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$155 Million On Faith

by Tom King

Masahiro Tanaka has never faced Major League hitters. He has been a great pitcher in Japan. He wanted to test himself by coming to play in America like many before him. And also earn a huge pay day.

Many teams in the US salivated over the chance to add Tanaka to their rotation. They were willing not only to offer the pitcher a big contract but also play a multi-million dollar "posting fee" to his Japanese team just for the right to negotiate with him. He signed with the Yankees who definitly need help in their rotation. The Yankees have an old lineup and are not expected to be a contender this season. They had to do something flashy to mollify their well-heeled fans who expect to be in the hunt every year.

Can Tanaka do that? Probably not. He might be good ...he might be the equal of Yu Darvish who has been everything that Texas though he would be when they signed him to a huge deal a few years ago. He may be Hideo Nomo who was a very good pitcher for many years after coming from japan. He may also end up like Hideki Irabu who former Yankee owner George Steinbrenner once referred to as a "fat toad" after he struggled making the assimilation to American baseball after signing a big contract. $155 million is alot of greenbacks to pay on faith...the Yankees can certainly afford it...but unless it translates into making the team a pennant contender...it will not be considered a good decision.