MLB Rumors: Yusei Kikuchi and the Seattle Mariners have watched an agreement on a deal, according to Jon Heyman on Twitter. Kikuchi, a 27 year old left handed pitcher, had been posted by the Seibu Lions, and he had until 4 p.m. Central on January 2, 2019, to reach an agreement, or else he would return to Seibu for 2019.
Kikuchi was someone the Texas Rangers reportedly had interest in, though it wasn’t clear how aggressive they were in the pursuit. Kikuchi has a strong track record in Japan, but also has dealt with shoulder issues that gave rise to concerns about how he would hold up going forward.
No word yet on the terms of the deal.
UPDATE — Jon Morosi says it is a four year guarantee.
UPDATE II — Jeff Passan and Jon Heyman are saying that Kikuchi has a three year, $43 million deal. At the end of year three, the Mariners have an option for an additional four years at $66 million. If the M’s don’t exercise that option, Kikuchi has a player option for $13 million. Kikuchi becomes a free agent if he doesn’t exercise the option. This is reminiscent of Jake Arrieta’s deal with the Phillies, which gives both team and player options.