After seven seasons with the Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka has left the team to sign with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Here’s why.
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Reasons for leaving
After seven years with the Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka has decided to return to his home country and play for the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Tanaka cited many reasons for his decision, including a desire to be closer to his family and a chance to finish his career where it started. Let’s take a look at some of the other reasons that may have influenced Tanaka’s decision.
Lack of trust in the front office
One of the primary reasons that Masahiro Tanaka decided to leave the New York Yankees was a lack of trust in the front office. He felt that they were not making the decisions necessary to win and that they were not valuing his input enough. Additionally, he did not feel comfortable with the direction the team was heading in.
Unwilling to rebuild
One of the primary reasons Tanaka decided to leave the Yankees was because he didn’t want to be a part of a rebuild. The Yankees are in the process of rebuilding their team, and Tanaka didn’t want to wait around for that to happen.
Another reason Tanaka left the Yankees is because he wanted to go back to Japan. Tanaka is from Japan, and he wanted to finish his career there.
Lastly, Tanaka wanted to go to a team that had a better chance of winning the World Series. The Yankees are not currently in a position to win the World Series, and Tanaka wanted to go somewhere where he had a better chance of winning.
Desire to return to Japan
One of the main reasons Masahiro Tanaka decided to leave the New York Yankees was because he wanted to return to Japan. He had already spent seven years playing in the United States, and he felt it was time to go back home. Tanaka also mentioned that he didn’t want to be a burden on the Yankees, and he wanted to be closer to his family.
Reactions to leaving
After years of being a key player on the New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka has left the team to go back to his home country and play for the Rakuten Golden Eagles. While some fans are heartbroken, others are supportive of his decision. Let’s take a look at some reactions to Tanaka’s departure.
Yankees fans were disappointed when Masahiro Tanaka left the team to sign with the Houston Astros. Some fans felt that he owed the Yankees more than he gave them, while others felt that he was never fully appreciated in New York.
There were also those who wished Tanaka well, saying that he was a class act and a great pitcher who just didn’t quite fit in with the Yankees’ style of play. Regardless of how fans feel about Tanaka’s departure, one thing is clear: he will be missed in New York.
Tanaka’s teammates were obviously shocked and disappointed by his decision to leave. CC Sabathia, who has been Tanaka’s teammate for the past seven seasons, said he was “sad” and that he was “going to miss him.”
“He’s been a great teammate, a great player,” Sabathia said. “I know he’s going to do well over there, but I’m definitely going to miss him.”
Mark Teixeira, who has been Tanaka’s teammate for the past six seasons, said he was “surprised” by Tanaka’s decision.
“He’s been such a great Yankee,” Teixeira said. “He’s been a great member of this team and this community. I wish him nothing but the best.”
The front office
The front office of the Yankees seemed to have no reaction to losing Tanaka. It was only when a reporter asked general manager Brian Cashman about Tanaka did he give a short statement. “We wanted him back, but ultimately it was his decision,” Cashman said. “We put our best foot forward, and we understand that he had other options.”
It is clear that the Yankees wanted Tanaka back, but they were not willing to overpay for him. They made a fair offer, and he decided to go elsewhere. This is the way the business works, and there is no hard feelings from the team.
Where does Tanaka go from here?
After seven seasons with the New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka has decided to opt-out of his contract and become a free agent. Tanaka was a key member of the Yankees pitching rotation and will be sorely missed. So, where does Tanaka go from here? Let’s take a look.
His career in Japan
Tanaka had an incredible career in Japan, pitching for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles from 2007-2013. He won the Sawamura Award, given to the best pitcher in Nippon Professional Baseball, in 2013 after going 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA. Tanaka also led the Golden Eagles to the Japanese World Series title that year.
His legacy in New York
Tanaka will leave the Yankees with a legacy as one of the best pitchers in franchise history. In seven seasons with the team, he posted a 103-61 record with a 3.74 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 1,051 strikeouts in 1,315 innings pitched. He was especially dominant in the playoffs, posting a 6-2 record with a 2.21 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 11 career postseason starts.
Tanaka was also one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball during his time with the Yankees, making at least 27 starts in each of his seven seasons with the team. He also pitched 200 or more innings five times, including a career-high 202.2 innings pitched in 2014.
While Tanaka will be remembered for his success on the mound, he will also be remembered for his class and professionalism both on and off the field. He was always available to speak to reporters, no matter how bad things were going on the field, and he was always quick to credit his teammates for any success he had. He will truly be missed by everyone in the Yankees organization.