Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka hasn't pitched a single MLB game. And yet, the Yankees just gave the ace a massive seven-year, $155 million contract in order to obtain his services. To put that into perspective, the contract is the fifth-highest contract ever given to an MLB pitcher. Only Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, and C.C. Sabathia have received bigger contracts from MLB teams.
So who is Tanaka? Well, he's a 6-foot-2 right-handed pitcher who has spent his entire career with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan's Pacific League. He's 25. And last season, he finished with a 24-0 record and a 1.27 ERA. So…yeah. The Yankees are expecting big things out of this guy next season. And after hearing about the contract they gave him, that's exactly what they should expect out of him.
[via Ken Rosenthal]