Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The bidding war if over, and the Yankees have won the rights to right-handed Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka on a seven-year, $155 million contract with an opt-out after the 4th year that would let him become a free-agent.

To make room for Tanaka on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated left-handed pitcher David Huff for assignment.

The Yankees needed Tanaka more than any team in the league with the clear holes in their starting rotation, and not that they are an automatic World Series champion right now, but this makes their chances to win a lot better.

"This is an exclamation point that's been made today that our work was not complete or finished in terms of try to put in a team that people could at least talk about at having a shot to take a run at qualifying for the playoffs and playing into October," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said.

Tanaka had been drawing interest from a ton of teams, most notably the Los Angeles Dodgers. As of this morning, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who were also chasing him, were reported to be out of the running by The Chicago Cubs were also trying to make a big push, but were considered "long shots."

Tanaka, 25, went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season in Japan, and was heavily scouted by the Yankees over the course of last season. He has been one of their top priorities, and are ready to go all-in on him if posted.

And because of the new posting system, the Yankees will have to pay a $20 million posting fee to Tanaka's now former club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, bringing the total bill on Tanaka to $175 million for a seven-year contract -- the same contract they were trying to give Robinson Cano.
Many compare him to be the next Yu Darvish, while some scouts would say that he is good, but no Darvish good. The Yankees would rather he be Darvish good.

Adding Tanaka to the current rotation, the Yankees will go into spring training with a starting five projected to be CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, Tanaka, and the winner of the battle between Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno.

Keep it here for continuing coverage throughout the day.


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