The writing has been on the wall, but it still stinks to see Masahiro Tanaka’s career with the Yankees end like this. No opportunity for a standing ovation from the fans, nor no last chance at a World Series ring. Alas, he’s heading back to his original club, the Rakuten Eagles of NPB.
Reports of serious discussions to return to Japan came earlier this week, though rumors about Tanaka going back to NPB were floated early in the offseason as well. Now, it’s official. Per Jim Allen, it’s a two-year deal worth $17 million.
I’m putting the final touches on a longer piece about Tanaka’s career in New York. Look out for that either later today or tomorrow morning. For now, I’ll just say that it was a pleasure to watch him pitch for the Yankees over the last seven years. The feeling was mutual, clearly: