Astros made hefty offer to Tanaka
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Wednesday the club made an offer for Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka, who reached an agreement with the Yankees on Wednesday for seven years and $155 million.
Luhnow said he flew to Los Angeles with owner Jim Crane and seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens to meet with Tanaka. The Astros, who met with Tanaka and his representatives on Jan. 8, were the first team to talk to him when he was in the U.S.
“We did make an offer and were involved,” Luhnow told MLB.com. “We did meet with him and make an offer.”
Luhnow wouldn’t say how much the Astros offered Tanaka, but a source told MLB.com it was more than $100 million. Tanaka’s agreement with the Yankees includes an opt-out clause that can be exercised after the 2017 season, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to MLB.com.
Crane confirmed for reporters on Tuesday the Astros had interest in Tanaka, but didn’t give specifics.
Tanaka, 25, went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Golden Eagles last season, pitching the team to a Japan Series title. The total value of the contract is the fifth-highest for a pitcher in Major League history, and the Yankees owe a $20 million posting fee to Rakuten under the terms of baseball’s revised posting system with Nippon Professional Baseball.
Tanaka’s first start for the Yankees will likely come at Minute Maid Park in April when the Yankees open the season with three games in Houston.