New York Yankees’ right-hander Masahiro Tanaka just completed his seven-year contract with the club and is now an unrestricted free agent. Throughout those seven years, Tanaka has been solid for the Yankees, especially in the postseason. However, it’ll be interesting to see what his next contract will look like.
It was reported that the Rakuten Golden Eagles from Nippon Professional Baseball’s Pacific League in Japan are considering to offer Tanaka a considerable amount of money to come back to Japan to play ball. The club reportedly is offering anywhere from $20-25 million a year. The length of this contract is currently unknown. Tanaka has already spent some time for the Golden Eagles, playing seven years with them before coming to the New York Yankees.
As for the Yankees, their highest priority is making sure batting title winner DJ LeMahieu resigns with the team. Due to LeMahieu’s extremely successful two seasons in pinstripes, the Yankees definitely know he is looking to get paid this offseason. This could get in the way of Tanaka’s contract though. A contract between $30-40 million for three to five years is realistic, and that saves the Yanks some money and gets a few more years out of a starter who still has more left in the tank.
Aaron Boone on Masahiro Tanaka's contract ending this season: "I certainly hope he will be a Yankee [next season]."
He called Tanaka a consummate professional, beloved by his teammates, said he has a great sense of humor, is respected and consistent.
— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) September 29, 2020
Other teams that need starting pitching that could possibly go after Tanaka are the Red Sox, Orioles, Giants, and Blue Jays.
The Yankees will probably extend an offer to Tanaka because of his success over the last several years. Although, they know that because of his age he’s looking for some length. There’s also the concern with injury since Tanaka has had UCL trouble over the past few years.
It’ll be interesting to see where Tanaka ends up this offseason and what contracts he is offered. The Yankees and the rest of the MLB know that he still has some gas left and can be a quality starting pitcher somewhere.