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Two Japanese players made available to major league teams

Shun Yamaguchi was one of two Japanese players made available to Major League Baseball teams Tuesday through the posting process. (Toru Takahashi / Associated Press)
Shun Yamaguchi was one of two Japanese players made available to Major League Baseball teams Tuesday through the posting process. (Toru Takahashi / Associated Press)
Associated Press

NEW YORK – Two players from Japan, Shun Yamaguchi and Ryosuke Kikuchi, have been made available to major league teams through the posting process.

Clubs have until Jan. 2 (2 p.m. PST) to negotiate with them, Major League Baseball said Tuesday.

Yamaguchi, a 32-year-old right-hander with the Yomiuri Giants, was 15-4 with a 2.91 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 170 innings. He led the Central League in wins and strikeouts, helping Yomiuri to its first Central League pennant in five years.

Kikuchi, a second baseman who turns 30 in March, hit .261 with 13 homers, 48 RBIs and 14 stolen bases for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

Yokohama outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo was posted last month and is available until Dec. 19.

MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball reached a posting agreement after the 2017 season. An MLB team would pay a Japanese club fee of 20% of guaranteed money in a major league contract through $25 million, plus 17.5% above that through $50 million, plus 15% over that.

A supplemental fee would equal 15% of any earned bonuses, escalators and compensation from option years that are exercised or become guaranteed.

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