Masahiro Tanaka can kiss free agency goodbye. Well, at least until 2020.
The 29-year-old righty announced on Friday night that he is opting into the final three years, $67 million remaining on his contract with the Yankees, meaning that he will return to the club’s starting rotation next season.
“I have decided to stay with the Yankees for the next three seasons,” Tanaka said in a statement released by the team’s PR Dept. “It was a simple decision for me as I truly enjoyed the past four years playing for this organization and for the wonderful fans of New York.
“I’m excited to continue to be a part of this team, and I’m committed to our goal of bringing a World Series championship back to the Steinbrenner family, the Yankees organization, and the great fans of New York.”
In 30 starts (178.1 IP) this season, Tanaka was underwhelming, as he finished the campaign with a 13-12 record and a career-high 4.74 ERA. But in the postseason this October, he resembled a true ace, posting an 0.90 ERA in three starts while allowing zero home runs.
Tanaka, who will officially become a free agent after the 2019 season, has pitched with a partial UCL tear in his pitching elbow since 2014.