SIGNED: YUSEI KIKUCHI
Contract: Six years, $56 million
In our most recent move, we successfully won the bidding war for Yusei Kikuchi of the NPB. Kikuchi, 27, is making his way overseas this offseason after dominating the Japanese circuit. Despite dealing with some shoulder concerns, Kikuchi managed a 3.08 ERA while striking out 153 batters in 163.2 innings pitched.
Just $2 million more than what we proposed for Kikuchi in our offseason plan last week, we felt that this was the right move for 2019 and beyond, even with the excess amount of starters currently on the roster. In real life, any contract offered to Kikuchi would likely scale in dollar amounts each year, as we proposed in the offseason plan, but backloaded contracts were not allowed in this simulation. So in this reality, Kikuchi falls in at a $9.3 million AAV.
Kikuchi is the youngest starter on the free agent market, coming in right at the center of his prime. It’s a perfect fit for us as we balance the present and future of this ballclub.