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Yuki Matsui could be headed to the Major Leagues

Rakuten Golden Eagles left-handed reliever Yuki Matsui, 28, could be headed to the Major Leagues.

According to Japanese media outlet Sportshochi, Yuki Matsui, who exercised his overseas free agent rights with Rakuten and is trying to reach the major leagues, has received a formal offer from the St. Louis Cardinals. Matsui traveled to the U.S. after the Winter Meetings and was offered a multi-year contract in the first round of negotiations on Friday (July 15).”

Matsui is a specialty closer with a career record of 25-46, 76 holds, 236 saves and a 2.40 ERA in 501 games (659⅔ innings) in Nippon Professional Baseball. He also has a career strikeout rate of 11.73 per nine innings. He was dominant in 2021, going 43-2 with 24 saves and a 0.63 ERA in 43 games, and this year he’s been just as impressive, going 2-3 with eight saves and a 1.57 ERA in 59 games (57⅓ innings).

“St. Louis finished at the bottom of the National League Central this year,” SportsHorse notes. The team’s ERA ranks 12th in the National League (4.79) 안전놀이터 and the bullpen needs to be bolstered. With 236 career saves, the closer is the perfect fit. Ras Nuba, who played for Japan in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), is also available, so Matsui could be reunited with him in St. Louis.”

The Cardinals, who hold the record for the most World Series wins in the National League (11) and are familiar to Korean fans thanks to the likes of Oh Seung-hwan (Samsung) and Kim Kwang-hyun (SSG), have accepted a 71-91 record this year, good for last place in the National League Central. The team ERA was 24th in the majors and the bullpen ERA was 23rd (4.47).

“With Shohei Ohtani, the biggest free agent signing this winter, confirmed to go to the Dodgers, teams have been on the move to overhaul their bullpens. Texas, San Diego, and the Cubs, who won the World Series this year, are also considering signing left-handed pitchers. The value of a left-handed bullpen with a poor talent pool is high, so multiple teams could make offers.”

“According to a U.S. official, Matsui and his family toured the St. Louis club’s facilities, cityscape, and shops in the neighborhood,” said Sportshochi, adding, “Matsui will remain in the United States. He will wait for offers from other clubs. Matsui said, “If possible, I would like to make a decision in December. It is possible to sign by the end of the year. I think there is still a stage for me to grow,'” Matsui firmly expressed his intention to enter the major leagues.

Meanwhile, St. Louis is also known to be in contact with Ko Woo-seok. Go, who has a 19-26 record with a 3.18 ERA in 354 career KBO games (368 1/3 innings) with 139 saves and six shutouts, was posted to the major leagues this winter. His fastball, which reaches nearly 160 kilometers per hour, has attracted interest from several major league clubs. According to SB Nation, 바카라사이트 순위 “There are rumors that he will sign with St. Louis, but he is also reportedly in talks with several American League teams, including Boston. The Yankees should also make a move.”

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