On Monday, Nov. 18, the Yomiuri Giants announced that pitcher Shun Yamaguchi would be made available to major league teams via the posting system. The pitcher, who tied for the Central League lead in wins this season, while leading the league in winning percentage and strikeouts was ineligible to file for free agency until the end of next season at the earliest.
My profile on Yamaguchi is HERE.
The news was something of a bombshell since Yomiuri had denounced the very existence of the posting system since Day 1. It is likely that the club will now have to field similar requests from other players, including the team’s best player, Tomoyuki Sugano, who wanted to turn pro in the majors but was dissuaded from doing so. Sugano is the nephew of Giants manager Tatsunori Hara.
At a press conference, the Giants admitted that the team had accepted the pitcher’s desire to be posted when he joined them as a free agent from the DeNA BayStars ahead of the 2017 season, the team president saying, “no time was fixed for posting but that it was agreed to” according to a Daily Sport story.
And then there was 1
The Yamaguchi posting leaves the SoftBank Hawks as Nippon Professional Baseball’s lone holdouts against the posting system. When that dam breaks, MLB is going to be flooded with talent from Japan.