The wait is over! The pitcher the Yankees have wanted all off-season has signed. According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the New York Yankees have signed Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year deal worth $155 million with an opt out after the fourth season. It’s the seventh biggest contract ever given to a pitcher.
BREAKING: Tanaka to #Yankees, seven years, $155M, opt-out after fourth year.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 22, 2014
What does it all mean? Well, Tanaka will slide into the number three spot in the rotation behind CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. It pushes Ivan Nova to the four spot and opens up the fifth spot to internal candidates or even a free agent signing. It breaks up the logjam of free agent pitchers, so expect Matt Garza and Bronson Arroyo to sign shortly. If Tanaka is what everyone thinks he can be, it’s a huge signing for the Yankees and puts them right in among the AL’s elite teams.
The Yankees have now blown past the $189 million mark. It opens them up to all sorts of possibilities now. They could add Stephen Drew. They could add Grant Balfour. They could add both. Their off-season now ranks among the top in all of baseball. Adding, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and now Tanaka. They also took their savings on Alex Rodriguez‘s contract and poured it back into the team.
The Yankees still have holes no question. The infield is a question mark. We don’t know who’s replacing Mariano Rivera. The outlook is a bit more rosy with Tanaka on board. Now, let’s see what they do next.