Yoshinobu Yamamoto will be allowed to move to a Major League Baseball team under the player posting system, the Orix Buffaloes said Sunday after losing Game 7 of the Japan Series to the Hanshin Tigers.
The ace pitcher has been widely reported as ready to move to MLB and is expected to be a top target this winter.
“I’d like to thank my team for accepting my request,” Yamamoto was quoted by Japan’s Kyodo news agency as saying after Orix lost 7-1 in Game 7 on Sunday.
Yamamoto pitched two games during the Japan Series — the World Series equivalent for Japanese baseball. He allowed seven earned runs in Game 1 but came back in Game 6 and struck out 14 — a series record.
[Read more: Yoshinobu Yamamoto the next Japanese sensation coming to MLB]
The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher has a 70-29 record in Japanese baseball. His trademark is his wide assortment of breaking pitches, excellent command, and a fastball in the mid-90s.
Yamamoto is ranked second overall behind only Shohei Ohtani on FOX Sports’ MLB free-agent rankings.
He was 16-6 this season with a 1.21 ERA and struck out 169 hitters in 164 innings.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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