Texas Rangers among finalists for Japanese righty Kohei Arihara

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

The Texas Rangers have had a busy offseason, and are not finished yet. They are among the three finalists for a talented Japanese righty.

For Japanese righty Kohei Arihara, his 30-day posting window closes tomorrow and a decision is supposedly imminent.

Reports coming from Japan suggest that the righty has narrowed his potential destinations to three teams: the Texas Rangers, the Boston Red Sox and the San Diego Padres.

All three of those teams have also been linked to fellow Japanese righty Tomoyuki Sugano, who is three years older than Arihara.

For the Texas Rangers, the 28-year-old would present an affordable, middle-of-the-rotation arm with great upside.

The Texas Rangers are seen as legitimate contenders for Kohei Arihara’s services.

Many who have seen Arihara pitch believe he could be a Kenta Maeda or Kyle Hendricks type pitcher at his best, but could be closer to a Joe Musgrove type.

Either way, all of those pitchers have had success at the big league level, making it likely that Arihara could immediately slide into the Rangers rotation upon arrival.

Arihara posted an 8-9 record with a 3.46 ERA in 20 games for the Fighters in 2020, with 106 strikeouts in 132 2/3 innings.

In 2019, he went 15-8 with a 2.46 ERA in 24 games, with 161 strikeouts in 164 1/3 innings.

He could be a quality big league arm and an immediate upgrade to the Texas Rangers rotation.

The Rangers could certainly use the help, as their rotation options outside of Dane Dunning and Kyle Cody are less than optimal.

The fact that Texas is in contention for Arihara is a great sign that the Japanese pitcher trusts what Jon Daniels and Chris Young are planning for this organization going forward.

Not to mention, the Rangers have history with Hokkaido Nippon, Arihara’s team in Japan, where former ace Yu Darvish started his professional career before initially landing in Arlington.

The race for Kohei Arihara is in its final stages, and the Texas Rangers can be found near the finish line.

Let’s see if a deal can get done.