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Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka Is Leaving for Japan


Masahiro Tanaka, a mainstay of the Yankees’ pitching rotation for the final seven seasons, will return to Japan to proceed his profession, he stated Thursday.

Tanaka set Japanese baseball alight in 2013 when he went 24-0 with a 1.27 earned run common for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He plans to rejoin the Golden Eagles for 2021.

That exceptional 2013 season made Tanaka a scorching commodity amongst main league groups, and the deep-pocketed Yankees landed him with a seven-year, $155 million contract. As a part of the deal, additionally they paid a $20 million posting charge to Tanaka’s previous group.

Initially hailed as the brand new ace of the franchise, he had six consecutive successful seasons with the Yankees earlier than going 3-3 within the shortened 2020 season. Whereas by no means dwelling as much as his advance billing, he made two All-Star groups and was the Yankees’ opening day starter 4 occasions. He completed his profession in New York with a report of 78-46 and a 3.74 E.R.A.

Tanaka was 5-4 with a 3.33 E.R.A. within the playoffs. His postseason performances had been almost all wonderful till 2020, when he gave up six runs in 4 innings in opposition to Cleveland in a wild-card collection look and 5 runs in 4 innings in opposition to Tampa Bay in a begin within the division collection, which the Yankees misplaced.

A right-hander, he has additionally been a member of Japan’s group on the World Baseball Basic, successful a gold medal in 2009 and a bronze in 2013.

“I really feel extraordinarily lucky for having the chance to take the sector as a member of the New York Yankees and play in entrance of all you passionate followers,” Tanaka stated in an announcement on Thursday.

The lack of Tanaka leaves the Yankees’ rotation with plenty of query marks after Gerrit Cole, the group’s ace.

The group traded for Jameson Taillon of the Pirates final weekend, however he’s recovering from elbow surgical procedure. Luis Severino has missed a lot of the previous two seasons with accidents and will miss a piece of this one. Corey Kluber, a two-time Cy Younger Award winner whose signing turned official on Wednesday, missed virtually all of 2020 with a shoulder harm. Two unproven starters, Deivi Garcia and Jordan Montgomery, spherical out the projected rotation.

The acquisitions of Kluber, and Taillon particularly, appeared to point the Yankees weren’t centered on re-signing Tanaka, 32. Though different groups within the main leagues had been , Tanaka opted to return to Japan.

The Yankees, recognized for spending their ample capital to get the gamers they need each low season, have been considerably extra frugal by their requirements this 12 months. Taillon, for instance, is beneath contract for less than $2.25 million this 12 months — a fraction of what Tanaka would earn — and is beneath group management for 2022 as properly. And Adam Ottavino, a stable reliever, was traded to the Boston Pink Sox this month in what amounted to a wage dump.

That left little room for Tanaka, who was reportedly looking for an eight-figure wage. Nonetheless, even along with his departure, the Yankees’ payroll stays among the many highest in the majors.



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