Baseball has now become one of the famous sports in America after football, basketball, and hockey. The game has produced many stars including the Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka who plays for the New York Yankees of the Major League Baseball. He is a five-time All-Star and a two-time recipient of the Eiji Sawamura Award.
Masahiro Tanaka signed up for the Yankees with a contract worth $155 million in 2014. Prior to that, he played for Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Nippon Professional Baseball League from 2007 to 2013. His contract with the Yankees was the 5th largest contract for a pitcher in MLB history.
Masahiro Tanaka’s Bio
Masahiro was born in Itami, Hygog, Japan on November 1, 1988. Based on his physical attributes, Tanaka started playing baseball at a very tender age. He completed his high school at Komazawa University High School in Hokkaido. Drafted by Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in 2006, Tanaka started his professional career as one of the best pitchers in Japan. He was signed for 1 million yen with a bonus of 100 million yen and other incentives.
In his rookie year in 2007, Tanaka finished the season winning the Pacific League Most Valuable Rookie of the Year Award. The following year, he played for the Japanese national team at the Beijing Olympics, finishing at the fifth position. In the 2009 season, Tanaka made an impressive finish winning Pacific League Monthly Most Valuable Player Award for the first time since the inception of his career. He made history in 2013, setting an NPB record by winning 21 games consecutively, and also led the Eagles to clinch their first league title. Additionally, he received his second Sawamura Award for his outstanding performance.
New York Yankees Career
Following his excellent performance in the 2013 season, Tanaka was scouted by MLB representatives and through the revised posting system, he was posted at a fee of $20 million. Many international teams including Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees battled over the Japanese right-hand pitcher. Tanaka finally signed up with the New York Yankees, penning down a seven-year contract worth $155 million. His contract contains an opt-out clause after the fourth year as well as a full no-trade clause.
Masahiro Tanaka made his Major League first appearance in 2014 against Toronto Blue Jays, he finished the game pitching seven innings with eight strikeouts to record his first season win. In 2016, he finished the season with a record of 14-4, 165 strikeouts and 3.07 ERA which became the third-best in the American League.
The following year, Tanaka became the first Japanese pitcher in MLB history to record a double-digit win in first four seasons. He finished the 2017 season with 13-12 record, 194 strikeouts, and 35 home runs. Tanaka also announced his continuous stay with the Yankees until the end of his seven-year deal. This means he will not exercise the fourth year opt-out clause as stated in his initial contract. He finished his first season in 2018, retiring 13 batters in a row, a home run, and eight strikeouts.
His Salary Earnings and Net Worth
Masahiro Tanaka has been outstanding since the inception of his career and has amassed huge wealth for himself. His seven-year contract with the New York Yankees was worth $155 million and was the biggest contract ever signed for an international free agent. Additionally, the Yankees also paid $20 million posting fee. However, Tanaka earns an annual salary of $22 million and he has a whopping net worth of $33 million. Asides from baseball, Tanaka also earns from other endorsements.
Who is His Wife – Mai Satoda?
Being an avid fan of Japanese pop culture, Tanaka also found his love amongst the beautiful pop stars in Japan. His is currently married to a pop star and model named Mai Satoda. Mai is a former member as well as a current supervisor of the pop group called Country Musume. While Tanaka is in the field doing what he knows how to do best, Mai who is on the TV screens making headlines with her exceptional dancing prowess. She has featured in many Japanese TV shows and also released many songs along with the Country Musume group.
The couple met in 2010 at the Professional Baseball All-Stars Sports Festival held in Japan. They started dating in November 2010 and after about a year of a successful relationship, the perfect couple sealed their love with a nuptial bond in December 2012. Their wedding ceremony held in Hawaii and was attended by Tanaka’s teammates as well as their close friends and family members. Mai gave birth to their first child, a son on February 15, 2016. They currently reside in New York City in the United States.
Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
The Japanese baseball prodigy is a handsome dude with an incredible personality. He has a masculine bodybuild which contributes to his numerous successes in the field. In addition to a well-built body, Tanaka is also very tall, standing at a height of 6 feet 2 inches (1.91m). He has impeccable body measurements and weighs 98 kg. His hair color is black and he has brown eyes.