The New York Yankees continued their offseason spending spree on Wednesday when they agreed to a deal with star Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, as reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Tanaka contract with #Yankees is fifth-highest for a pitcher. Kershaw, Verlander, Felix, CC, Tanaka.
-- Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 22, 2014
The 25-year-old went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and .94 WHIP in the Japanese League last season. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks were reportedly in the mix to land Tanaka as Friday's 5 p.m. ET deadline approached.
Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner confirmed that the deal has been agreed to, per the Associated Press. More from AP:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner says the team has agreed to a $155 million, seven-year contract with prized Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
Along with the contract, first reported by Fox, 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.
Steinbrenner said Wednesday that "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.