A’s Agree to Terms with RHP Shintaro Fujinami on One-Year Contract

January 13th, 2023

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland A’s agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Shintaro Fujinami on a one-year contract for the 2023 season, the club announced today.  To clear space on the 40-man roster, the A’s designated right-handed pitcher Tyler Cyr for assignment.

Fujinami was 3-5 with a 3.38 ERA and .240 opponents batting average in 16 games, including 10 starts, for Hanshin in the Japanese Central League last season.  He walked just 21 batters in 66.2 innings for an average of 2.8 walks per nine innings, which was the lowest mark of his career, and struck out 65 for a career best strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.10.  The 28-year-old right-handed pitcher played 10 seasons for the Tigers and was 57-54 with a 3.41 ERA in 189 career appearances, including 154 starts.  He struck out 1,011 batters in 994.1 innings, an average of 9.15 per nine innings, but walked 459 for a mark of 4.15 per nine innings.

Fujinami was selected by four teams as the first pick of the 2012 NPB draft out of Osaka Toin High School and Hanshin won the rights to sign him.  He made his debut in 2013 at the age of 19 and went 10-6 with a 2.75 ERA in 24 games, including 23 starts.  Fujinami was an All-Star in each of his first four seasons, including 2015 when he went 14-7 with a 2.40 ERA in 28 starts.  He led the Central League in strikeouts (221), complete games (7) and shutouts (4) that year and tied for second in wins.  The hard-throwing native of Osaka combined for a 35-21 record, a 2.86 ERA and 519 strikeouts in 77 games, 76 starts, in his first three seasons but is 22-33 with a 3.97 ERA and 492 strikeouts in 112 games in seven seasons since then.  Fujinami made all but one of his appearances over his first seven seasons as a starter but has 27 starts and 34 relief appearances over the last three years.

Cyr made his Major League debut in 2022, appearing in one game with Philadelphia and 11 with Oakland.  He combined to go 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA and .697 opponents OPS in 12 relief appearances.  The 29-year-old right-hander also pitched in 35 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and four with Triple-A Las Vegas and was 2-3 with six saves, a 2.85 ERA and .619 OPS in 39 relief appearances in the minors.