Dec. 3: Major League clubs have been informed that Kikuchi will be available to them beginning tomorrow morning at 8am ET, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Nov. 23: The Seibu Lions of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball have announced that they will post ace Yusei Kikuchi for Major League teams in early December (English-language link via the Japan Times). The negotiating window for the 27-year-old left-hander will begin on Dec. 5.
This will be the first offseason featuring the new posting system between NPB and MLB. Under the new rules, all 30 teams will have a 30-day window to negotiate with Kikuchi and recently hired agent Scott Boras. It’s a change from the previous iterations of the system — both the former blind bidding and the $20MM maximum posting fee — as the release fee paid to the Lions will now be based on the size of the contract that Kikuchi signs with his new team.
Beyond the actual contract given to Kikuchi, his new team will need to pay a release fee equal to 20 percent of the first $25MM of the deal, plus 17.5 percent of the next $25MM of the contract, plus another 15 percent of anything beyond $50MM. (A $60MM contract, for instance, would come with a release fee of $10.875MM.) The Lions will also receive a sum equal to 15 percent of any non-guaranteed money that Kikuchi eventually earns (e.g. performance bonuses, option salaries).
Kikuchi won’t turn 28 until next June, meaning his age will be an extremely appealing factor as Major League clubs weigh how heavily to pursue him. Beyond the fact that he’s younger than any other starter on the free-agent market, Kikuchi’s performance over the past several seasons has established him as one of the top starters in all of NPB. Over the past four seasons, Kikuchi has worked to a pristine 2.58 ERA with averages of 8.9 strikeouts, 3.1 walks and 0.68 home runs per nine innings pitched. The general belief with Kikuchi is that he can function, at the very least, as a serviceable fourth starter, though the most optimistic teams are more bullish on his upside.
Given the sizable number of clubs looking to add to their rotations this offseason, the general lack of available top-end pitching and the upside the left-hander brings to the table, Kikuchi’s market should be a robust mix of contenders and non-contenders alike. The Padres, for instance, are reported to be seeking starters who are young enough to contribute to the rotation by the time the bulk of the team’s core has emerged in the Majors — perhaps in the 2020-21 seasons. The Phillies, too, have been linked to Kikuchi, as have the Dodgers. Not every team with some rotation questions will embark on an aggressive pursuit, of course — the Red Sox are said to be “lukewarm” on the lefty — but interest will be expansive enough that Boras should secure a strong multi-year deal for the market’s top international player this winter.
Lol isn’t everybody connected to Yankees.
except some closers
Only in the minds of Yankee fans.
In the minds of Dodger Fans like yourself, is the sarcasm in your post based upon your team’s terrible post season performance the past 10-20-30 years?
Just like when Yankees fans always bring up “27” when the bulk of them came before the 60’s?
In the minds of everyone not a Yankees fan. Some of them just like to hear their team named on the rumor mill so they can pretend everybody wants to play there
Red Sox won the World Series after they did the Yankees in their own yard
Count the titles since the 60’s, and they’re probably 7-8 more than your teams titles..hell probably even more kermie.
Who knows what you are talking about here. I sure don’t. My point was it seems like every important free agent is automatically connected to the Yankees, by Yankees fans. It’s a thing. Does any really not notice?
I too have noticed that
That posters a troll anyways
In reality many NPB players prefer staying on the West Coast the Dodgers and Mariners are very attractive to them as it is much closer to home for themselves and their families to visit and culturally a better fit.
A Dean Caulfield
Every team has a right to relive those Golden days…
Just like the rest of us have the right to give ’em a hard time about Livin’ in the Past
tip o’ the hat to Jethro Tull
Its not by Yankees fans its by everyone, because they went after every free agent in the 90’s, and early 00’s, now teams like the Sawx and Dodgers are far bigger spenders.
I live in this neighborhood too, and I can see it’s Yankees fans who call practically every free agent of any importance for the Yankees. The Dodger are no longer the big spenders. Over the last four years and counting they haven’t signed a free agent contract over $100M.
No longer big spenders, lol, they made Kershaw the highest paid player in Baseball just 3 years ago (yep 7 million shy of $100 million, but because it was for 3 years), and had the third highest team salary. The ones calling everyone to the Yankees are usually the teams haters that want to cast them as the evil empire, even though now that narrative fits the Dodgers, Red Sox, Angeles, and Cubs much better.
Blue sky, the majority of us actually competent Yankees fans are sincerely tired of this nonsensical whitewashing. Yes, there are stupid Yankees fans here who like to be loud. Other teams have their homers as well. It’s the nature of things. Your very suggestion that the Dodgers are somehow a low-spending club is entirely representative of that.
Get to the WS Mikey, then pop off.
How many teams have won more postseason series in the last 6 years than the Dodgers? I know they haven’t won it all, but “terrible post season performance is a little harsh
7 World Series since the 60’s. How many has your team won since then, chump?
Ok…. Since 1975 the Yankee have won the most world series, 7 and appeared in the most too with 9.
Not true. Media aleays mention Yanks because they’ve shown they’ll entertain anything that might make them better. That being said, the Dodgers are still bigger spenders of late than the Yanks. Who’ve the Yanks signed for over $100 since Ellsbury?
Except fans of all LA teams do the same thing. It’s an elitist city attitude shared by all the lefties in those cities. A delusional sense of self grandization, and the belief that not only are you right, but everyone else wants to be apart of your delusions. Welcome to reality.
Nine since “61! How many does your team have?
Not only before the 60’s they came when winning the pennant was nothing more than winning the division. Each league was one division
What giant free agents did the Yankees go after in the nineties? David Wells? Kenny Rogers? Most of the players were acquired through trades, Tino, Oneill, Clemens, Cone , Brosius, Knoblauch, Justice.
No….he sounds like Kei Igawa v2.0
Or the fat toad…
Seriously, it’s like any other import. Buyer beware but a good deal is possible. Hey. sounds like many U.S. free agents too…
Irabu, Dice K, Igawa, even Tanaka, Darvish, and Ohtani to a lesser extent, these Japanese pitchers just dont hold up to there expectation aside from Nomo all have either been flops or have had major injuries, yet teams keep over spending for them.
Don’t forget Kuroda. Very solid pitcher. Would have liked another season or two of him in pinstripes.
Couldn’t agree more, and look how many IP he has since he started his professional career in Japan when he was 19 or 20. This guy is an injury waiting to happen. So I hope Cashman isn’t an idiot and takes a pass on this clown. You’d think he’d have learned his lesson by now after the failed efforts with Igawa, Irabu, and even Tanaka to a lesser extent.
A Dean Caulfield
Not all that sure the Yankmees will want to take another chance on Japanese arm at a high price since they are looking to avoid the luxury tax penalties. They look more like a trade partner this offseason than a Free Agent shopper. That being said they should be active in both environments
Yankees aren’t avoiding luxury tax anymore, that was only last season for the reset.
The way the Lux Tax works is once you reset, you are good for a few years as long as you don’t blow past the final threshold the way the Sox did. It’s an escalating tax. Once it’s reset, you only pay at the same rate as any other team that exceeds it. They are no longer paying the excessive penalties. They may make it a “thing” to drop it more often now that they aren’t the dominant force in the league any more, but I expect they will blow past the 1st and probably 2nd lux tax thresholds this off-season in hopes of chasing the Sox. I don’t think the Yanks are done adding arms. Here’s why:
The Yanks expected Sheffield to be a contributor at some level in 2019. They showed that with the call-up. Paxton just took his spot and they shipped him off. They now have more of a sure thing for that spot, but they still (I think) will want to add one more quality arm given Paxton & Tanaka’s injury history and Sabathia’s age.
Even if they trade for a cheapish option like Kluber and add Machado/Harper, they will have taken on probably about 6 mil in Paxton, $15 mil in Kluber and $30+ mil in Machado/Harper. The Yankees currently sit about $30 million below the 1st luxury tax threshold after resigning CC I believe. They will blow past that with the signing of Harper or Machado. Adding that 2nd arm will probably push them past the $225ish mil or whatever the 2nd mark is.
I don’t think they would be able to make a deal for Kluber now. Yankees traded away Sheffield for Paxton. So, the only other trade bait would be Andujar…and I sure hope they don’t trade him away,.
He even comes with a partially torn UCL.
Perfect for the Angels haha
Angels. They need someone to carry Ohtani’s bats.
Weather Report of Atlanta
Sugar Land Skeeters
Weather Report of Atlanta
…2nd guess: RF for the Birmingham Barons
No thanks. We’ll already have an OF logjam in Birmingham next year. He could start in Charlotte though.
Weather Report of Atlanta
According to my data, you give him 497 PAs, he’ll give you a line of .202/.289/.266/.556. Reconsider sending him to Charlotte just yet.
Trust me, that’d still make him the best outfielder in Charlotte not named Eloy.
(Note….I don’t really believe that but I just want to say my team for once in one of these foreign player posts. I can’t recall the last time we signed a high profile Asian player.)
arte learned there was some corruption in dominican republic baseball. he decimated it. angels are finally restoring it after more than a decade of non-operation.
Anyone know if the release fees are counted as salary for luxury tax purposes, or only what the MLB team pays the player?
i don’t think so. however, certain percentage of player’s salary is paid to japanese team.
Were the posting fees included under the old system? Seem to remember they were. This being a new system it would be worth knowing how that part works, as it could have an influence on which teams pursue Kikuchi.
BTW, I don’t think the Dodgers are going to be one of them, either way.
Pretty sure only money being paid to a player counts
Why do you care? Your team has very deep pockets.
No posting fees do not count towards luxury tax. It’s strictly the players contract. This was what made Tanaka so palatable to the Yankees. They could work towards getting under the luxury tax as his contract isn’t outrageous. They just had to eat the posting fee.
Giants. Better than wasting money on other FAs we don’t need.
Giants should make a serious play for Kikuchi. SF should be a welcoming place that helps him get comfortable living in the US. Plus, there isn’t the pressure of a team that will likely compete in his first year.
Plus a strong Japanese community in SF
Every city has that.
Yes because St Louis has a strong Japanese community compared to San Francisco… smh.
No. they don’t.
It was sarcasm.
Friday night boys…
Time to take the gloves off.
Agreed. A lot of major cities have a Chinatown, but the Bay Area also has a Japan Town.
Work your magic Eppler.
The Orioles should be all over this, assuming they are actually trying to get better.
The orioles. A team who took a watered down prospect return to shed 9 million dollars of Darren O’days salary certainly will not be in on Kikuchi. No how, no way.
A Dean Caulfield
The O’s ARE trying to get better. The trouble is they are indecisive about who gets to make the decisions, if they are rebuilding or retooling (1-2 vs 3-5 years) , if they need to keep the players they have (decision made at the deadline this past year)
and if they have any chance at all next year…
And then there is the arbitration over the TV rights…
They just used a hurricane to clean house at the end of the year. Let’s see what materializes before 2019
Pitches Love Velocity
Then ship Renfroe and Yates to the Braves for Fried or Allard and Gohara.
Attach Gohara, Nix, Kennedy and, another prospect, possibly Naylor to Hosmers contract to clear it. Maybe offer him back to the Royals. Fan favorite, rebuilding, they pick up prospects for doing so and can DH him while o Hearn plays 1st.
Put Myers back at 1st.
Get a 3B and call it an off season.
Unfortunately, we’re stuck with that Albatross of a contract. Nobody is taking it off our hands. 🙁
Remember you said this next season.
Who had a higher WAR total in 2018. Eric Hosmer or Harper????
I heard renfroe and yates to the braves for gohara and fried… yes yes .. good good. I think the braves might want a better right fielder but hes young with promise. and we get to keep pache,sucker!
What about Reyes instead of Renfroe? I mean I will take either, but I personally like Franmill Reyes better haha….maybe it is just saying Franmill!
Why would the Padres want another lefty starter? They brought up lefties Lucchesi and Lauer to go with Clayton Richard, and used lefty relievers Erlin and Strahm for five starts each in 2018, and all of them are still on the team.
The Padres have top elfty prospects in Morejon, Gore, and Weathers, the last two their first round picks the last two years, and of the nearly ready starters likely to get called up in 2019, the top one is also a lefty, Logan Allen.
Preller wants a veteran anchor to a young pitching staff, like Mike Leake, not another young mid-rotation lefty starter like Kikuchi.
Why do we need more unproven young pitchers??
If we’re getting crazy here, and really want out of Hosmers contract, what about the Yankees?
Hosmer and Yates/Stammen to The Yanks for Elsbury and….??
Put Myers back at first(he’s still our best player)
Trade for Haniger, Seager AND Leake
Austin Allen, Renfroe, Nix, Quantrill
Trade Margot, Lucchessi, Mejia for Thor and Lagares
So the Orioles’ high IFA pool is irrelevant for this, correct?
Too bad for MLB teams he couldn’t be posted today… They could’ve gotten a nice Black Friday sale price…
Buyer Beware… you may pay for a #3 and get a Toad.
Right i cant see putting all that money on an unproven player in mlb.
Somebody paid 60+ million for an untested yoan moncada
I think you underestimate the willingness to gamble prevalent among baseball execs
Right i cant see putting all that money on an unproven player in mlb.
Indians. Kikuchi would be a good piece in the Cleveland Starting Rotation
The Indians could quite possibly be the worst fit in all of baseball. Thanks for playing.
Not if they trade one or two starters moron.
Would have to be two. Otherwise they have Kluber/Carrasco, Bauer, Clevinger, Bieber and Plutko, which is still a great rotation
I am a moron? If the Indians managed to trade two starters they would do so for payroll flexibility. How would signing Kikuchi for 60+ Mil after posting fees in any way help the Indians save any money? Let’s use our brains here pal.
Theoretically he would be yes….
However the Indians are trying to free up salary that is invested in their rotation! Not add to it! They want to distribute that money to their position players…specifically corner outfielders!
So investing another 10+ million a year into a SP is the exact opposite of what they are looking to do!
Do the Yankees have a deal for the Indians. A former Gold-Glove Centerfielder with a career .284 average. Just needs more playing time in a corner outfield spot. Has three more years of club control on a “somewhat friendly” contract,
I’d think the Angels could definitely be a favorite. In need of pitching and a familiar face in Ohtani for Kikuchi
Broken Glass,have at him
I would have loved to add Kikuchi especially since we traded our top left handed prospect but Corbin and Happ might be the last two wise choices for the Yankees.
I’m a Yankee fan and I want the Yankees to sign him but I read he is a huge Kershaw fan and I’m worried he is going to the Dodgers if the can fit him under the LTT
Don’t think it really matters. Ohtani talked about how Posey was one of his favorite players of all time and never signed with the Giants. Kikuchi will go where the money takes him.
This contract has performance bonuses written all over it. It’s hard to say just how well he’ll do given most of his value is suppressing HRs.
Look, he fits on every single team, I’m way more interested in predicting his deal. Can MLBTR give us an estimate in their view on him? 3/40+20? More? Less?
You could check the top 50 predictions. Hint….look at #12
Come on Red Sox!!!
4.20-5.20 ERA in the majors. No better. He had a 3.50 FIP last year in the Japanese League. No way he’s reaching even that low in the majors.
seatte, braves or rangers
Nice picture of him pitching in the ABL for the Melbourne Aces
Can anyone name a SP from Japan that has actually fulfilled his entire contract after coming to the US, all the way back to Nomo, Darvish, etc..
And he wants between 40-60 million to be a middle/back end of the rotation starter after already pitching around 9-ish years in Japan?
No thanks. Maybe if he was Cuban, I would consider it.
Any SP contract longer than 3 seasons is probably is missing a season worth of starts due to injuries. It’s the name of the game.
Hiroki Kuroda. He had a relatively short career and game over in his 30’s but he was durable. Several teams would have signed him for another season but he preferrred to finish his career in Japan. Always wondered how good he would have been had he came over at 25 instead of 33.
Kuroda’s career was actually relatively long. He pitched seven years in the majors to age 39, after eleven years in Japan, and then returned for two more seasons in Japan, retiring at age 41. He missed hardly any time due to injuries over all those years and ended up with over 3,300 innings pitched. That’s impressive by current standards.
As a Yankees fan, I was really wanting him to stay in the rotation another year. He’s probably the exception to the rule on Japanese pitchers. Which is why I prefer my team look elsewhere for pitching.
Darvish didn’t live up to his original contract?? He certainly did.
Davish absolutely did. So did Iwakuma and Maeda and Tanaka are doing fine for the cost.
Tommy John within a year or two tops.
I wish the Mets would make a run at him. deGrom, Syn, Wheeler are a solid first three, but then it’s Matz (injured too much), and Vargas (ugh). Adding in a #3/#4 allows Gsellman and Lugo to stay multi-inning relievers and it limits how much Vargas would have to pitch filling in for Matz et al.
does he throw a gyroball?
Matthew De Lorge
I heard about this guy. His velocity has already shown signs of decline. I wouldn’t go nuts for this guy on length or dollars.
He had a FIP (DICE) of 3.50 last season, including 16 home runs in 163.2 Pacific League innings. I think he’s going to pitch well over 4.50 ERA in the majors. Stay away, Red Sox, stay away.
Not sure what the Phillies will do, but they don’t have a lefty starter. They also have international money to spend.
International money doesn’t work that way if they’re a certain age
Can the damn Mets ever bid on a player overseas lol
Here come the padres
Yankees should avoid this guy like the plague. Bad decision to sign this guy based largely on the high mileage his left arm has seen since he was 19. Let someone else overpay for this particular Boras client.
As for Yankees fans allegedly thinking all major free agents will come to NY, that’s a pretty absurd comment. Some certainly do, but not this one.
What you need to realize is that the media has set these crazy expectations that this free agent/offseason was one that NY was supposed to be licking their chops for due to the abundance of big names available. Thing is, they don’t have too many holes to fill aside from starting pitchers, a middle infielder and one or two bullpen arms.
Maybe they decide to get in on Machado or Harper, but all indications are that they’re on the periphery at this time.
I hope your right on your last statement. I don’t want to see either Machado or Harper in pinstripes.
Come to the Reds, we need Ya
This guy has bust written all over him.
Everyone who is not an Angels fan said the same thing about Ohtani, who, BTW, won Rookie of the Year.
No comparison. Ohtani was a two-way superstar, this guy is considered as just a quality SP. He won’t be hitting 20 plus HR’s.
I didn’t compare him to Ohtani. The point is, I haven’t read anything that suggests he has “bust written all over him.” If you have, point me there, Otherwise your comment is conjecture. I prefer to let him prove it one way or the other before forming an opinion with never seeing him play.
Dodgers have enough quality starters to fill two rotations. Doesn’t make sense for Dodgers to sign him.
Doyuers cannot keep them healthy. That’s why they have so many… they were always breaking
Hopefully the M’s get him.
The Angels could be a good fit along side Ohtani with one caveat: if there is any sign of elbow issues in his medical, we should pass.
I hope the Yankees stay away from this guy, hpnestly. Smells like anpther Kei Igawa.
If the comparison is to a talented left-handed pitching prospect that has performed well at a competitive level of baseball, then yes. Just because Igawa didn’t work out to be a world- beater at the ML level doesn’t mean the next prospect won’t. As we all know, no prospect is a lock to be an above-average contributor. My guess is that the Mariners and Giants will be very competitive to sign Kuch – (I’m submitting my suggestion for a nickname as well)
Regardless of where he ends up, if Yusei’s theme song isnt “clear mind,” someone is messing up
just have him get Tommy John now and skip a step later. Japanese pitchers come with a lot of miles every time.
If he’s not ridiculously expensive I’d like to see the Mets sign him. Then move Vargas to the pen as a long man . deGrom , Syndergaurd , Kiikuchi , Wheeler, Matz ,and a bullpen of Vargas, Gsellmen , Lugo, Diaz . If they sign Miller as well with the bits and pieces leftover from last year I think they’ll be in good shape.
Now that Corbin has agreed to sign with Washington, the Yankees have to be all in here. This is their last chance to add a Top 2-3 pitcher without giving up more prospects. I’d be shocked if the Yankees don’t blow the market away with offer here.
Hope the brewers make a play for him