Masahiro Tanaka returning to Japan after 7 seasons with New York Yankees

After seven years with the New York Yankees, free agent right-hander Masahiro Tanaka introduced Thursday he’ll return to Japan to pitch for the Rakuten Golden Eagles within the Nippon Skilled Baseball League.

“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 gotten given me for the previous 7 seasons.”

“I really feel extraordinarily lucky for having the chance to take the sector 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! Thanks a lot!!”

The 32-year-old, coming off a season during which he missed a while after being hit within the head by former Yankees teammate Giancarlo Stanton‘s shot throughout reside batting apply, simply accomplished the ultimate 12 months of a $155 million, seven-year deal.

A two-time All-Star choice, the Japanese right-hander spent all seven of his MLB seasons as a Yankees starter from 2014-20 and has been one of the constant beginning pitchers within the majors over that span, going 78-46 in 173 begins.

Tanaka posted a 3-Three file with a 3.56 ERA — down from 4.45 in 2019 — in 10 begins through the pandemic-shortened season of 2020.

Tanaka was discovered to have {a partially} torn ligament in his pitching elbow through the 2014 season, and from then on the Yankees tried to present him additional relaxation between begins at occasions. He made a $22 million base wage in each the 2018 and 2019 seasons and $23 million in 2020.

Tanaka pitched effectively within the playoffs throughout his time within the Bronx, going 5-Four with a 4.18 ERA, 44 strikeouts and 15 walks in 10 begins over 54 innings. He had his greatest postseason run in 2017 when he went 2-1 with a 0.90 ERA, 18 strikeouts and three walks in 20 innings through the Division Sequence in opposition to Cleveland and League Championship Sequence versus Houston.

Previous to becoming a member of the Yankees, Tanaka was 99-35 with a 2.30 ERA in seven seasons with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, placing out 1,238 in 1315 innings.

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