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Yusei Kikuchi is Gaining Attention in Baseball Circles

Yusei Kikuchi the latest Japanese pitcher who has come to the states to get a job in major league baseball. He’s a lefty with a lot of pitches who can throw 98. He got permission from the Seibu Lions to come over because under the rules he wouldn’t have been eligible to be an international free agent until 2020. There is a posting fee teams have to pay.

At 27, all this guy wants to do is pitch. He’s not a hitter and a pitcher. The Nationals, Phillies, Blue Jays and Giants have expressed interest. I think the Mets should do the same.

His lifetime record was 74-48. Say what you want but that’s impressive. His lifetime WHIP is 1.17! In over a thousand innings he had 925 strikeouts. He never threw over 188 innings. That’s important. Sometimes Japanese pitchers come over with too much mileage on their arms. He’s only had six innings of 100+ innings use.

He got paid almost $21 million dollars in Japan (converted). The best way to get him is to pay over $50 million and that way the posting fee is only 15%. If the Mets won’t pay Noah Syndergaard, because they believe he’ll have arm issues, then get this player, move Jason Vargas to the pen and now he and Steven Matz (who would now be a 5thstarter) could be a part of a World Series contending staff with Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler still a part of the rotation. Robert Gsellman would be the swing guy, or obvious replacement if and when Matz gets hurt and Lugo stays in the bullpen in some capacity.

Masahiro Tanaka was signed to a 7-yr $155 million-dollar deal and a $20 million dollar posting fee. I’d offer him five years at $125 million ($25 per season) and the posting fee would be $18,7 million. That’s a good deal. The term is right, the risk is low.

His injury history has been gastroenteritis, blister on his foot and finger, shoulder soreness that he strengthened and a neck issue, he slept on it wrong. I’ll take it. This player hasn’t been abused and he’s headed into his prime. The league doesn’t have a book on him, and he mixes up his pitches. He’s the complete opposite of most pitchers on the Mets staff and he still throws hard.

BVW seems like he’s done shopping for positional players and bullpen help and now this one move could put them ahead of everybody in the division. If they act on it quickly, they could freeze the Phillies in their tracks while they court Manny Machado and presumably Bryce Harper. This is the only way you can convince me that this team could actually win it all. Not just compete for a one-game postseason game.

Don’t cite me, Kaz Matsui or Masato Yoshi, they weren’t elite. Never were going to be. Yoshi was 18-16 for the Mets and threw 60 games and over 170 innings each of the two seasons he was with the club. Decent numbers, Kikuchi (6-0, 194) could post elite numbers, maybe not on deGrom’s level but somewhere below him. As a #2 in the rotation, he could really do some damage. I hope the Mets consider this, but they probably won’t.

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