MLB Rumors: Kohei Arihara and the Texas Rangers have agreed on a two year deal, per multiple reports. Jon Heyman says the deal is paying Arihara $6.2 million, with another $1.24 million going to the Nippon Ham Fighters, the NPB team that posted him.
We mentioned Arihara a couple of weeks ago as a possible Rangers target in the post we did about the Rangers’ interest in Tomoyuki Sugano. The Rangers have a partnership with the Ham Fighters, Arihara’s club, which we noted at the time could enhance the possibility of the Rangers signing Arihara.
Arihara is a 28 year old righthander who projects as a back-end starting pitcher, and who has elicited comparisons to Kyle Hendricks and Kenta Maeda, style-wise. He has a career 3.65 ERA in 140 games in the NPB, and had a 3.46 ERA in 2020.
The Rangers acquired Dane Dunning in the Lance Lynn trade, and he has been expected to join Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles in the rotation, but the Rangers still needed at least one more external option. Arihara gives them someone they can plug into the rotation immediately, which is, I think, preferable to having to fill two spots internally.
UPDATE — The Rangers have officially announced that Arihara has signed a two year deal. To make room for him on the 40 man roster, Art Warren has been designated for assignment.