The Hiroshima Carp of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball have posted Ryosuke Kikuchi, making the second baseman available to all Major League teams as of Tuesday morning. The deadline for the 29-year-old and MLB clubs to exchange terms is Jan. 2, 2020, at 5 p.m. ET.
Known as a defensive specialist, Kikuchi batted .261/.313/.406 with 36 doubles and 13 homers over 138 games with the Carp in 2019. He owns a career slash line of .271/.315/.391 in his eight seasons with Hiroshima, dating back to his 2012 debut as a 22-year-old.
There are a number of second basemen available in free agency -- including Jonathan Schoop, César Hernández, Jason Kipnis, Brian Dozier, Wilmer Flores, Eric Sogard, Starlin Castro and Ben Zobrist -- meaning Kikuchi will have plenty of competition when it comes to landing with a team.
Kikuchi is one of a group of NPB players who either have been posted or are expected to be this offseason. Others include Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, a power-hitting left fielder with Yokohama, and right-hander Shun Yamaguchi of the Yomiuri Giants. Outfielder Shogo Akiyama, most recently with the Seibu Lions, is an international free agent; he registered an .829 OPS in nine NPB seasons.