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Veteran New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is heading home. Thursday morning, he announced he’s going back to Japan to pitch for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in 2021.
The 32-year-old spent the last seven seasons in New York, going 78-46 with a 3.74 ERA in 173 starts.
Tanaka had been one of the staples in the Yankees rotation the last seven seasons, and he just wrapped up a seven-year deal worth $155 million.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 28, 2021
His best season came in his rookie year in the Majors back in 2014, going 14-5 with a 2.77 ERA and earning a spot on the American League All-Star team.
Going back to Japan isn’t much of a surprise for Tanaka. He has previously stated that he would consider re-signing with the Golden Eagles, the team that allowed him to come stateside seven seasons ago.
Tanaka’s professional baseball career started back in 2007 with the Golden Eagles. He won the Sawamura Award as the best pitcher in Nippon Professional Baseball in 2011 and 2013.
With Tanaka out of the picture, the Yankees have actively tried to shore up their rotation in 2021. They made a deal for Jameson Taillon and signed free agent Corey Kluber.