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Report: A’s reach 1-year deal with Shintaro Fujinami

Aug 22, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; General view of the baseballs during batting practice between the Oakland Athletics and the Miami Marlins at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Right-hander Shintaro Fujinami will make his Major League Baseball debut with the Oakland Athletics in 2023, ESPN reported Wednesday, following an up-and-down playing career in Japan for the Hanshin Tigers.

Fujinami, 28, signed a one-year deal with the A’s, according to the report, after the three-time All-Star in his native country went through the posting process required of players moving from clubs in Japan to MLB.

The 6-foot-6 hard-thrower, with a fastball that has reached 100 mph and sits in the upper 90s, is known for his slider-fastball mix that the A’s desired after they went an American League-worst 60-102 in 2022. He has bounced between the Tigers and the club’s farm system throughout his career.

Oakland had a combined 4.69 ERA from their starting pitchers last season, fifth-worst in baseball and second-worst in the AL. The club was middle of the pack with 850 1/3 innings from their starters. Fujinami is reportedly being targeted for the A’s rotation.

Fujinami, who was selected in the same 2012 draft class as Shohei Ohtani, is 57-54 with a 3.41 ERA and 1,011 strikeouts with Hanshin over 189 appearances (87 starts). After recent inconsistencies, he delivered a 3.38 ERA in 16 appearances (10 starts) for the Tigers’ top club in 2022.

–Field Level Media