Rakuten Eagles right-hander Masahiro Tanaka signed for a reported 2023 salary of ¥475 million ($3.6 million) plus incentives on Saturday, taking a huge cut from the ¥900 million he is said to have earned in each of the past two years.

The former New York Yankee returned to the Pacific League club ahead of the 2021 season following seven seasons in MLB but has not hit his best form since, with just 13 wins over two seasons.

"Four wins and then nine are far behind the big expectations the club had for me and are a betrayal of the fans' hopes too," the 34-year-old told an online news conference.

"It's been a really undignified two years."

The Eagles will aim for their first PL pennant since 2013, when Tanaka went 24-0 for them. He is now 10 wins shy of 200 career wins in top-level competition in Japan and MLB.

"I need to surpass that figure by a big margin if the team is to win the title," he said. "It'd be best if I can achieve it in the early stages of the season."