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Yankees sign Masahiro Tanaka to 7-year, $155 million contract

The Japanase superstar heads to the Yankees on the fifth-biggest contract for a pitcher in MLB history.

Koji Watanabe

The New York Yankees will sign pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract, according to Ken Rosenthal of Rosenthal notes that deal includes an opt-out clause that will allow him to become a free agent after the fourth year of the deal.

Tanaka, who has held the entire MLB world hostage since late December, also drew significant interest from the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Cubs and White Sox in recent days.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees recently added a seventh year to their offer in an effort to beat out the other finalists, the Cubs and Dodgers.

Now that Tanaka is off the board, the remaining top starting pitchers on the free agent market-- Ervin Santana, Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez and Bronson Arroyo--are likely to sign within the next couple of days.

Tanaka will join C.C. Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Ivan Nova in the Yankees' rotation, instantly providing the front-end arm that the team has been looking for. With the addition of Tanaka, the Yankees have now committed $471 million to nine free agents (Tanaka, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Kelly Johnson, Hiroki Kuroda, Brian Roberts, Brendan Ryan and Matt Thornton) this offseason, putting themselves in position to be a legitimate contender for years to come. Factoring in the $20 million posting fee for Tanaka, the Yankees have spent $491 million this offseason.

Tanaka comes to the U.S. after posting a 27-0 record and 1.27 ERA in 212 innings with the Rakuten Golden Eagles last season. The 25-year old is the latest high-end Japanese pitcher to come to the majors, following the footsteps of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Yu Darvish.

Read more from MLB Daily Dish:

TRADE: Rays acquire Forsythe in multi-player deal Will Masahiro Tanaka be worth all the hype? Braves vs. Heyward: Is $300K really worth a fight? New York Yankees: Trade rumors, transactions, news, notes The entire Tanaka-to-the-US saga is AMAZING