The Saitama Seibu Lions have approved Yusei Kikuchi’s wish to pursue a career in the major leagues and will post the left-hander soon, executives of the Pacific League team revealed Monday.
Since Kikuchi cannot file for international free agency until 2020, he needed Seibu’s approval in order to use the posting system and move to the majors prior to that.
Nippon Professional Baseball has until Dec. 5 to file his application with Major League Baseball. Once all 30 teams are notified of the posting, any club willing to pay the posting fee to Seibu will have 30 days to negotiate a deal with Kikuchi.
The 27-year old, who signed with the Lions out of high school after they won his rights in the 2009 draft, has a 73-46 career record with a 2.77 ERA. He went 14-4 this year and struck out 153 batters over 163⅔ innings.
Under the current posting system, in force since last winter, a team posting a player to the majors receives a fee based on an agreed percentage of the value of the player’s contract, bonuses and incentives.
Posting fees equal 20 percent of the first $25 million, 17.5 percent of the next $25 million and 15 percent of the remainder. In addition, the NPB team posting a player will receive 15 percent of the amount of incentives earned as well as options and bonuses paid.