In addition to the deal with the 25-year-old right-hander, the Yankees must pay a $20 million fee to his Japanese team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
After missing the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years, the Yankees went on a free-agent spending spree this offseason, also adding catcher Brian McCann and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. The four big deals totaled $438 million.
“We’re going to do what we’ve got to do to win,” Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “Anybody that questioned our commitment to winning is going to have to question themselves.”
Big league teams had until Friday to reach an agreement with Tanaka, who was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year.