The first free-agent pitching domino fell Tuesday when former Diamondbacks ace Patrick Corbin reportedly agreed to a massive contract with the Nationals.
One day prior to the Corbin news, though, another interesting piece to the puzzle was unraveled in the pitching market. Star Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi was officially posted by the Seibu Lions.
"He's an accomplished guy from over there," Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Wednesday on KNBR. "We have scouted him pretty extensively, as other teams have. A lot of players from over there (Japan) have a preference for being on the West Coast just for proximity, so that puts us in a pretty good situation."
Kikuchi, 27, has until Jan. 2, 2019 to sign a contract with a MLB club. The Lions would receive a posting fee based on how large of a contract he signs. If Kikuchi doesn't sign with a MLB club, he will return to the Lions.
Zaidi recognized that his posting fee will be a factor, along with the Giants' needs and roster construction. He certainly has his eyes on the free agent, though.
"We've done our homework on him for sure," Zaidi said. "He just got posted, so I expect that process is gonna speed up in the next week."
This past season, Kikuchi went 14-4 with a 3.08 ERA after going 16-6 with a 1.97 ERA the year before. Over eight seasons in Japan, he has gone 73-46 with a 2.77 ERA.