The Yankees will sign Masahiro Tanaka to a massive seven-year, $155MM contract that contains an opt-out after the fourth season, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Tanaka is represented by Excel Sports Management -- the same agents that negotiated Clayton Kershaw's record-setting extension.
Tanaka's contract is the largest ever open-market deal for a right-handed free agent pitcher and trails only CC Sabathia's $161MM contract (also issued by the Yankees) for largest free agent contract in history. In terms of "new money," Tanaka's deal eclipses all previous pitcher contracts with the exception of Kershaw and Sabathia. While the total contract values of Justin Verlander ($180MM) and Felix Hernandez ($175MM) both exceed $155MM, each of those deals was an extension on top of two guaranteed years, meaning they contain $140MM and $135.5MM of "new money," respectively, as outlined last year by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes.
Of course, the Yankees are paying more than just $155MM for Tanaka, as they will also owe a $20MM posting fee to the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball -- Tanaka's former team in Japan. The Yankees are placing a great deal of faith in Tanaka, spending a Felix-Hernandez-sized investment in order to secure his services.