24 Jan 2014

Yankees sign Japanese pitcher

11:16 am on 24 January 2014

The Japaneses pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has signed a $187 million, seven-year deal with the New York Yankees baseball club.

The 25-year-old right-hander, whose contract is the major league's highest for an Asian-born player, went unbeaten last season with the Japan Series champion Rakuten Eagles.

Tanaka's deal ranks as the fifth-highest for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history, trailing the seven-year deal for Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers at $259 million.

Tanaka fills out a Yankee starting rotation that includes Japan's Hiroki Kuroda, Dominican Ivan Nova and CC Sabathia.

The Yankees won only 85 games last season, finishing third in the American League East division, but have added free agents Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury to the lineup in the off-season and with Tanaka have bolstered their pitching to return to contention for a playoff spot.