Tanaka, 28, has battled elbow injuries over the last two years. The move is retroactive to Thursday.
"We had him talk to our doctor," manager Joe Girardi told reporters prior to Saturday afternoon's game against the Boston Red Sox. "Our doctor prescribed that he's fatigued and he's probably got some inflammation. Nothing structural.
"We decided that he needs a break. So he is on the 10-day DL. There is no discomfort. There is no soreness, pain in a sense but we decided to put him on the DL. I don't think this will take too long. I don't. I feel pretty good about him coming back shortly after he is ready to come off."
Tanaka last pitched on Wednesday in a poor outing against the Blue Jays, walking a career-high five batters and allowing three runs -- two earned -- and two hits in four-plus innings in the Yankees' 11-5 win in Toronto.
"I think he probably felt some fatigue in that start," Girardi said. "As we saw he worked pretty hard in those four innings. He complained of it and we took care of it and we're handling it."
For the season, Tanaka is 8-10 with 4.92 ERA in 23 starts. He was scheduled to pitch against the New York Mets on Monday.
In a corresponding move, the Yankees recalled right-hander Giovanny Gallegos from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Gallegos, 25, owns a 7.15 ERA over 11 1/3 innings in nine relief appearances with the Yankees this season.
The Yankees on Friday placed left-hander CC Sabathia on the DL with with right knee inflammation.