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So the Yankees just spent a small fortune on Masahiro Tanaka — $155 million for seven years. What does that mean for the American League East? What does it mean for the Red Sox? Does it affect their ability to re-sign Jon Lester?
The bottom line is this: Yankees scouts identified Tanaka as the best free agent pitcher out there. He’s only 25, and he was lights-out for the Rakuten Golden Eagles last season with a 24-0 record and a minuscule 1.29 ERA. Those numbers are good no matter where you’re playing professional baseball. But as we learned with Daisuke Matsuzaka, there’s a lot of acclimation that must occur.
“He has the potential to be a No. 1,” said an NL GM. “You don’t really know.”