MLB notes: Masahiro Tanaka introduced by Yankees

Masahiro Tanaka was introduced by the Yankees Tuesday after chartering a Boeing 787 Dreamliner for his trip from Tokyo to New York.

The 25-year-old righthander agreed Jan. 22 to a $155 million, seven-year contract and stopped in New York for a news conference at Yankee Stadium en route to spring training in Tampa.

Tanaka put on his No. 19 jersey and, speaking in English, said ‘‘I’m very happy to be a Yankee.’’


Tanaka chartered the Japan Airlines plane, which seats about 200, at what was reported to be a cost of about $200,000 for a flight said to include five passengers and his poodle, Haru.

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Tanaka was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year, leading the Rakuten Golden Eagles to the Japan Series title.

Verlander throws

Tigers ace Justin Verlander said he threw about 20 pitches off a mound in Lakeland, Fla., Monday.

Verlander spoke with reporters Tuesday and said he didn’t have any pain in his groin and hip. The righthander had surgery Jan. 9.

The 30-year-old said he hurt his groin doing squats, and he also had a pre-existing abdominal problem.

Brantley agrees


Michael Brantley has agreed to long-term contract with the Indians, a person familiar with the deal said.

Brantley will sign a four-year, $25 million deal once he passes a physical said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract isn’t final.

Brantley moved from center field to left last spring when the Indians signed free agent Michael Bourn. He batted .284 with 10 homers and 73 RBIs.

Clark apologizes

Radio host and former Cardinals player Jack Clark has apologized for and retracted comments he made last year implying that Albert Pujols used steroids.

Clark, who played for the Cardinals from 1985-87 and was a four-time All-Star, issued a public retraction Monday night for his comments made about Pujols, a nine-time All-Star, who played for the Cardinals from 2001-11 before signing with the Angels.


Pujols sued Clark for defamation in October after Clark made the comments in August on the ‘‘The King and the Ripper Show.’’ Pujols said he accepted Clark’s retraction and apology “to resolve my lawsuit against him and clear my name.’’

Ryan rejoins Astros

Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan has rejoined the Astros as executive adviser. Ryan was a special assistant to the GM in Houston from 2004 until he became president of the Rangers in 2008. He left the Texas organization in October . . . Righthander Roy Oswalt is retiring after 13 seasons. Oswalt, 36, had a 163-102 career record with a 3.36 ERA . . . Reliever Kenley Jansen and the Dodgers agreed on a $4.3 million, one-year contract, avoiding arbitration . . . The Angels agreed to a minor league contract with reliever Brandon Lyon that includes an invitation to spring training. The 34-year-old righthander had a 4.98 ERA in 37 appearances with the Mets last year . . . Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he thinks Major League Baseball would accept an openly gay player. Michael Sam, an ex-defensive end for Missouri’s football team, came out publicly over the weekend and could become the first openly gay player in the NFL . . . Twins GM Terry Ryan had surgery at the Mayo Clinic for cancer in his neck.