Wednesday, January 22, 2014

BREAKING: Masahiro Tanaka Signs with Yankees

Once again, as they normally do, the Yankees went hard after their man and they nabbed him to the tune of seven years and $155 million on top of the $20 million posting fee which granted the Yankees a right to make a formal offer to the Japanese super-star. The Yankees will Pay Tanaka $22 million per year for years 1-6 and will pay him $23 million in year seven of the deal if the contract goes that far. Tanaka's agent, Casey Close, also negotiated an opt-out clause after year four of the contract which will doubtfully be exercised by Tanaka given his already enormous salary along with the uncertainty that he brings, being that he has never thrown a pitch for a Major League team. The Yankees are making a huge gamble on Tanaka working out for them. An ace in Japan, Masahiro went 24-0 with an almost unheard of 1.27 ERA for his team. The Yankees are hoping he can be a solid number two starter in their rotation behind CC Sabathia, who has lost a ton of weight this off-season.

The only thing that is of concern to me is the stress that Tanaka placed on his arm over his Japanese career. He has pitched a ton of innings and thrown in excess of 150 pitches in a game many times and gone back out the following day to pitch. Scouts say that the right-handed pitcher is durable, which should play in the Yankees favor. Another thing that can help the Yankees with having Tanaka adjust is the presence of Hiroki Kuroda and Ichiro Suzuki on the team. The pair are icons in Japan and having them welcome 25 year old Tanaka into the fold will certainly make this a smooth transition into the United States for the newly aqcuired pitcher.

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