The Blue Jays appear to be pressing hard to add Japanese hurler Shun Yamaguchi. According to Sanspo.com (Japanese language link), the sides are closing in on a two-year deal that would pay him around $3MM annually if it’s finalized.
If the sides wrap things up, the Toronto organization will owe the Yomiuri Giants twenty percent of the total guarantee as a transfer fee. Japan’s marquee organization formally posted Yamaguchi on December 3rd.
Yamaguchi, a 32-year-old forkballer, has had plenty of success in Japan’s top league as both a starter and reliever. Last year, working from the rotation, he delivered 170 frames of 2.91 ERA ball with 10.0 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9.
It stands to reason that the starter-needy Blue Jays will at least give Yamaguchi a shot at winning a rotation job out of camp. But the club could also certainly be in the market for relief help, so its intentions aren’t yet clear.