Shintaro Fujinami, 29, a former high school rival of Shohei Ohtani, signs with the New York Mets. His MLB future was in doubt after a lackluster performance last year, but he dramatically saved his major league career.

“The Mets have signed right-hander Shintaro Fujinami to a one-year contract,” MLB, the official website of Major League Baseball, announced on Wednesday. Although there has been no official announcement from the Mets, ESPN and other American media outlets have reported that Fujinami has signed a contract with the Mets for an annual salary of $33.5 million (approximately $4.5 billion) and an incentive of $850,000 (approximately $1.1 billion).

Fujinami was famously Otani’s high school rival. It was even said at the time that Fujinami’s potential was higher than Ohtani’s. In 2013, his rookie year, Fujinami lived up to the hype, going 10-6 with a 2.75 ERA in 137.2 innings pitched.

Fujinami was on a solid path until the 2015 season. From 2013 to 2015, he won 10 or more games every year and kept his ERA in check. However, in 2016, despite posting a 3.25 ERA, he was unlucky to win just seven games (11 losses) and didn’t reach double digits in wins until the 2022 season. To make matters worse, he also struggled with his fastball. Japan’s top prospect was falling apart.

In the midst of all this, Fujinami made a surprise major league debut after the 2022 season. Despite winning just three games (five losses) in 2022, he posted a 3.38 ERA and stabilized his WHIP (walks allowed per inning) at 1.118. Seeing the potential for a rebound, Fujinami signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal with Oakland to join the majors.

Fujinami was on a solid path until the 2015 season. From 2013 to 2015, he won 10 or more games every year and kept his ERA in check. However, in 2016, despite posting a 3.25 ERA, he was unlucky to win just seven games (11 losses) and didn’t reach double digits in wins until the 2022 season. To make matters worse, he also struggled with his fastball. Japan’s top prospect was falling apart.

In the midst of all this, Fujinami made a surprise major league debut after the 2022 season. Despite winning just three games (five losses) in 2022, he posted a 3.38 ERA 안전 토토사이트 and stabilized his WHIP (walks allowed per inning) at 1.118. Seeing the potential for a rebound, Fujinami signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal with Oakland to join the majors.

However, Fujinami had a rough start to the 2023 season. He was given the opportunity to start at the beginning of the 2023 season, but was met with a shocking 14.40 ERA in his first four starts. Fujinami then moved to the bullpen, but his struggles with his pitches remained. He was eventually dealt to the Baltimore Orioles in a one-for-one trade for Eastern Lucas last July. In Baltimore, Fujinami went 2-0 with a 4.85 ERA in the bullpen. His overall record for the 2023 season is 7-8 with a 7.18 ERA.

So why did the Mets sign Fujinami, and the biggest reason is his compelling fastball. Fujinami topped out at 102.6 mph in 2023. Sure, he showed some weaknesses with his secondary pitches, walking 5.1 batters per nine innings, but his fielding-independent FIP of 4.61 was significantly lower than his season FIP (7.18). The Mets, who are in need of bullpen reinforcements, appear to have used that track record to land Fujinami.

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