Eric Pedi (30), the MVP of the 2023 KBO League, is likely to play in the Japanese professional baseball, not the U.S. Major League next season. Orix Buffaloes, who will send the league’s best pitcher to the Major League, is showing interest in Pedi, drawing attention.
Japan’s “Nikkan Sports” reported on Friday that Orix is investigating recruiting right-hander Pedi, who has won 20 games this season and three times in Korea. “He moved to the NC Dinos this season as a big right-hander who won seven games in 2021 when he was with the Washington Nationals in the Major League, and won 20 games for the first time since his first year in Korea. He has become a pitcher representing the Korean professional baseball with the most wins, the most ERA, and the most strikeouts.”
“Orix’s two pitchers, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is challenging the Major League through the posting system, and Sachiya Yamasaki, who moved to the Nippon Ham Fighters by exercising his domestic FA rights, will leave the team.” He explained why Orix recruited Pedi, saying, “It is urgent to reinforce the starting lineup toward a fourth consecutive league victory, as it is a big hit that all 16 wins of Yamamoto and 11 wins of Yamasaki are missing.” 에볼루션 바카라사이트
While returning to the U.S. was considered a fait accompli as Major League teams observed Pedi throughout this season, Japan has also been showing keen interest. It is noteworthy that Japan’s Orix has surfaced at a time when no specific team name has been mentioned on the U.S. side. When Japanese media report on recruitment of a specific player, it is usually interpreted as a pre-recruitment stage.
Orix is a team that has been strong in winning the Pacific League for the last three years in a row. If the goal is to fill the vacancy caused by ace Yamamoto’s advance to the Major League, he could be a good substitute. Yamamoto, who will be going through posting, is expected to sign a large contract of up to $200 million or more, and in this case, Orix can also grab a large amount of nearly $32 million.
If there is a money fight in the race to recruit Fedi, it may be difficult for Major League teams to beat Orix. After playing as a big leaguer in Washington for six years from 2017 to 2022, Fedi is highly eager to return to Major League, but he has ample financial possibility to move to Japan.
After winning the MVP award at the KBO Awards on the 27th, Pedi expressed his affection, saying, “I will talk to NC first and then talk to other teams. NC is a very good team among numerous teams,” but it is difficult to remain in Korea as the U.S. and Japan are showing interest at the same time.
Meanwhile, there are three foreign players who moved to Japan after winning the KBO MVP award. Tyrone Woods, a slugger and first baseman who became the first foreign player to be named MVP in 1998, played for Doosan for four more years before moving to Japan in 2003. Then Doosan pitcher Daniel Rios in 2007 and KT outfielder Mel Rojas Jr. in 2020 also received MVP awards and moved to Japan for a large amount of money the following year.
Woods played for Yokohama DeNA BayStars and Chunichi Dragons for six years from 2003 to 2008, and was a big success with a batting average of 289-851 hits, 240 home runs, 616 RBIs and OPS.964 in 824 games. On the other hand, Rios was sluggish with 11 games (64 ⅓ innings) with 2 wins, 7 losses, and an ERA of 5.46 for the Yakult Swallows in 2008, and was banned for a year for being caught with a banned substance, causing disgrace that he was released during the season. Rojas went up and down the first and second divisions of the Hanshin Tigers from 2021 to 2022, hitting a batting average of 2282, 17 homers, and 48 RBIs with OPS.697, falling short of expectations.