CHIBA – The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks made history on Saturday by becoming the first NPB team to sign a highly rated American amateur by announcing their acquisition of 19-year-old pitcher Carter Stewart.
Details of the contract were not revealed, but it has been reported in the United States as being a six-year, $7 million deal.
Stewart pitched at Eastern Florida State College this season.
He was the eighth player taken in Major League Baseball’s 2018 draft, but did not sign after the Atlanta Braves reduced his signing bonus due to concerns about a possible wrist injury.
If Stewart plays six years in Japan, he will be free to sign with any MLB club as a free agent at the age of 25 — at least two years earlier than he would have been able to do in the United States. A source has told Kyodo News, however, that the Hawks are hoping Stewart will opt to continue his career in Japan.