Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees’ Biggest Signings Through the Years
The Biggest Yankee Free Agent Signings of the Last 25 Years
The New York Yankees have struck again. This time, it's with Masahiro Tanaka. The Japanese pitcher has agreed to a seven-year/$155 million deal with the Bronx Bombers, making him one of the highest paid arms in the league before he's even thrown an inning of MLB action. That's the thing with signing a player from another country, the MLB team acquiring them is really taking a risk on how they'll perform in the states. Sure, they might have a decent idea based on past performances, but there are no guarantees in the big leagues.
All signs point to Tanaka being successful on some level in MLB. He was dominate in Japan and that usually means he'll at least be above average in the bigs. Obviously, the scouts are saying that Tanaka will be way better than average.
So after a few months this offseason, the Yankees are seemingly in a much better place. Tanaka has joined the list of a few other big names to ink with the Bronx Bombers and while they haven't gotten a lot younger, they have added some proven players. I don't like their long-term chances of success, but that doesn't really factor into the equation in New York. It's a 'win now' culture with lots of money available to support that style of play. The bottom line for Yankees fans? The team is in better shape to make a playoff run this year, as opposed to 2013.
Over the years the Yankees have made lots of headlines by inking big name free agents. Here's a look back through the years at some of their biggest acquisitions:
Wade Boggs - 1993
After spending his entire career with the rival Red Sox, Boggs made a splash by signing in New York in 1993. His move paid off with WS ring in 1996.
Darryl Strawberry - 1995
The troubled Strawberry was able to be a decent contributor in the Bronx over his five years with the team.
Doc Gooden - 1996
By the time Gooden became a member of the Yankees, his prime was clearly in the rearview mirror.
David Wells - 1997
Boomer's stay in New York was short-lived, as he was traded after two seasons for Roger Clemens.
Orlando Hernandez - 1998
'El Duque' was a solid member of the Yankees rotation for several years in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Mike Mussina - 2001
Mussina left the Orioles before the 2001 season to sign a six-year, $88.5 million contract with the Yankees.
Jason Giambi - 2002
Giambi leaving the A's after winning MVP was a very big deal back in 02.
Hideki Matsui - 2003
Matsui came over from Japan after a long career with the Yomiuri Giants. Looking back now, you can definitely say that he was a good signing for New York.
Randy Johnson - 2005
The Big Unit was past his prime by the time he was lured to New York, but he did win 17 games in 05 and 06.
Carl Pavano - 2005
Pavano joined the Yankees in the same offseason as Johnson, but he would go on to become one of the biggest flops in team history.
Johnny Damon - 2006
Red Sox to Yankees. Damon made waves making the switch back in 2006.
Roger Clemens - 2007
Clemens' first stint with the Yankees was via a trade with the Blue Jays. His second stint was 'signing out of retirement' situation.
Mark Texeira - 2009
Tex surprised few with his decision to ink with the Yankees back in 2009.
CC Sabathia - 2009
For the most part, Sabathia has paid off for the Yankees. He better, for $23 million a year.
Jacoby Ellsbury - 2013
Ellsbury is second biggest signing for the Yankees in 2013. In addition, the team also inked veterans Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran.