NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees signed Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract on Jan. 22. New York also paid a $20 million posting fee, bringing the total to $175 million.
As far as Yu Darvish is concerned, the Bronx Bombers paid too much money for his countryman.
Darvish, the Rangers’ ace, was posted to Major League Baseball prior to the 2012 campaign. Texas paid a $51.7 million posting fee to Darvish’s former Japanese team and then gave the right-hander a six-year, $60 million contract.
The Yankees will be ecstatic if Tanaka can even come close to replicating Darvish’s success in America.
In two seasons with the Rangers, the 27-year-old has gone 29-18 with a 3.34 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 498 strikeouts.
He’s been named an American League All-Star in both his big-league seasons and led the AL in strikeouts in 2013 with 277.
Tanaka, 25, is currently slated to be the third starter in the Yankees’ rotation behind CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, but it’s pretty obvious that Brian Cashman and company expect him to at least be a No. 2 starter in the majors.
Like Darvish, Tanaka was a star in Nippon Professional Baseball. Both hurlers were five-time NPB All-Stars before taking their talents to the States.
Tanaka went a perfect 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183 strikeouts for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in 2013. His impressive repertoire includes a splitter, a curveball, a slider, a cutter, a sinker, a changeup and, of course, a fastball.
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