MLB Rumors: Yusei Kikuchi, a 27 year old lefthanded pitcher in the Japanese Professional League, has been posted by his team, the Seibu Lions. As a result, all thirty major league teams are able to negotiate directly with him.
Kikuchi put up a 3.08 ERA in 163.2 IP for Seibu last year, with 153 Ks against 45 walks. That’s a step backwards from 2017, when he had a 1.97 ERA with 217 Ks and 49 walks in 187.2 IP. Kikuchi also dealt with a shoulder injury last year, which has some teams cautious about how he will hold up.
Under the new posting rules, Seibu will get a percentage of Kikuchi’s major league deal, rather than getting a flat fee that is paid directly to them, as under the old rules. While there’s talk that Kikuchi could be as good as a #2 starter in the major leagues, there are concerns about his durability and how his stuff will hold up, making forecasting what he will end up receiving difficult.