The Los Angeles Dodgers organization has placed an increased emphasis on signing international talent in the past two years. Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu made significant contributions in 2013 while the hope is that infielder Alexander Guerrero will continue the trend in 2014.
They also have some interest in signing Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka if he’s posted and he’s expected to garner heavy interest from several teams. However, according to Gen from Yakyubaka.com, the Dodgers and another Japanese pitcher agreed on a minor league contract:
Takumi Numata (19) has finalized a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He reportedly agreed to a deal worth less than two million yen with a signing bonus of ten million (all estimates).
Numata and the Dodgers reportedly reached agreement on a deal in mid-September, but they were accused of trying to sign a player that wasn’t eligible to leave Japan. JABA (Japanese Amateur Baseball Association) tried to block the deal, but in recent days, Numata has been uploading pictures to his Twitter account of him at Dodger Stadium.
Just 19-years-old, Numata is a 6’1″ 198 pound right-handed pitcher who’s been clocked between 92 and 93 mph with his fastball. In 2012, he graduated from Ohgaki Nihon University High School, but it isn’t known what his role with the Dodgers is moving forward.
No official announcement has been made from the Dodgers as it’s possible JABA just threatened the deal and didn’t officially end their pursuit.
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