Friday, January 5, 2018

Report: Kazuhisa Makita and Padres in final negotiations through posting system

Kazuhisa Makita was the afterthought among pitchers going through the posting system behind Shohei Ohtani, but it appears he will find a destination. The San Diego Padres have reportedly become the team for Makita on Friday afternoon (Saturday morning in Japan time). This report mentioned several teams were interested, included the Texas Rangers.

With Makita going through the posting system, the Padres will be the team he will talk with and come to an agreement. The Lions will also receive a paltry posting fee as compensation.

Makita, 33, was a shakaijin drafted by the Saitama Seibu Lions in 2010 and has served as a pitcher in several roles. Most recently, he was the setup man in 2017 by taking the 8th inning. He recorded a 2.30 ERA in 62.2 innings of work with a 3-3 record. Makita has also started games from 2012-2015 and was the utility swingman reliever for multiple innings in 2016, where he had a 1.60 ERA in 78.2 innings.

The most unique feature of Makita's pitching is that he is a true submariner. By bringing him out of the bullpen, his underhand throwing can be a change of pace from anyone throwing over the top. With Samurai Japan, he was a specialist out of the bullpen and closed games for the national team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

San Diego has been a great getaway vacation for many and it's a place for anyone to enjoy. The Padres also have several Japanese connections on their staff. Manager Andy Green played for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in 2007 while Takashi Saito and Hideo Nomo work in the front office.

Makita made about $1 million last season with the Lions and will likely make more than this in 2018. The Padres can use him as a middle reliever or even closer if they wish. Both sides will need to come to an agreement by 5:00 p.m. ET on January 10, which is the deadline and the end of the 30-day window for Makita's posting.


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