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Japanese flamethrower Shintaro Fujinami signs with Oakland A’s, per report

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According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Oakland Athletics have signed right-hander Shintaro Fujinami to a one-year deal. Fujinami was submitted to Major League Baseball’s “publishing system” back in December by the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon’s Japanese professional baseball league.

The 28-year-old Fujinami was once considered a rival to the two-sided Los Angeles Angels phenom Shohei Otani. Alas, fate did not provide him with such a glorious career as in the case of Otani. Instead, Fujinami faced some turbulence on the way to a career 3.17 ERA, mostly in the form of sporadic control. Namely, his career walking pace exceeds four for nine innings.

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Evaluators who spoke to CBS Sports about Fujinami in December expected him to play a feeder role in the majors thanks to the strength of his mid-90s fastball and splitter. Passan, however, got Fujinami to crack the A spin. Given the dismal state of Oakland’s roster, you could think of this as a win-win situation: either he beats expectations and becomes a compelling trade candidate, or he doesn’t and he helps lottery draft chances.

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Here’s what Sports Info Solutions had to say about Fujinami before it was published:

The splitter was his best strike serve and his most used two-strike serve, narrowly beating his fastball in both two-strike usage and outs. In addition to a solid 34% smell rate, batters also struggled to do anything with the splitter when it was introduced into the game. His splitters landed 66% of the time, and his batters landed only 9% of hard hits on the field.

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Fujinami is the latest in a string of low-key free agents the Athletics have made this winter, joining a collection that includes infielders Jace Peterson and Aledmis Diaz, as well as right-handers Drew Ruczynski and Trevor May. The A’s also received support from Manny Pin and outfielder Esteuri Ruiz as a result of the trade.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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