Tanaka, Yankees agree to massive deal

Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka of Rakuten Eagles speaks before the press after meeting with...

Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka of Rakuten Eagles speaks before the press after meeting with his team's president in Sendai in Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan on December 17, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/JIJI PRESS)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 10:55 AM ET

Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees agreed to a seven-year, $155 million contract.

The 25-year-old right-hander narrowed his choice to the Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, who were offering more overall money but not an opt-out clause. His contract with the Yankees includes an escape clause after four years.

In terms of length and total potential earnings, Tanaka's deal is the fifth-richest for starting pitchers behind Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners, and Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia.

Last week, Japanese news service Nikkan Sports reported that the Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs extended contract proposals to Tanaka worth more than $100 million for six years.

Nikkan listed the Diamondbacks's bid at six years for close to $120 million.

The right-hander is highly coveted, after posting a 24-0 record with a 1.27 ERA last season for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Japanese league.

The signing deadline was Friday at 5 p.m. ET.


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