Rōki Sasaki solely has three seasons underneath his belt pitching for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Nippon Skilled Baseball, however the 22-year-old ace is already eyeing his subsequent transfer: a profession in Main League Baseball.
Sasaki made his intentions clear after signing a one-year cope with Chiba Lotte this week.
“I’ve the will to play within the U.S. Main Leagues sooner or later,” the flamethrowing righty stated throughout a information convention Saturday, in response to the Kyodo information company. “I have been speaking yearly. I imagine the membership understands it, too.”
As for when he may need to make the transfer? Sasaki would not say.
“I imagine it is necessary to play properly within the season that is proper in entrance of me,” Sasaki stated when requested about his future plans.
It is potential Sasaki may very well be posted as quickly as subsequent offseason. Reviews out of Japan counsel he has a provision in his contract that will power Chiba Lotte to put up him at his request, although neither the staff nor the participant has confirmed these stories.
Sasaki noticed fellow Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto make the soar from NPB to MLB by way of the posting system in December, signing a 12-year, $325 million deal with the Dodgers. Yamamoto’s former staff, the Orix Buffaloes, obtained a $50.6 million posting charge — which relies on the worth of the contract — from the Dodgers within the transaction.
Many think about Sasaki, who’s three years youthful than Yamamoto, to be a greater prospect. Nonetheless, if he’s posted by Chiba Lotte previous to his twenty fifth birthday, he wouldn’t be eligible to land a megadeal like Yamamoto’s. Gamers underneath 25 who haven’t reached six years of service in a international main league are topic to MLB’s worldwide newbie signing bonus pool guidelines, setting a cap on their contracts.
Two-way famous person Shohei Ohtani was topic to those self same guidelines when he was posted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in 2017. The Angels signed Ohtani for $2.315 million. After reaching six years of MLB service time, Ohtani entered unrestricted free company this previous November and signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers.
Sasaki was restricted to 91 innings in the course of the 2023 NPB season on account of an indirect damage, however he posted a glowing 1.78 ERA with 135 strikeouts and solely 17 walks. In three seasons for Chiba Lotte, Sasaki owns a 2.00 ERA with a 6.71 Ok/BB ratio.