Japanese professional baseball Rakuten Golden Eagles left-handed closer Yuki Matsui (28) announced his intention to advance to the major league. 토토사이트
Japanese media Sponichi Annex reported on the 25th, “Rakuten announced that Matsui, who has qualified as an overseas free agent, has expressed his intention to exercise his rights as an overseas free agent.”
Matsui is one of Japan’s leading closing pitchers with 501 games (659⅔ innings), 25 wins, 46 losses, 76 holds, 236 saves, and an ERA of 2.40. He achieved overwhelming results this season with 59 games (57⅓ innings), 2 wins, 3 losses, 8 holds, 39 saves, and an ERA of 1.57. He also has extensive experience representing the national team, including the Premier 12 in 2015 and the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in 2017 and 2023.
Matsui, who left behind many records, including becoming the youngest person to save 100 times in Japanese professional baseball and becoming the first player to save 30 times in five consecutive seasons in the Pacific League, ended his four-year contract with Rakuten this year. Matsui exercised his overseas free agent rights and expressed his intention to enter the major leagues.
Masayuki Mori, president of Rakuten, said, “First, we really want to try overseas. He said that considering his age, now is his chance to challenge for the major league. We were so heartbroken that we asked him to stay as long as possible. He said he wants to do it now because the environment has become one in which he can challenge himself abroad while negotiating to remain in the country. “We’ve negotiated a contract renewal about three or four times,” he explained the current situation.
Sponich Annex said, “The club understands that Matsui has exercised his free agency rights solely on the premise of an overseas transfer. “For Matsui, challenging the Major League is a long-cherished dream.” President Mori said, “I would like to accept your desire to go abroad. It’s the player’s right. It is difficult to prevent it. “Of course, if he stays in the country, I don’t want him to go to another club,” he said, adding that he would allow Matsui to advance overseas.
With Matsui declaring his intention to advance to the major leagues, the outlines of major league teams already showing interest have been revealed. It is reported that the Chicago Cubs of the National League Central Division have scouted Matsui.
Sponich Annex said, “Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer visited Japan during the season and looked at Matsui in person before returning. “For the Cubs, who have failed to advance to the postseason for three consecutive years, a left-handed reliever is an important reinforcement point,” he analyzed.
The upcoming winter major league free agent market does not have many big players except for Shohei Ohtani (Angels), Cody Bellinger (Cubs), and Blake Snell (San Diego). For this reason, many clubs are turning their eyes to the Asian market.
Japan’s best ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix) is expected to receive a large contract worth over $100 million, and Korea’s best hitter Lee Jeong-hoo (Kiwoom) is also receiving a lot of attention. In this situation, attention is being paid to whether Matsui will be able to pursue his dream of advancing to the major leagues under favorable conditions