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Japanese pitcher Kikuchi free to negotiate with MLB teams

November 5, 2018

TOKYO (AP) — The Seibu Lions have agreed to post pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, clearing the way for the 27-year-old left-hander to negotiate with teams in Major League Baseball.

Since Kikuchi cannot file for international free agency until 2020, he needed Seibu’s approval in order to use the posting system to move to the majors.

Kikuchi has a 73-46 career record with a 2.77 ERA in Nippon Professional Baseball. He went 14-4 this year and struck out 153 batters in 163-2/3 innings.

All postings by NPB teams must occur between Nov. 1 and Dec. 5, with a 30-day negotiating window to follow.

Under the posting system, a Japanese team posting a player to the majors will receive a fee based on an agreed percentage of the value of the contract, bonuses and incentives.

The fee will be 20 percent of the first $25 million of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options. The percentage drops to 17.5 percent of the next $25 million and 15 percent of any amount over $50 million.

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