Ex-Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka to remain in Japan for 2022 season

·1 min read
Masahiro Tanaka Japan point cropped
Masahiro Tanaka Japan point cropped

Former Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka will not make an MLB return for the 2022 season.

Tanaka, who spent the 2021 season with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball's Japan Pacific League, had a two-year contact and an opt-out clause.

However, he is continuing his career in Japan -- at least for next year -- the Golden Eagles announced Friday.

"I will report directly with the feeling of tomorrow's fans. We look forward to seeing you all!" Tanaka said in a statement released through the club.

Tanaka, 33, went 4-9 with a 3.01 ERA in 155 2/3 IP over 23 games with the Golden Eagles in 2021 -- his first season back in Japan since 2013. He went 99-35 with a 2.30 ERA in 175 games (172 starts) over 1,315 IP with the Golden Eagles from 2007-13.

The Yankees signed Tanaka on Jan. 22, 2014, for seven years and $155 million. He lived up to his hype as an MLB rookie during the 2014 season, voted to the All-Star Game while going 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA in 136 1/3 innings pitched over 20 starts.

With the Yankees from 2014-20, he totaled a 78-46 regular-season record and 3.74 ERA in 174 games (173 starts) over 1,054 1/3 innings pitched, striking out 991 while walking 208.

A two-time All-Star selection, including in the 2019 season, Tanaka's 2020 campaign saw him go 3-3 with a 3.56 ERA in 10 starts spanning 48 innings pitched, including 44 strikeouts to eight walks and nine home runs allowed.

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