Will Yankees say “Sayonara” to Tanaka, after the 2017 season?

(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Yankees and their fans have concern over the rotation next year. Masahiro Tanaka has an opt-out clause in his contract. He has pitched well for the Yankees, during his time in the organization. But…….

Yankees ACE may decide that he is going to test the Free Agency, at the end of the 2017 season. Under Masahiro Tanaka‘s present contract he can opt-out after the 2017 season. If Tanaka chooses to exercise his option, he will leave some $67 million.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Masahiro Tanaka
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Yankees gave Masahiro Tanaka some interesting perks! What will he be giving up? Within his contract, he has some interesting clauses. Masahiro has $100,000 for living expenses, each year. The money, used only in Tampa or New York! Tanaka has a fully time interpreter, to the tune of $85,000 each year of his contract. Then throw in that no-trade clause, and you have yourself a unique deal.

Furthermore, why would a 29-year-old decide he wants to go out on the market? Here is a glimpse at his numbers in the major leagues. During Tanaka’s time with the Bronx Bombers, he has accumulated a 13.1 War and a 1.090 WHIP. He possesses a 3.46 ERA and a 50-26 record. Masahiro has amassed 603 strikeouts in 644.2 innings of work.

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So what has Tanaka done this year?  He has a 1.4 WAR and a 1.235 WHIP. Has posted an 11-10 record, with an ERA of 4.54. While striking out 158 in 154 innings. Yet, Tanaka has allowed one-third of the total amount of his career home runs in 2017.  Hmm, not exactly setting the world on fire?

That only tells part of the story. In August he had a 2.63 ERA and started September with a 1.29 ERA. Masahiro has averaged 6.2 innings per start during this time frame. Striking out 26 and going 3-1.  Sure going in the right direction, now.

Who would be his competition on the open market? His fellow countryman, 31-year-old Yu Darvish heads up the short list of available ACE’s. Then, of course, 32-year-old Johnny Cueto is similar to Masahiro Tanaka. He also can opt-out of his contract and will leave some $84 million on the table. Tanaka will have interest, make no mistake about it!


Yankee brass has made it clear, if Tanaka decides to exercise his right to hit the free agent market, then it’s “Sayonara Masahiro Tanaka.”   With Tanaka having an injured ligament in his right elbow. Many consider Masahiro an injury waiting to happen. Yankees will take their money and run. Most likely building cash towards that 2018 free agent class and getting under the salary threshold. The ball will be in Mashiro’s court!

Next: Yankees: Well, what do you know, the Bombers are back

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