Masahiro Tanaka has revealed that he chose to sign for the New York Yankees to give himself the best shot of winning the World Series.
The Japanese sensation caused quite a frenzy when a new posting rule essentially made him a free agent overnight.
As many as 12 teams were reported to be interested in signing the right-arm pitcher from the Rakuten Golden Eagles with only five remaining in the race long enough to hold contract discussions.
He eventually decided to sign for the Yankees, agreeing a seven-year, $155m deal with an opt-out clause in the fourth year.
Speaking in a press conference after the move was announced, Tanaka claimed he not only signed for the team because they gave him the “highest evaluation” but also because he wants to win the World Series.
“I’m going there to win the World Series,” he said. “I can’t wait to get to the pitcher’s mound at Yankees Stadium.”
Tanaka's deal in the fifth largest given to a major league pitcher and by far the largest given to a Japanese player.
The 25-year-old went 24-0 last season with 1.27 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 183 strikeouts in 212 innings.