Japanese pitcher Yamaguchi to pursue career in MLB
TOKYO (AP) — Pitcher Shun Yamaguchi, who led Japan’s Central League in wins, strikeouts and winning percentage this season, says he wants to move to Major League Baseball through the posting system.
The 32-year-old right-hander declared his intention this week. He would become the first player from Tokyo’s Yomiuri Giants to pursue a career in the majors through the posting system, though outfielder Hideki Matsui left as a free agent to sign with the New York Yankees for the 2003 season.
“I will work even harder as I pursue a new challenge,” said Yamaguchi, who received permission from the Giants to talk to MLB teams. “I will take a shot at my dream of playing in the majors.”
Yamaguchi went 15-4 this season with 188 strikeouts and a .789 winning percentage, helping Yomiuri to its first CL pennant in five years.
He signed with the Giants before the 2016 season after leaving the DeNA BayStars as a free agent.
The posting system allows Japanese players under contract to negotiate with major league teams. If a contract is reached, their Japanese club receives a fee based on a percentage of the value of the player’s contract.