And the clock has officially started.
With the World Series wrapping up in Game 7, Masahiro Tanaka now has three days to inform the Yankees whether he is opting out of his contract.
Tanaka, who turned 29 on Nov. 1, has three years, $ 67 million remaining on the seven-year, $ 155 million deal he signed with the Bombers in 2014.
There are a lot of factors to weigh, in what is certainly a complicated decision.
After an up-and-down regular season, Masahiro Tanaka dominated in October.
(David J. Phillip/AP)
During the playoffs, Tanaka pitched to a 0.90 ERA in three starts, looking very much like an ace in shutting down both the potent Indians and Astros. His stuff, which can be elite when his splitter and slider are working, was there — ever since a 15-strikeout performance against the Blue Jays on Sept. 29.
But he allowed a career-high 35 homers during the regular season, pitching to a 5.47 ERA in the first half and a 3.77 ERA in the second half. He had a 3.22 ERA at home and a 6.48 ERA on the road. From 2014-16, Tanaka posted a 3.12 ERA over 75 starts.
Tanaka has been pitching with a partial tear of his UCL since 2014, though he’s managed to make 61 regular-season starts over the past two seasons. From 2014-15, he made 44 starts.
Masahiro Tanaka’s history of elbow troubles could impact his market.
Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta headline what isn’t a particularly deep free-agent starter pool. Johnny Cueto could join that group as well if he opts out. Other FA starters include CC Sabathia, Jason Vargas, Andrew Cashner, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn.
By all accounts, Tanaka has enjoyed working and living in New York City. Could he get more money and a longer contract elsewhere? He was also pursued by the Cubs and White Sox, the Dodgers, Arizona and Houston in 2014.
Luis Severino, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery are under contract.
Yu Darvish is expected to be among the most sought-after free agent arms this winter.
(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Sabathia, who essentially agreed to a one-year, $ 30 million extension so he wouldn’t opt out in 2011, makes sense as a candidate for a one-year deal following his renaissance performance in 2017.
Shohei Otani, the 23-year-old, two-way Japanese star, will be pursued by the Bombers — assuming he does come to the majors, as expected — given he’s young, cost-controllable and possesses massive potential. Chad Green could potentially enter spring training as a starter again, while youngsters Justus Sheffield, Chance Adams and Albert Abreu all figure to be knocking on the door at some point in the future.
Prior to the season, the Yankees were inclined to let Tanaka walk if he opted for free agency. And their history with Sabathia could influence their decision-making process. Tanaka could be well worth it for three years at $ 22-23 million a year, but would the Bombers give him more years? It could be a gamble.
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