Tanaka to stay in New York Giving Yankees a Championship Worthy Rotation

by Clayton Richer | Posted on Monday, November 6th, 2017
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                                                             Source: Masahiro Tanaka via Facebook.

Starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has announced that he has decided to stay with the New York Yankees for the remaining three years of his contract. The Japanese sensation had an opt-out clause written into his deal, and there had been some doubts about whether or not he would choose to invoke it. If he would’ve left, it would have meant sacrificing the $67 million that remained in the agreement.

Tanaka said that it had been a simple decision for him to make, stating that he had thoroughly enjoyed his time with the organization over the past four years, and the support of the passionate New York fans. The player is now committed to the team’s ambition of bringing the World Series championship back to the Yankee Stadium, and the wonderful supporters that have made him feel at home in their city.

The pitcher himself admitted that 2017 had been an “up and down” campaign for the right-hander, in which he went 13-12 ERA in 30 starts. His 194 strikeouts was the eighth highest in the American League, but he feels that his best pitching is still yet to come.

He tied for the third most homers allowed in the AL, with a career-high of 35. It was towards the end of the season when his performances seemed to find another gear though, going 8-5 with a 3.54 ERA in his final 16 starts. This also included a 15-strikeout performance in the last game of the regular season against the Toronto Blue Jays in September.  

                                                                        Source: Masahiro Tanaka via Facebook.

Once the Yankees had been eliminated in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series by the Houston Astros, Tanaka said he consulted with his agent Casey Close about his potential options for the future. His mixed form over the year was the main reason for not being 100 percent sure whether or not he would stay; however, luckily for the New York team, he made the right choice.

The team now look like they are going to have a pitcher rotation that will help them challenge for another Championship. The organization hasn’t won the World Series since 2009, and New Yorkers will be hoping this group of pitchers can play a major part in achieving that goal in 2018. Currently, the Yankees are joint third favorites with the Cleveland Indians at +700 according to MLB odds on bet365. The LA Dodgers lead the pack at +550, with the defending champions Houston heading into the new season on +650 as they look to make it consecutive titles.

It also makes the team’s off-season a whole lot simpler, knowing that they don’t have to start looking for a new starting pitcher for the immediate future. If they bring back CC Sabathia, which looks possible at this point in time, they will have the same rotation that pitched extremely well back in October, and pushed the Astros all the way to Game 7 of the ALCS.

If they get him to sign another deal, the rotation would consist of Tanaka, Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, Sabathia, as well as fifth starter Jordon Montgomery. It would be an intimidating line-up for opposition batters, and it’s definitely the kind of rotation that could win New York another World Series.

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Clayton Richer
About the Author

Clayton Richer is an MLB scribe from north of the border with a slight bias for the Toronto Blue Jays. Clayton has also been the shop-keeper at Baseball Hot Corner since the sites inception in 2012. Follow and interact with Clayton on Twitter @MLBHotCorner or @ClaytonRicher

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