Blue Jays to sign Yusei Kikuchi

Blue Jays shoot the left bowler Yossi Kikuchi, according to MLB Network’s John Heyman. It’s a three-year contract worth $36 million. (Twitter linksThe deal is ready. According to Bob Nightingale from USA Todaywith Kikuchi earning a salary of $16 million in 2022, followed by $10 million in both 2023 and 2024.

The start of the promotion has been a hot commodity this season, with most of the big names signed before closing. Now that the transaction freeze has been thawed, the market has completely rebounded from where it left off. The two largest of the proxy launchers that remained in the market during the lockdown period, Clayton Kershaw And the Carlos RodonIt was signed on the first full day after the closure ended. So leave Kikuchi and Zack Greenk As the only healthy appetizer left from MLBTR Top 50 Free Agents List. With Jays storming Kikuchi, that leaves Greinke as the last man standing.

Kikuchi has been one of the toughest shooters to rate since coming from Japan before the 2019 season. In his first MLB season, he made 32 starts with the Mariners, throwing 161 2/3 runs with an ERA of 5.46 and a strike rate of just 16.1%. In the shortened 2020 campaign, he started nine posts and still has an epoch high of 5.11, but he’s made huge strides in the strike division, as his rate climbed to 24.2%.

2021 was the tale of two seasons for Kikuchi, as the first half of his campaign was excellent. At the beginning of July, MLBTR’s Steve Adams He wrote about Kikuchi’s season near the halfway mark, when Kikuchi had started 15 times and was sitting on an ERA of 3.18, strike rate of 25.4%, walk rate of 8.5%, and globe average of 53.8%. But things went exactly the opposite way in the second half of the season, with Kikuchi throwing 63 2/3 runs from that point on, with a 6.22 ERA, 23.3% strike rate, 10.3% walking rate, and 41.7% ground ball. .

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As part of the unusual structure of Kikuchi’s contract, at the end of the season, the sailors then had to decide whether to execute a series of four one-year options valued at $16.5 million each, effectively a four-year term, of $66 million. That would cover the 2022-25 seasons. After they declined, Kikuchi could have picked a $13 million one-year player option for 2022. Although there seemed to be an opportunity to accept this deal after his poor performance, he eventually declined and tested the free agent market. This has now proven to be a wise decision on his part, as he secured a new contract at the same rate but three times the duration.

The Blue Jays were clearly encouraged enough by Kikuchi’s strengths to overlook his weaknesses, just as they were with Kikuchi’s strengths. Ruby Ray And the Stephen Matz. Although these two bowlers had serious flaws in their résumés, they both continued excellent campaigns with Jays in 2021, with Ray receiving the American League Cy Young award. Although Ray and Matz will wear a new uniform this year, Kikuchi still joins a strong cycle. The club also added Kevin Gussman Before closing, join Jose PeriosAnd the hyun jin ryu And the Alk Manoh. This will probably be the club’s top five, but they also have Ross Stripling On hand, who can either work as a novice or a longtime DB guy. Nate Pearson He will likely join the spin at some point, although he has durability concerns after throwing just 18 rounds in 2020 and just 45 2/3 in 2021.

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After shutdown, the 2022 season will see extensive spring training and a regular season with two headers added to make up for the late start to the campaign. These factors, combined with dwindling options in the free agent market, have pushed the Jays to take a risk by cementing their depth with a pitcher that has flashes of excellence but also specific concerns.

As for the structure of the deal, it should be noted that Blue Jays are also front-loaded hold them With George Springer. This appears to be a way of taking advantage of the fact that most of the club’s key players are still making their way through the refereeing and their cost will increase in the coming years. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He is judging a qualified for the first time this year as a Super Two player. Tuscar Hernandez The second of three refereeing seasons will play in 2022. Bo Bechet And the Jordan Romano He will not be eligible to arbitrate until next year. By paying Springer and Kikuchi more money now, the club will have plenty of wiggle room to get around these players’ salary increases in the coming seasons.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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