NEW YORK – The New York Yankees and prized Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka agreed Wednesday to a $155 million, seven-year contract.
In addition to the deal with the pitcher, the Yankees must pay a $20 million fee to the Japanese team of the 25-year-old right-hander, the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
Tanaka caps an offseason that saw the Yankees add Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. The four big deals totaled $438 million.
“We’re going to do what we’ve got to do to win,” Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner told The Associated Press. “We had to make sure we had enough pitching to go together with our new lineup.”
Big league teams had until Friday to reach an agreement with Tanaka, who was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year as the Golden Eagles won the Japan Series title.
Tanaka joins CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova in a rotation where the fifth starter’s job appears to be open.
His deal pushes the Yankees’ payroll for purposes of the luxury tax over $203 million. Barring trades, there is little chance New York will make it under the $189 million tax threshold.