Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will soon be donning pinstripes after the ace agreed to a reported $155 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees.
The contract extends through the 2020 season with an opt-out following the 2017 season.
Last year, Tanaka had a 24-0 record with an earned run average of 1.27 in the Japanese League.
"There is risks with pitchers from Japan that I have certainly spoken to," said Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman. "The workload for starters is different because they pitch on every seven days versus five days over here. Strike zones are different. Obviously, the lineups are different. So we obviously believe in this player's talent."
Along with Tanaka, the Yanks have also signed outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, former Met Carlos Beltran and catcher Brian McCann this offseason.
Altogether, the deals total $438 million.
"I think there's an exclamation point that's been made today that our work was not complete or finished in terms of trying to put a team that people could at least talk about as having a shot to take a run of qualifying for the playoffs and playing into October," Cashman said. "I think our fans can recognize that Hal Steinbrenner and Hank Steinbrenner mean what they say when they intend to put a team on the field that can compete on a yearly basis."
In addition to the deal, the Yankees must reportedly pay a $20 million fee to Tanaka's Japanese team.
Tanaka is getting the highest contract for an international free agent and the fifth largest deal for a pitcher.
The Yankees are hoping history repeats itself. They didn't make the postseason in 2008 and then went out and spent more than $420 million on free agents, and then won the World Series in 2009.