The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters said Thursday that center fielder Haruki Nishikawa has been made available for major league clubs through the posting system.
Once MLB has informed its 30 teams of Nishikawa’s availability, they will have 30 days to reach an agreement with him. The Fighters will then receive a transfer fee based on the total value of the contract Nishikawa signs.
The negotiation period starts at 10 p.m. on Dec. 3 and ends at 7 a.m. on Jan. 3, 2021, Japan time.
The 28-year-old Nishikawa became eligible to file for domestic free agency in Japan this season, but as he is not yet eligible for international free agency he could not leave unless the Fighters either posted him or released him.
The left-handed-hitting Nishikawa started his career with the Sapporo-based Fighters in 2012. He has a .286 batting average with 1,128 hits and 346 RBIs in 1,097 games over his career.
Nishikawa is the second Fighters player to be posted this winter, following ace right-hander Kohei Arihara. A third Japanese player, right-handed Chiba Lotte Marines reliever Hirokazu Sawamura, has filed for international free agency and said he intends to negotiate with MLB teams.
A fourth player, Yomiuri Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano, has been cleared to use the posting system by the Central League club but has yet to announce whether he will do so.
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