The Yankees and Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka have agreed on a seven-year, $155 million deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has confirmed.
The deal also includes an opt-out clause after the fourth year.
Tanaka can now slot behind CC Sabathia in the Yankees’ rotation and ahead of the likes of Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova. The fifth starter will come from the Michael Pineda, Vidal Nuno, David Phelps group.
Tanaka is coming off an extraordinary season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Nippon Professional Baseball league. He went 24-0 with a microscopic 1.27 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. He tossed eight complete games, including two shutouts, while striking out nearly eight batters per nine innings.
Of the other teams that were courting Tanaka — the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks — the Yankees made the largest offer. The total expenditure ($175 million in salary and posting) is the largest ever for a free-agent pitcher.
Tanaka receives the largest contract ever for an international free agent and the fifth-largest deal for a pitcher, trailing only those of Clayton Kershaw ($215 million), Justin Verlander ($180 million), Felix Hernandez ($175 million) and Sabathia ($161 million under his original agreement with New York).
News of the Tanaka deal was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.