The Detroit Tigers are interested in acquiring one of the top Japanese players on the free agent market.
No, not Shohei Ohtani. The Tigers are reportedly pursuing right-handed reliever Yoshihisa Hirano.
Tigers pursuing Japanese RP Yoshihisa Hirano https://t.co/LW6va38RiA— Rotoworld Baseball (@Rotoworld_BB) December 7, 2017
Last season, the 33-year-old Hirano threw 67.1 innings for the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. In those innings, he had a 47/16 strikeout to walk ratio to go along with a 2.67 ERA. He also has 156 career saves in Japan.
Yoshihisa Hirano was a dominant closer in Japan from 2013 through last season (143 saves, 2.62 ERA). He will be 34 in March. Doesn't require posting fee or any of that. STL also in on him— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) December 7, 2017
The fact that he does not require a posting fee and could just be signed to the team that offers him the best contract is a big positive for teams not looking to invest too much excess capital in any one player.
It's worth noting that, at age 33, Hirano shouldn't be expected to learn many new tricks. It's a bit curious, then, that the rebuilding Tigers are one of the teams interested in his services. But talent is talent, and if the price is right, Detroit should try to move ahead with a deal.