Masahiro Tanaka has officially signed with the New York Yankees for seven years $155 million. This is great news for the Washington Nationals as of right now. Tanaka being in the American League can’t hurt the Nationals just yet, unless the Nationals and Yankees end up facing each other in the World Series.
Tanaka was the most talked about player this offseason as he went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League. Just that alone got him a $150 million contract. Who knows if he will translate to the Major Leagues at that rate, but I highly doubt it. He is going to get hit around a little bit. Scouting reports and film will really help hitters face him in the seasons ahead.
The Nationals should feel relieved that they don’t have to face him for the next seven years, if he would have ended up with a National League team. All of the Japanese pitchers that have come over in the most recent years have gone to an American League team. Maybe that is because those teams like to spend the most money and take the most risk, not so sure of the real reason. The only thing that matters at this point is the Nationals won’t have to face Tanaka until the World Series if the two teams were to meet.
By the time that happens, the Nationals hitters will have a full season of film to look through and scouting reports from all over the place. A huge thank you to the New York Yankees for taking this risk, and keeping Tanaka out of the National League. You just helped the Nationals without even knowing you did so.
Get ready for the Tanaka-less season by getting your Washington Nationals spring training tickets here.