Yokohama Baystars left-hander Shota Imanaga, 30, is close to being written up by Nippon Professional Baseball.
According to New York Post major league writer John Heyman, citing sources, Imanaga’s designation is expected to be announced on Monday local time.
Once the posting is officially opened, Imanaga will have 45 days to negotiate with all 30 major league clubs.
Earlier, the Yokohama club announced its approval of Imanaga’s posting on Nov. 11.
Yokohama general manager Yudai Hagiwara expressed mixed feelings in an interview with local Japanese media, saying, “I’m happy for a player who played for the BayStars to go and play in the big leagues, but I’m also sad.”
While noting that Imanaga’s departure is a big blow to the team, he also said, “We must not neglect external recruitment and internal development.”
Imanaga made 165 appearances for Yokohama, posting a 64-50 record with a 3.18 ERA.
His last no-hitter came on June 7, 2022, against the Nippon Ham Fighters. 무지개토토 도메인
He represented Japan in the 2019 Premier12 and 2023 World Baseball Classic. He started the final game of the tournament against the United States, allowing one run on four hits in two innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
With a fastball in the low 90s and a changeup, curveball, and slider, he is a finesse pitcher who relies more on his changeup than his offspeed pitches.
ESPN ranked Imanaga as the No. 11 pitcher in free agency, describing him as a pitcher with a similar style to Sonny Gray. They projected him to receive a four-year, $68 million contract.