Updated: 02/16/2014 10:55 | By Agence France-Presse

Tanaka's Yankee career off and running

Masahiro Tanaka conducted his first workout as a member of the New York Yankees with four laps of the field more memorable to him than his 32 pitches.


Tanaka's Yankee career off and running

Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees, pictured during his introductory press conference at the Yankee Stadium in New York, on February 11, 2014 - by Maddie Meyer

The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander, who signed a seven-year contract with the Yankees worth $155 million last month, on Saturday received his first taste of the Major League Baseball spotlight with more than 200 journalists and fans watching his every move.

"I feel very honored to get this much attention," Tanaka said.

Tanaka's bullpen throwing session with catcher Francisco Cervelli made less of an impression than running about a mile with his laps at the end of practice.

"Probably what I will remember is the four laps that we did at the end. It was pretty hard," Tanaka said.

"I actually didn't know that I was going to run this much. I'm a little bit of a slow runner, but that part I really can't help."

Pitchers and catchers began workouts for major league clubs on Saturday and Tanaka handled specialized exercises, including fielding drills moving to cover first base and playing catch with compatriot Hiroki Kuroda, his fellow starter in the Yankees' planned rotation.

"Everything is going to be a new experience for me, so I'm very looking forward to it," Tanaka said.

Tanaka comes to the Yankees after going 24-0 last season for the Japan Series champion Rakuten Eagles with a 1.27 earned-run average.

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