Japanese fastball pitcher Shintaro Fujinami 안전놀이터(28), who had a rivalry with Shohei Otani (28, LA Angels) in high school, will make his major league debut wearing an Oakland Athletics uniform.
Bob Nightingale, a reporter for USA Today Sports, said on the 13th (Korean time) that Fujinami had agreed to a one-year, $3.25 million contract with Oakland. An official announcement will be made as soon as the physical examination is completed.
The day before (the 12th), it was announced that he had agreed to a one-year contract with Auckland, and on this day, the terms of the salary were revealed. $3.25 million is a lot in ‘small market’ Auckland.
It is the fifth-highest salary on the team after pitcher Trevor May ($7 million), infielder Alemidis Diaz ($6.5 million), catcher Manny Pigna, and infielder Jace Peterson (more than $4.5 million). He was treated better than Drew Luchinski, who played for the NC Dinos in the KBO League for four years from 2019 to 2022.
On the 22nd of last month, Luczynski signed a one-year, guaranteed annual contract with Oakland for $3 million. If the team option for next year’s annual salary of $5 million is executed, it is a condition of up to $8 million for two years, but at least this year’s salary is more than Fujinami.
Fujinami received an annual salary of 49 million yen last year from the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball. After peaking at 170 million yen in 2016, she suffered a salary cut from 2017 due to poor performance for six consecutive years. However, with her advancement to the major leagues, her salary has also increased significantly. In terms of our money, her annual salary rose nearly 10 times from about 470 million won to 4 billion won in one year.
It’s better than expected. After her debut at Hanshin in 2013, Fujinami, who continued her rivalry with Ohtani by winning double digits for three consecutive years, has been on a downward trend since 2017 due to problems with Jegu Nanjo and her personal life. He threw a high-speed ball of up to 160 km, but after advancing to the major leagues in 2018, he fell to a level incomparable to Ohtani, who is writing a history of both pitching and hitting.
He rebounded to some extent last year with 3 wins, 5 losses, an average ERA of 3.38 and 65 strikeouts in 16 games (66⅔ innings), but it was not a special performance. After starting his posting, several teams rated him as a reliever, but when Oakland offered him the starting job, Fujinami won his heart. He is still highly regarded for his ability to throw fastballs in the mid-to-late 150 km range, and he takes his first steps in the major leagues as a candidate for the Oakland 4-5 selection.