New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka announced Friday that he has chosen not to opt out of his current contract with the team, and will subsequently remain in the Bronx for the next three seasons.
Tanaka, 29, finished the 2017 season with a 13-12 record and an ERA of 4.74. He tossed 178 1/3 innings, and posted a stellar 194/41 strikeout to walk ratio during the regular season.
"I have decided to stay with the Yankees for the next three seasons," Tanaka wrote in a statement Friday.
Masahiro Tanaka declines opt-out, will remain with Yankees through 2020
"It was a simple decision for me as I have truly enjoyed the past four years playing for this organization and for the wonderful fans of New York."
Signed prior to the 2014 season for seven years and $155 million out of Japan, Tanaka has shown elite skills on the mound when at his best, but injury setbacks and inconsistencies have also plagued the Japanese right-hander. His decision to remain with the Yankees, however, will help shore up a rotation that faced question marks heading into 2018.
"I'm excited to continue to be a part of this team, and I'm committed to our goal of bringing a World Series Championship back to the Steinbrenner family, the Yankees organization, and the great fans of New York," Tanaka continued.
Tanaka's first four MLB seasons have seen him compile a record of 52-28 and a 3.56 ERA since he brought his talents to America. Despite his struggles in 2017, Tanaka was once again one of the league's best pitchers in terms of strikeouts-to-walks, posting a 4.73 K/BB ratio, good for eighth-best in MLB among qualified pitchers.
As the Yankees charged to the seventh game of the American League Championship Series, falling one win shy of what would've been a shocking World Series appearance, Tanaka dazzled. In three postseason starts, he surrendered a total of two runs, struck out 18 batters, walked just three, and held opponents to a .145 batting average.
Still, there's no telling when Tanaka's partially torn ulnar collateral ligament may tear completely, likely causing a significant surgery and recovery period should it occur. But even pitching with the partial tear, Tanaka has been able to find success amid some challenges.
With Tanaka now securely in the fold going forward, the Yankees are ready to enter next season with a rotation featuring Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery, Tanaka, as well as a distinct possibility that free agent veteran CC Sabathia also returns to the club.
Tanaka is due a combined $67 million over the duration of his deal, which includes a full no-trade clause.
 A.J. Herrmann/YESnetwork

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