal as Yu Darvish, he is obviously very effective at getting hitters out.

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