Japanese lefty Yusei Kikuchi has hired the Boras Corporation to represent him in negotiations with MLB organizations, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred (via Twitter). Kikuchi is expected to be posted this fall, though there has yet to be a formal announcement to that effect.
With this news that Kikuchi will join one of the game’s most powerful agencies, it seems easy to presume that he’ll indeed be coming over this fall. While the Seibu Lions have indicated they’ll post him if that’s his wish, the star hurler had expressed at least some uncertainty at the conclusion of the Nippon Professional Baseball season.
Kikuchi represents an intriguing potential wild card on the market. As MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes wrote in ranking Kikuchi #12 among possible free agents this winter, there’s reason to believe that the southpaw could slot comfortably into the middle of an MLB rotation. That makes him a valuable asset, particularly at just 27 years of age. On the other hand, Kikichi has had some shoulder issues and isn’t reputed to have an arsenal as impressive as those of countrymen Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka.
All things considered, it’s tough to guess at Kikuchi’s true earning power, though we pegged it at six years and $42MM (with Seibu also receiving about $8MM in fees) in our predictions. No doubt, Kikuchi will hope that agent Scott Boras will help find him a robust market and maximize his earnings. Boras has previously represented several players who were seeking to move to the majors, perhaps none more notable or memorable than Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Find up-to-date information on player representation in MLBTR’s Agency Database.