Free Agent #3- Shintaro Fujinami
This would be a free agent signing that would be a low risk-high reward type signing. The stuff is there for Fujinami, but the production is not. Just a glance at his statcast page and one would wonder why his ERA so high and he is not more successful. Fujinami in 2023 started the season in the Oakland A's rotation, but was then moved to the bullpen. He was traded midseason to the Baltimore Orioles and pitched in their bullpen for the Orioles. Fujinami had a 7-8 record overall with a 7.18 ERA, and struck out 83 in 79 innings pitched.
The 29-year old right-hander throws six pitches. He has a 100mph fastball that he throws more often than any other pitch. He also has a cutter, splitter, sweeper, slider and curveball. His best pitches are his fastball, splitter, and cutter. If he can refine those three pitches and just use those he might become a more dangerous pitcher. Fujinami had a .243 batting average against the fastball, a .239 batting average against the splitter, and a .175 batting average against the cutter. 78 of his 83 strikeouts came against those three pitches. They each had a higher than 25% whiff percentage.
It really feels like Fujinami in Texas Rangers camp under the tutelage of Mike Maddux and the pitching staff could reach a higher level than he could in Oakland or during a pennant race in Baltimore. It would be a signing that could pay off big if the Japanese right-hander can put it together. Texas can work Fujinami in slowly and see what he has. He is likely to sign for the amount of money Texas has. It also gives Texas a foot into the Japanese market and will maybe provide an opening for Texas to be able to sign Roki Sasaki next offseason when he could become a major league free agent.