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Tanaka Signs With Northern Japanese Club Rakuten Eagles

TOKYO: Masahiro Tanaka is returning to pitch for his former workforce in Japan after seven seasons with the New York Yankees.

The Rakuten Eagles mentioned Thursday the 32-year-old free agent had signed a two-year contract. Local media reported it was price virtually $9 million yearly.

WELCOME HOME our HERO!!!! the Eagles posted on Twitter.

The Yankees lately added two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and traded for Pittsburgh pitcher Jameson Taillon. New York appeared to haven’t any room for Tanaka in its 2021 rotation and didnt look like making an attempt to re-sign the two-time All-Star.

I’ve determined to return to Japan and play for the Rakuten Eagles for the 2021 season, Tanaka wrote on Twitter. I needed to ensure and contact base with you, and thanks for all of the love and assist you’ve given me for the previous 7 seasons.

I really feel extraordinarily lucky for having the chance to take the sphere as a member of the New York Yankees, and play in entrance of all you passionate followers. it has been an honor and a privilege! Thank you a lot!!

Tanaka went 3-Three with a 3.56 ERA in 10 begins final yr through the pandemic-shortened season.

The right-hander pitched for Rakuten from 2007-13, going 24-Zero with a 1.27 ERA in his remaining season and main the Eagles to the Japan Series title.

Tanaka then signed a $155 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees forward of the 2014 season and rapidly grew to become a steadying, constant presence of their rotation.

Tanaka went 78-46 with a 3.74 ERA and 991 strikeouts in 1,054 1/Three innings. He was an All-Star in 2014 and 2019 regardless of pitching with {a partially} torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.

The Yankees typically selected Tanaka to start out in large video games and he went 5-Four with a 3.33 ERA in 10 begins through the playoffs.

New York hasnt received the World Series since 2009 and misplaced within the AL Division Series to Tampa Bay final season. Gerrit Cole leads a rotation this yr that features Taillon, Kluber, Deivi Garca and left-hander Jordan Montgomery.

Luis Severino must be able to return in some unspecified time in the future this season from Tommy John surgical procedure final Feb. 27 and Domingo Germn is predicted again from a home violence suspension that brought about him to overlook final season.

Tanaka was 99-35 with a 2.30 ERA in Japan, the place he had 53 full video games in 172 begins.

March 11 marks the 10th anniversary of an earthquake, tsunami and the ensuing meltdown of three nuclear reactors within the northern Pacific coast space of Japan the place the Eagles are based mostly. That date is certain so as to add to the drama round Tanakas return to Japan.

Spring coaching begins subsequent week for Japanese golf equipment, which have been capable of play in stadiums with a restricted variety of followers attending.

Japan, with a inhabitants of 126 million, has attributed simply over 5,000 deaths to COVID-19. Cases have been surging lately, notably in city areas like Tokyo and Osaka.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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