How the Yankees got Masahiro Tanaka, and what he'll really cost

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The Yankees understand all the risks. But Tanaka is worth all the risks and the money on the chance that he comes close to doing what Yu Darvish has done for the Rangers. Largely because of a barren farm system, the Yankees knew they could not field a playoff contender in the AL East this year for less than $189 million. A declining CC Sabathia and an aging Hiroki Kuroda offered too much uncertainty in the front of the rotation. The Yankees were not willing to accept the likelihood of punting another season for tax purposes. And so they obtained a 25-year-old pitcher in the prime of his career who brings stuff and celebrity to their brand. Time will tell if it was money well spent, but for the Yankees, it was money they needed to spend to stay within striking distance of the Red Sox and Rays.