Worst ML Debut 1 Year Contract Expired Free Agent but Nowhere to be Found
Shintaro Fujinami (30), who was once famous as a rival of Shohei Ohtani (30, LA Dodgers), is at risk of becoming a free agent in the major leagues.
Fujinami has been throwing a 160km fastball since his high school days, and is a rival to Ohtani and has been called the future of Japanese baseball.
He left a career record of 57 wins, 54 losses, and an ERA of 3.41 in 189 games for the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese professional baseball league, and as a result of knocking on the Major League door through the posting system after the 2022 season,
he signed a one-year contract of $3.25 million (approximately 4.2 billion won) with the Oakland Athletics in January of last year. signed a contract with
Fujinami was a trouble spot for Oakland, which fell to last place in the American League West Division.
Even though he possessed a fastball of 100 mph (approximately 160 km), he had difficulty adapting to the major leagues due to poor ball control, and suffered an average ERA of 8.57 with 5 wins and 8 losses in 34 games. In 49 1/3 innings,
he gave up 31 walks and a WHIP of 1.66. At the time, some American media sarcastically asked, “How did a player like this come to the major leagues?”
Fujinami used the trade move in July of last year as a turning point in his career. Wearing the uniform of the Baltimore Orioles,
first place in the American League East Division, he finally adapted to the major league.
Fujinami secured his spot in the winning team with his commanding fastball and then put on a great fight with 2 wins, no losses, 2 saves, and 2 holds in 28 games, with an ERA of 4.88. 토토사이트
Fujinami contributed to Baltimore’s victory in the American League’s Eastern Division and even had the pleasure of playing fall baseball before Ohtani.
However, Fujinami’s first year in the major leagues is not considered a success. Although he achieved a turnaround in Baltimore,
his ERA was in the low 4-point range, and due to his worst record during his time in Oakland,
he ended his first season with a disappointing ERA of 7.18 with 7 wins, 8 losses, 2 saves, and 5 holds in 64 games. In addition,
even in the postseason, he was unable to gain the trust of the coaching staff and had to watch his teammates play from the bench.
Fujinami, whose one-year contract has expired, is seeking free agency status again and remaining in the major leagues.
However, with spring camp about a month away, the possibility of Fujinami’s second contract seems low. Recently,
he was linked to the St. Louis Cardinals, who lost Yuki Matsui and Woo-Seok Ko (San Diego Padres),
but it was a recruitment proposal from local media, not the club’s official position.
Other clubs in need of bullpen reinforcement also do not seem to have much interest in recruiting Fujinami.
Japanese players stand out as the protagonists of the 2023-2024 Major League Stove League.
Existing major leaguers Shohei Otani signed with the LA Dodgers and Kenta Maeda signed with the Detroit Tigers, while Yoshinobu Yamamoto,
who was new to the big league, signed with the LA Dodgers, Yuki Matsui signed with the San Diego Padres, and Shota Imanaga signed with the Chicago Cubs.
Otani received special treatment of $700 million, and Yamamoto received $325 million.
Naoyuki Uwasawa also achieved his dream of advancing to the United States by signing a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.