The Oakland A’s are not going to spend much in free agency. If anything, they will bring in depth pieces or look to sign former top prospects to minor league deals, hoping that those players can finally fulfill their potential and be pieces of their future core.
One such player can be found in the international market. The Hanshin Tigers are going to make Shintaro Fujinami available via the posting system, granting his wish to test his market in the majors.
Oakland A’s should take chance on Shintaro Fujinami
There was a time when Fujinami was right there with Shohei Ohtani as the best pitching prospect in Japan. His three pitch arsenal made him the type of pitcher that could have been a top of the rotation arm; his upper 90s fastball, splitter, and slider all viable weapons.
The problem was that Fujinami completely lost his command. He battled the yips for years, losing his confidence while the demands on the Tigers’ coaching staff did nothing to help. Fujinami finally found himself once again this year but the Tigers still did not trust him, bouncing him between the minors and their major league roster.
Those issues could lead to a depressed market for the former top prospect. Major league teams may not be willing to give him much of a chance based on that track record. In fact, given his command issues, it is fair to wonder if he would even be considered for a spot in the rotation.
This gives the A’s a potential opportunity. While Fujinami may not get much of an opportunity to start for most teams, he could get that chance in Oakland. If nothing else, he could find himself in a higher leverage spot in a bullpen than he may have otherwise been.
The Oakland A’s need to take chances on former top prospects no matter where they are from. Shintaro Fujinami would be the perfect option.