Current New York Yankees ace and Japanese import Masahiro Tanaka is expected to hit the free agent market following the 2017 season and it appears one possible suitor has walked out of the lottery for him.
According to the New York Post, it appears that if Tanaka opts-out of his seven-year, $155 million contract following the season, the Yankees will opt out of pursuing the right-handed starter. Reportedly, Casey Close, Tanaka's agent, has annoyed Yankees management for holding the potential of opting out over their heads.
Tanaka signed his seven-year contract prior to the 2014 season and has been quite productive since making his debut for the club, pitching to a 3.23 ERA across 76 starts. Tanaka boasts a 39-17 career record and is coming off a career year in 2016 in which he posted a 14-4 record with a 3.07 ERA in almost 200 innings pitched. He was tabbed the Opening Day starter against the Tampa Bay Rays this season, but did not make it out of the third inning.
According to the report, Hal Steinbrenner is still "smarting" the C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeria deals, both of which dealt a hefty blow to the team's financial status. Tanaka is also pitching with a partial tear of his UCL, which has raised serious concern from the Yankees organization for some time now. At this point, it could be for the best if Tanaka does opt out.