Yankees: Projecting contracts for NYY free agents during Winter Meetings
Projecting Masahiro Tanaka’s Contract Details
2 years, $30 million
It’s now beginning to seem as if Masahiro Tanaka will not have a terribly robust market, despite the lack of quality pitching options on the market.
Actually, it’s likely that, beyond Trevor Bauer, Tanaka will be neck and neck with Japanese import Tomoyuki Sugano for the most valued pitcher.
But just because it’s getting a little dusty in the pitching stockroom doesn’t mean Tanaka will be available for a song. Starting pitchers have been the only ones getting paid, even nominally, this offseason, and weaker, more projectable options like Drew Smyly have gotten the relative bag (a one year, $11 million deal).
We still foresee Tanaka getting multiple years of security, but no more than two, with a high likelihood that such a deal will ultimately wrap up his time in the United States. Considering Smyly has been determined to be worth $11 million annually, it’s clear starting pitchers aren’t getting demolished in the same way relievers are — after all, would you rather have Smyly or Hand?
Therefore, we’re going to project Playoff Tanaka to get two years at $15 million per season. Less than we likely expected in July, more than we likely anticipated in October. Odd offseason, and it’s only just beginning.