The deal includes an opt-out clause after the fourth year, along with a full no-trade clause.
The 25-year old went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season for the Rakuten Golden Eagles. The deal comes with a lot of risk for the Yankees, as Tanaka has yet to throw a pitch in the major leagues, but the Yankees must have felt confident in his ability to make the transition in order to make him the fifth-highest paid pitcher in MLB history.
The Yankees were much more desperate than the Dodgers for a front-of-the-rotation starter and the deal only makes Clayton Kershaw's 7-year, $215 million extension look even better.
The Dodgers reportedly made an offer of more $100 million for Tanaka, but were not going to break the bank for a pitcher who would slot in as the third- or fourth starter in the rotation.
Now, the Dodgers will look at much cheaper options for the back end of the rotation, such as free agent Bronson Arroyo. They may even again explore trading for Rays pitcher David Price, but that is doubtful to actually come to fruition. However, they certainly have the option of going into the season with the current staff that they have, which has Josh Beckett slotted in as the fifth starter, while Chad Billingsley continues to recover from Tommy John surgery.
Ultimately, Tanaka would have been a luxury for a Dodgers team that is already over the luxury tax threshold. With #TanakaWatch all wrapped up, General Manager Ned Colletti can now move on to filling the last remaining holes on the roster before the start of spring training.
Photo credit: Neier, Wikimedia Commons