Shota Imanaga (30, Yokohama Baystars), the leading player in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) Japan championship, is challenging the American Major League (MLB).
MLB Network’s John Morosi reported on his social media on the 7th (Korean time) that Imanaga plans to attempt to enter the MLB through a posting system (private competitive bidding) after the end of this season. MLB’s official website, MLB.com, cited the New York Yankees, LA Dodgers, and St. Louis Cardinals as notable teams for Imanaga and said, “The Yokohama club’s fee (posting cost) varies depending on the size of Imanaga’s contract guarantee.” The posting cost of Kim Ha-seong, who signed a guaranteed $28 million (37.4 billion won) contract with the San Diego Padres, was $5.525 million (7.4 billion won).
Shota Imanaga’s pitching. Getty Images
Imanaga is currently the best left-handed starter in Japanese Professional Baseball (NPB). This season, he has appeared in 19 games and has 7 wins, 3 losses, and an ERA of 2.81. Since his debut in 2016, he has only played in Yokohama, and his career NPB record is 64 wins, 49 losses, and an ERA of 3.19. He mixes fastballs exceeding 150 km/h with sliders and changeups. He also achieved the 96th no-hit and no-run in NPB history against the Nippon Ham Fighters in June 2022. At the WBC held last March, he led the mound with Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) and Yu Darvish (San Diego) and helped them win the championship.메이저사이트
In Japan, it is already known that Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25, Orix Buffaloes) will knock on the MLB door after the season. Yamamoto received the Sawamura Award, given to the NPB’s top pitcher in 2021 and 2022, for two consecutive years. His record this year is 13 wins, 5 losses, and an ERA of 1.34. NPB’s career records are more stable than Imanaga’s, with 67 wins, 28 losses, and an average ERA of 1.86.