Masahiro Tanaka, 25, of the Rakuten Golden Eagles signed a 7yrs-$155 Million contract, with an opt clause after year 4. The right hander went 24-0 last year with a 1.27 ERA. That’s pretty impressive, considering that the Japanese league is a very good. But, can it be compared to the MLB? Is the Japanese league as good as we say?
Indeed, we’ve seen players make the transition from the Japanese league to the MLB and excel. Is this considered to be the same level baseball? Are these Japanese players top notch, or are they just part of a selected few that can make the cut? Is Tanaka worth $155 Million? I remember veterans with a good showing throughout their career were only classified to get contracts like this. Tanaka hasn’t thrown a pitch yet and he’s getting such deal.
My colleague Eman (Yankees fan), after hearing the news of the signing, looked over at me and said “Yankees will make the World Series in 2-3 years, man. Watch!” and with a smile on my face, I told him that he was insane for thinking that. After analyzing his point of view over and over, it didn’t take long for me to question if he had a base to his opinion.
Signings like C Brian McCann, OF Jacoby Ellsbury, and OF Carlos Beltran, prove to make his opinion a good case, but we’ve seen time and time again that championships aren’t bought. Are these signings enough to put the New York Yankees ahead of the pack of favorites to make the World Series? We need to understand that, even with those signings, this team is getting old. Also, they will be heading into the season without their biggest superstar, besides Jeter, due to free agency. Robinson Cano signed a 10yr contract with the Seattle Mariners this offseason. Do they have enough juice to make a push for the championship?
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