Negotiations For WBC Final Victor Shōta Imanaga Extend Through January 11

Japanese pitchers Shōta Imanaga and Naoyuki Uwasawa are set to become free agents in the Major League Baseball (MLB) market, with the signing period starting on Tuesday and running until January 11.

Imanaga, a 30-year-old left-handed pitcher, had an impressive season with the Yokohama BayStars in Japan’s Central League, boasting a 7-4 record with a 2.80 ERA in 22 starts. Known for his distinctive high socks, he struck out 174 batters and walked only 24 in 148 innings. In his eight-year career with Yokohama, Imanaga has accumulated a 64-50 record with a 3.18 ERA, recording 1,021 strikeouts and 280 walks in 1,002 2/3 innings.

During this year’s World Baseball Classic, Imanaga played a pivotal role in Japan’s victory over the United States in the final. His fastball averaged 93.5 mph during that game.

Naoyuki Uwasawa, a 29-year-old right-handed reliever from the Pacific League’s Nippon Ham Fighters, is also set to enter free agency. He posted a 9-9 record with a 2.96 ERA in 24 relief appearances this year.

Under the MLB-NPB agreement, the posting fee for these players will be structured as follows: 20% of the first $25 million of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options, with a decreasing percentage for higher contract amounts. Additionally, there will be a supplemental fee of 15% on any earned bonuses, salary escalators, and exercised options. This agreement governs the transfer of players between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in Japan.

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