The fit of Yusei Kikuchi and the Los Angeles Dodgers seems undeniable. Indeed, Los Angeles would be the perfect landing spot for the left-handed hurler that our Tyler Hawk wrote an exclusive post about earlier this month.
Now, the news is official that Kikuchi will be calling a Major League city his home in 2019. The Seibu Lions announced they will post Kikuchi on December 3 so that he can negotiate with teams around baseball.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) November 23, 2018
More details from within the official article:
The posting period begins Dec. 5, and Kikuchi will have 30 days to sign a contract with a major league team. The Lions would then receive a posting fee based on the dollar amount of the pitcher’s contract. If he fails to reach a deal within 30 days, he remains with the Lions.
Kikuchi is 27 years old and has a 73-46 career record and 2.77 ERA in Nippon Professional Baseball for the Lions. He’s coming off a season in which he went 14-4 and struck out 153 batters in 163.2 innings pitched.
It remains to be seen how hard of a push the Dodgers will make at Kikuchi. However, Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports said that they ‘have their eye on him’ back in September.
Obviously, Kikuchi would be a huge ‘get’ for the Dodgers. He comes highly coveted and for good reason. Still, there are examples of players of international pedigree coming to the big leagues and struggling initially. It’s truly a wildcard in regards to international free agents – and no player follows the same linear path. In the end it probably comes down to the asking price that Kikuchi commands – which the market will dictate. The Dodgers interest is likely genuine, but with the luxury tax threshold both at the present and future in mind; Kikuchi in Dodger Blue is a wait and see.
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