Yankees offseason splurge continues with Tanaka

Yankees offseason splurge continues with Tanaka
January 22, 2014, 11:15 am
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On the field, games are often won by the team which is more desperate.    

In free agency, the same rule applies.
     
Badly in need of an upgrade for their rotation and intent on signaling to their fans that they are willing to go all out after missing out on the post-season for just the second time since 1995, the New York Yankees signed free agent Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract Wednesday.
     
The Yankees must also pay a $20 million posting fee to Tanaka's former team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, bringing their total commitment for the pitcher to $175 million.
     
Tanaka's deal includes an opt-out after four years.
     
The Yankees outbid a handful of other clubs for Tanaka, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.
     
The signing brings the the Yankees' off-season spending spree to nearly a half billion dollars ($491 million). Previously, the Yankees had signed Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, and re-signed Derek Jeter and Hiroki Kuroda.
     
Until the signing for Tanaka was completed, the Yankees' rotation was considered thin beyond CC Sabathia, coming off his worst season in the big leagues, and Kuroda, who will turn 38 this season and faltered badly in the final two months of last season.
     
Before the off-season began, the Yankees had signaled a willingness to remain under the $189 million luxury tax threshold in 2014 in order to qualify for revenue sharing rebates and lower their tax rate.
     
But it soon became apparent that that was something of a smokescreen, as the Yankees responded to missing out on the playoffs in much the same way they did after the 2008 season: by spending wildly on free agents.
     
That winter, the Yanks signed A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeira and Sabathia to huge deals, totaling $423.5 million But this off-season, the Yankees have blown past that level of spending.
     
Still, after an outlay of $491 million, the Yankees still have significant holes at second base, third base and in the bullpen.