The Yankees invested a $20 million posting fee and $155 million in salary in Masahiro Tanaka, and that total of $175 million represents the highest amount of dollars spent on any free-agent pitcher ever -- more than $161 million spent on CC Sabathia, or the $147 million doled out for Zack Greinke. Without that commitment, the Yankees wouldn’t have landed Tanaka.
But Tanaka has a reputation for being exceedingly competitive, and beyond the Woodrow Wilsons -- the many $100,000 bills -- the notion of being desperately needed by a historic franchise must’ve appealed to a pitcher who wants responsibility, who wants to be "the man," who wants to win. Yankees officials sensed that in him when they met him two weeks ago.
If Tanaka had signed with the Cubs, he probably would've had to wait two or three years before seeing that franchise turn the corner. If he had signed with the Dodgers, he would’ve been slotted in behind Clayton Kershaw and Greinke; he never would have been "the man."
But now he has a chance to be the Yankees' superhero in New York, for a staff