“Really? It’s a happy thing.”
Multiple media outlets, including Japan’s Sports Hochi, reported on the 30th (Korean time) that Yuki Matsui, who is about to advance to the major leagues, was selected by the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks on the 29th. He reported that he had seen Game 2 of the World Series.
Matsui officially announced his intention to advance to the Major League on the 25th. According to multiple local media outlets including Japan’s Daily Sports at the time, Matsui, who had qualified as an overseas free agent, contacted Rakuten club president Masayuki Morii and expressed his intention to advance to the big league. Therefore, Matsui plans to receive offers from major league clubs after both the Japanese professional baseball and major league schedules are over.
Matsui began his professional career after being selected by Rakuten in the first round of the Japanese professional baseball rookie draft in 2013, and is currently considered the best closing pitcher in Japanese professional baseball. Matsui holds various records, including Japan’s youngest player with 100 saves and 200 saves, and has appeared in 501 games over 10 seasons, recording 25 wins, 46 losses, 76 holds, 236 saves, and an ERA of 2.40.
In particular, Matsui is well known to domestic fans. Matsui has played for the Japanese national team in the 2015 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 and the 2017 and 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), and Lee Dae-ho, ‘Chosun’s number 4 hitter’, has played for the Orix Buffaloes and Softbank Hawks. During his time in the league, he showed a particularly strong performance against Dae-ho Lee, allowing no hits in 15 at-bats, and was even called the ‘Dae-ho Lee Killer.’
While Matsui qualified as an overseas free agent, Rakuten continued to send love calls to retain the best closing pitcher. Director Toshiaki Imae, who took over the baton, said, “I hope we can work together next year,” and President Morii also asked Matsui to stay on several times. However, it was not easy to capture the heart of Matsui, who had long dreamed of playing in the major leagues.
President Morii said, “Matsui contacted me saying he wanted to take on a challenge overseas. He said that considering his age, now was his opportunity,” and added, “I persuaded him to stay as much as possible. We’ve already negotiated three or four times, but now is the time to take on the challenge.” “It seems like he thought it was an opportunity. I want to support Matsui’s advancement to the major leagues. If the transfer destination is a domestic club, of course I hope he doesn’t go to another club, but it’s difficult to prevent this because it’s a player’s right,” he said.
First of all, Matsui is fully prepared to challenge the major leagues. According to ‘Sports Hochi’, Matsui signed a contract with Brian Minniti of WME, a large American agency who served as assistant to the general manager at the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks. He also visited Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas to watch Game 2 of the World Series in person. That’s how serious he is about advancing to the major leagues.
Although he belatedly announced his intention to enter the major leagues, major league clubs have been keeping an eye on Matsui throughout this season. In the game on September 16, nine teams, including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Chicago Cubs, watched Matsui pitch. And the Texas Rangers, with whom Matsui visited the stadium, are also currently showing interest in Matsui. Japan’s ‘Sports Hochi’ reported, “Many major league clubs are currently investigating the left-hander with a total of 236 saves, and Texas is one of them.”
As news spread that Matsui had visited Globe Life Field, Texas General Manager Chris Young also expressed his welcome. According to ‘Sports Hochi’, General Manager Young asked, “Is Matsui’s visit real?” and said, “It’s a happy thing.” Young then admitted that he had been keeping an eye on Matsui, including watching pitching videos, and added, “I hope he enjoys our home stadium and gets a full taste of the Major League atmosphere.”짱구카지노 주소
How the first game of the World Series watched at Globe Life Field, Texas’ home stadium, will affect Matsui’s advancement into the major leagues will be revealed by looking at his destination after the Japanese professional baseball and major league postseason schedules are completed.