According to Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports the New York Yankees have signed Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. Was there really any a doubt that he would eventually be wearing pinstripes?
BREAKING: Tanaka to #Yankees, seven years, $155M, opt-out after fourth year.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 22, 2014
The seven-year, $155 million contract would make him the fifth richest pitcher in baseball as only Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez and C.C. Sabathia have inked larger deals according to Rosenthal. You may also notice from the tweet that the deal includes an opt-out clause after fours years, which seem to be all the rage these days as agents have been able to work seemingly more and more of these clauses in hopes for yet another even more lucrative payday.
But how does this affect the Blue Jays? Obviously facing Tanaka as a division rival won’t be fun. He could be especially devastating in his first year since opponents will have limited information about how he works.
The Yankees add Tanaka to a free agent coupe that already includes Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. It appears the posting system delayed worked in New York’s favour as they were able to learn the fate of Alex Rodriguez‘s appeal before having to file for Tanaka but I’ll leave those conspiracy theories and sour grapes for another day.
This leaves the rest of the market and those that missed on Tanaka left with most notably Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza and Ervin Santana. This is the “domino” we’ve been waiting to fall and it should be interesting to see how things play out from here for the Toronto Blue Jays.