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Japanese star pitcher Yusei Kikuchi announces he is available

Rob Bradford
November 24, 2018 - 8:17 am

Yusei Kikuchi is a name you're going to start hearing more and more about.

The Japanese star pitcher officially announced Friday that he will be posted to Major League Baseball teams starting Dec. 3, allowing him to start negotiating with clubs for 30 days. (To read Kikuchi's comments, click here.)

The 28-year-old Kikuchi represents an intriguing free agent option for teams, although a source told WEEI.com earlier this month the Red Sox were lukewarm on the idea of going hard after the lefty starter. He has compiled a 2.77 ERA throughout his Nippon Professional Baseball career, having gone 14-4 this past season.

While it isn't out of the realm of possibility the Red Sox show some interest in Kikuchi -- who is represented by Scott Boras -- it isn't likely the club makes him the kind of priority it was ready to allocate toward last year's free agent prize out of Japan, Shohei Ohtani.

The new posting system states that the player's former team -- in this case the Seibu Lions -- will receive compensation based off a percentage of the value of the contract, bonuses and incentives agreed on. The fee is 20 percent of the first $25 million, and then 17.5 percent for the next $25 million. If the contract goes over $50 million there is another 15 percent tacked on.

MLB Trade Rumors projected a six-year, $42 million contract for Kikuchi.