Skip to content

Kikuchi decides to stay in Japan

Oct 25, 2009, 10:00 AM EDT

18-year-old Japanese left-hander
Yusei Kikuchi, who was courted by eight MLB teams in recent weeks, announced his intentions to remain in Japan during a press conference on Sunday.

“I want to be given the chance to play in Japan. For now
I’m closing the door to the Majors, and after becoming a top pitcher in
Japan I want to take on the world.”



Kikuchi is expected to be the No. 1 selection in the Nippon
Professional Baseball draft on Oct. 29. Once a player joins a Japanese
team, he must play nine seasons before becoming a free agent. He could
always leave earlier, however much like Daisuke Matsuzaka, MLB teams
would have to bid for his services through a posting system.




Though it’s not known if MLB teams
even spoke terms with the young lefty, some believe he could have made
as much as 2009 first-round pick Tyler Matzek of the Rockies. Widely
regarded as the top high school lefty in the draft, Matzek signed for
$3.9 million.

Featured video

Who are the favorites for Rookie of the Year?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Soler (3618)
  2. Y. Molina (3239)
  3. R. Castillo (2878)
  4. B. Posey (2092)
  5. D. Murphy (2058)
  1. D. Wright (2058)
  2. B. Colon (1958)
  3. M. Wacha (1865)
  4. A. Rizzo (1835)
  5. E. O'Flaherty (1767)