Japanese pitcher Yamaguchi to be posted this offseason
Field Level Mediaon
Another name is being added to the deep free agent pitching class in baseball, as Japanese starter Shun Yamaguchi will reportedly be posted this offseason.
According to the Japan Times on Monday, the Yomiuri Giants, Yamaguchi's club in Nippon Professional Baseball, will grant their pitcher's wish to pursue his MLB dream.
"I will take a shot at my dream of playing in the majors. I'd like to express my appreciation to Yomiuri Giants officials, manager Mr. (Tatsunori) Hara, my coaches, teammates and fans for the past three years," Yamaguchi reportedly said at a news conference at a Tokyo hotel.
"I will work even harder as I pursue a new challenge."
The 32-year-old is the first player ever posted by the Giants. He was 15-4 with a 2.91 ERA and 188 strikeouts over 170 innings pitched in 26 games. He gave up only 137 hits and walked 60. Yomiuri plays in the Central League, which does not use a designated hitter.
He pitched only 21 innings in 2017 as he was suspended following an alleged off-field incident with a security guard at a hospital.
Yamaguchi will join three other Japanese players expected to hit the market via free agency or the posting system this offseason -- outfielders Yoshitomo Tsutsugo of the Yokohama DeNA BayStars and Shogo Akiyama of the Seibu Lions, and Hiroshima Carp infielder Ryosuke Kikuchi.
Among the current MLB starting pitchers hitting the free agent market are AL Cy Young winner Garret Cole of the Houston Astros, World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals, New York Mets hard-throwing righty Zack Wheeler, and three-time World Series winner Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants.