Yuki Matsui (28), a left-handed pitcher for the Japanese professional baseball team Rakuten Golden Eagles, is attempting to advance to the major leagues by exercising his overseas free agent rights. Already during the season, nine major league teams have expressed interest in Matsui. 

The Rakuten club announced on the 25th, “Matsui has decided to exercise his overseas free agent rights.” It is said that Matsui’s side conveyed the exercise of his rights to the club on this day.  

Rakuten Club President Mori said, “(Matsui) said he really wanted to challenge himself overseas. Taking on challenges at this age is an opportunity. “He said he wanted to do it now because there is an environment where he can challenge himself overseas.” 

President Mori said, “I asked him to remain with the club if possible. “He negotiated to stay three or four times,” he said. “But I want to respond to the player’s will to advance overseas.” It is difficult to interfere with players’ rights. “Of course, he said he did not want to transfer to another club in Japan,” he emphasized. 

Matsui joined Rakuten as the first pick in the 2013 draft. In his first year of debut in 2014, he went back and forth between starting and bullpen, recording 4 wins, 8 losses, and 3 holds. In his second year, he established himself as a closer with 63 games, 3 wins, 2 losses, 12 holds, 33 saves, and an ERA of 0.87. 

He reached 30 saves for three consecutive years with 30 saves in 2016 and 33 saves in 2017, and won his first relief king title with 38 saves in 2019.

He attempted to become a starter again in 2020, but recorded 4 wins, 5 losses, 8 holds, and 2 saves in 25 games (10 starting games). He returned to full-time closer in 2021, and won his second saves king title in 2022 with 32 saves. 

Matsui, who played for the Japanese national team in the World Baseball Classic last March, achieved 200 saves for the 9th time in Japanese professional baseball in the Seibu Tournament on April 5. In addition, he set a new record as the youngest player ever to save 200 at the age of 27 years and 5 months. 

He performed well this season with 59 games, 2 wins, 3 losses, 8 holds, 39 saves, and an ERA of 1.57. He won the Salvation King title for the second year in a row and his third time as an individual. 

He played 501 games in Japanese professional baseball, recording 25 wins, 46 losses, 76 holds, 236 saves, and an earned run average of 2.40. His main weapons are fastballs and forkballs that travel over 150km.

Japanese media outlet Sponich Annex said, “At the Rakuten game last September, officials from nine major league clubs, including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Chicago Cubs, came to watch and check Matsui’s pitching in person. “In October, a San Diego club executive visited for a final check,” he said. 굿모닝토토 주소

The media said, “11.30 strikeouts per 9 innings is solid for a Japanese relief pitcher and will be helpful to a club that has few left-handed relief pitchers. I signed an agent contract with Brian Minniti of WME, a large American agency. “Miniti served as assistant general manager in Philadelphia, Arizona, and Washington,” he said. 

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