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2021 Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka Says NY or Pitching in Japan

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Masahiro Tanaka is a New York Yankee through and through. It is hard not to picture him in Yankee pinstripes but he is a free agent now and has two options in his mind: play for the 2021 Yankees or pitch in the Japan NPB League.

Masahiro Tanaka Wants to Contend

A source close to Tanaka says that he does not want to sign with a non-contending team no matter how much they offer him. To add he will only want to sign with the 2021 New York Yankees, for that is where he built his MLB career. There are a few teams that are interested in his services including the Yankees. The 2021 Yankees are the only contenders in his eyes and If the Yankees end up going another direction he will want to pitch where he began.

Masahiro Tanaka Wants to Eventually Retire in Japan

Where did it all begin? Tanaka started his career in the Japanese NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. He pitched from 2007-2013 before leaving for MLB. For those seven seasons, he had a captivating record of 99-35. He had an ERA of 2.30 and struck out 1238 batters. He was one of the most dominant pitchers coming out of Japan when he left.

The 32-year old right-hander has always wanted to retire in his native habitat. He was way more impressive in the NPB where he received a ton of accolades. In 2007 he was the Pacific League rookie of the year. He was a six-time NPB All-Star excluding 2010. The Eiji Sawamura Award was awarded to Tanaka in 2011 and 2013. He won two championships in 2011 and 2013. He was also the strikeout king in 2012 and won three Golden Gloves from 2011 to 2013.

Masahiro Tanaka was worshipped in the Pacific, especially when he won 26 straight decisions from 2012 to 2013. He would rather go back and retire a legend if he does not become a Yankee. If he does become a Yankee as he has been since 2014 then it would buy him time to grab a world series championship before he heads back home to retire with the Japan NPB Golden Eagles.

Masahiro Tanaka Wants a World Series Championship With the 2021 Yankees

Masahiro Tanaka would love to add a World Series championship to his resume in the MLB. Will the Yankees re-sign him? Time will tell. In the last few seasons, his arm has been struggling with injuries. Last season he went 3-3 with a 3.56 ERA in ten starts. The two-time All-Star has a career record of 78-46 with a 3.74 ERA in seven seasons.

The general manager of the New York Yankees Brian Cashman recently stated that he would love to have Masahiro Tanaka back. There is a great possibility that this could happen if the 2021 Yankees can not retain DJ LeMahieu.

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