(Courtesy of the AP)
Reports were that we'd find out by the end of today who Masahiro Tanaka would choose to sign with, and per Ken Rosenthal that team is the Yankees.
According to Rosenthal, the Yankees and Tanaka have agreed to a 7-year/$155 million contract. The deal includes an opt-out clause after the 4th year.
This was the big move the Yankees wanted and needed to make to upgrade their starting rotation for this season and the future. They paid a hefty ransom for Tanaka, including the $20 million posting fee they'll now have to send to the Rakuten Golden Eagles, but that's what it was going to take once the new posting rules were put into effect. More on this story as it comes out.
** UPDATE 8:50 AM- Joel Sherman has confirmed Rosenthal's report. Sounds like this is legit. **
** UPDATE 8:58 AM- Deal has been confirmed by a slew of other Yankee beat guys. For the sake of conversation, the $155 mil is the 5th highest contract for a pitcher in MLB history in terms of total dollars. Yanks weren't kidding when they said they were going all in to get him. **
** UPDATE 9:16 AM- Sherman has the details on the Yankees' pursuit of Tanaka, which included a 7-man trip to LA to meet with him and his people for 2 hours. The group included Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, Randy Levine (why???), assistant GM Jean Afterman, Larry Rothschild, Trey Hillman, and translator George Rose. Sherman also says the Yanks upped their offer from 6 years to 7 just this week after being told that's what it would take to land Tanaka. **
** UPDATE 9:26 AM- Via Dan Barbarisi, Tanaka will not take a second physical to finalize the deal. The Yankees will trust the physical that was done in LA a few weeks ago. **
** UPDATE 10:16 AM- Via Sherman, the contract breaks down to $22 mil a year for the first 6 and $23 mil in the 7th. Not too shabby. **
** UPDATE 1:38 PM- Via Barbarisi, here's Cash's statement on the signing:
"I think there's an exclamation point that was made today. Our work was not yet complete."
He also said the Yanks have been scouting Tanaka since 2007. Dude was destined to be a Yankee. **
** UPDATE 2:00 PM- Via Andy McCullough, Cash was told that the Yankees' bid was the highest. Earlier reports suggested that Tanaka may have turned down a higher bid to sign with the Yanks. **