It’s quite possible we haven’t seen the last of Masahiro Tanaka in North America.
Upon completion of his seven-year pact with the New York Yankees, Tanaka this offseason elected to return to the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan on a two-year deal.
Oftentimes, such a move would hint at the player’s time in Major League Baseball reaching its permanent end. But it doesn’t appear that’s the case for Tanaka.
Tanaka just turned 32 in November, so when his deal with the Eagles is done he’ll be preparing for his age 34 season. Presumably, he’ll still be effective enough to return to MLB at that point if he so chooses and resume his role as a solid mid-rotation arm.