Shōta Imanaga Rumors: Dodgers Not Among Finalists

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers added two ace-level starting pitchers this offseason in Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow, they are still on the hunt for an additional starter.

One player who has been on their radar is Shōta Imanaga, who is coming to MLB after a solid career in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

While Imanaga projects as a mid-rotation starter, he has drawn widespread interest around the league as numerous teams are trying to add starting pitching.

Due to the posting process, Imanaga must sign by January 11, so his market has heated up this week. However, according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, the Dodgers are not among the finalists to sign the southpaw:

Shota Imanaga finalists are the #RedSox #Cubs #Angels #Giants according to sources.

— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) January 5, 2024

It’s no surprise Imanaga’s finalists include the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs as all three teams were also in on Yamamoto before he joined the Dodgers. The Los Angeles Angels have been searching for starting pitching this offseason as well and showed interest in Blake Snell.

Imanaga posted a 2.80 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 174 strikeouts in 148 innings pitched during his final season with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. The 30-year-old has been exceptional in his ability to limit walks, issuing just 1.5 free passes per nine innings pitched.

He relies on command and movement more than elite stuff, which limits his upside, but he should still provide quality innings to whichever team signs him.

Imanaga also pitched for Team Japan during the 2023 World Baseball Classic and started against the United States in the Gold Medal Game, helping Samurai Japan win the championship game.

Shōta Imanaga contract

Early in the process, Imanaga was projected to receive a contract of around $70-85 million over four or five years.

That number has since increased and he is now likely to sign a deal worth at least $100 million. The signing club will also be responsible for the posting fee as well.

The team that signs him will be required to pay the BayStars a posting fee that is equal to 20% of the contract’s first $25 million, 17.5% of the next $25 million and 15% of any additional dollars.

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