With a freshly signed $155 million contract with the New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka spared no expense to make the move to New York by flying himself on a 200-seater plane.
The 25-year-old prized pitcher reportedly shelled out $195,000 for a Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Japan Airlines to take himself, his wife, a dog and three others from Tokyo to New York City in time for his press conference at Yankee Stadium.
JAL said the plane had been booked ahead of the heavy snow that hit Japan over the weekend, grounding all flights and disrupting train services around the Japanese capital, according to SBS.
Tanaka paid for the plane so he could take part in the team’s camp “in the best form,” a Japanese baseball official who accompanied him said.
“It’s a (chartered) private jet. It’s not something the Yankees have prepared,” Tanaka told reporters through an interpreter Sunday at Narita airport near Tokyo.
Yankee pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training in Tampa on Friday and have their first workout the next day.
The Yankees reportedly spent $20 million just to negotiate with Tanaka after he was posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball.
By Maesie Bertumen