Former Yankees All-Star Takes Huge Pay Cut To Re-Sign In Japan

He pitched seven seasons with the New York Yankees, earning two All-Star appearances with tremendous results across his 7-year run. But his major league days have been over since 2020, and Masahiro Tanaka has re-signed in Japan—but with a big pay-cut. 

Entering his age-34 season, Tanaka earned 900 million yen ($6.8M USD) the past two seasons with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. But this year, he has accepted a nearly 50% pay cut, re-signing for 475 million yen ($3.6M USD). 

And give him credit, the former Yankee feels he deserves the drop in pay:

 “Four wins (in 2021) and then nine (in 2022) are far behind the big expectations the club had for me and are a betrayal of the fans’ hopes too.  It’s been a really undignified two years.”

"Undignified" in the win column perhaps, but Tanaka still held down a 3.16 ERA with a 1.10 WHIP and his usual impeccable control, with only 1.7 walks per nine. 

No question, Tanaka is all class. With the Yankees for seven years, he went 78-46 with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He was an All-Star in 2014 and 2019. 

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports