According to NPBtracker.com, right-handed relief pitcher Ryota Igarashi has accumulated the service time to become an international free agent. Igarashi could have become a Japanese free agent last season (and made much more money) but elected to wait for the complete free agency that allows him to consider offers from MLB teams.
“Right now I’m only thinking about staying in shape and winning. I want to think it (free agency) over carefully in the offseason”… and from Yakult’s front office: “it’s his decision so we don’t know what will happen, but he is one person that is needed on our team”.The 30-years old Igarashi is one of the hardest throwers in Japan. His fastball has been clocked at better than 98 miles-per-hour. He also throws a split-fastball at around 90 mph. He allows a few more walks than is ideal but makes up for it by striking out better than a batter an inning. He has been primarily a middle reliever in Japan but has shown the ability to close games.
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