Stewart gets good extension

The Pacific League’s SoftBank Hawks have signed pitcher Carter Stewart Jr. to a two-year contract extension worth as much as $10 million through 2026, Kyodo News reported Friday.

“He showed us a glimpse of the great stuff he possesses this season, and this contract represents our high expectations for him,” a team executive said Friday, according to Kyodo.

Stewart, the eighth overall pick in MLB’s 2018 draft, became a trailblazer as the first marquee American amateur to begin his pro baseball career in Japan in 2019, when he signed a six-year contract through 2024 estimated at $7 million.

Over two seasons in Japan’s majors, the 24-year-old Stewart is 3-8 with a 4.01 ERA over 101 innings. He was 3-6 with a 3.38 ERA in 2023, but showed a lot of promise after missing the 2022 season with injury and started the Hawks’ opening playoff game this season.

A week ago, Stewart’s agent, Scott Boras, praised SoftBank’s work with his client.

“They’ve done a great job of developing him, bringing him along,” Boras said. “They got his body in great shape. They were very patient with him. So it’s been a great experience for him. We’re very pleased about it. He’s quite happy there.”

Stewart, Kyodo reported, is now in Florida preparing for his sixth season in Japan.

“I want to go out and I want to throw a full season. I want to throw a full 144-plus innings. I want to make every start that I can and just be a consistent top end of the rotation guy,” he said.

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