By Tom Verducci
December 27, 2013
Masahiro Tanaka posted a 1.27 ERA in 212 innings for the Rakuten Golden Eagles last season.
KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

Every long-term signing of a pitcher carries risk, but this one carries more than most, because there are so many unknowns for so much money. Cain, Hamels and Greinke had established track records in the majors and familiar workloads when they signed their contracts. Tanaka has never pitched in the majors and has thrown more innings than anything we've seen in the modern game. A major league team will fork over more than $100 million for a pitcher who was developed and used in ways that never would have happened in the United States.

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