Nippon Professional Baseball's Yomiuri Giants have posted Shun Yamaguchi, opening his path to the Major Leagues as of Tuesday morning. The deadline for the 32-year-old right-hander and MLB clubs to exchange terms is Jan. 2, 2020, at 5 p.m. ET.
Yamaguchi posted a 2.91 ERA over 170 innings for the Giants in NPB play in 2019, and he gave up three earned runs in a one-inning start during Japan's WBSC Premier12 tournament final in Tokyo last month. He has spent 14 seasons in NPB, debuting with the Yokohama BayStars in 2006 and playing for them through the 2016 season before joining the Giants. He has a 3.35 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 427 career appearances (90 starts) in NPB.
During Yamaguchi's first season with Yomiuri in 2017, he was suspended for the second half after being charged with causing bodily harm to a hospital security guard and damage to hospital property while intoxicated. He reportedly was at the hospital to get treatment on his pitching hand.
Yamaguchi 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 second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi of the Hiroshima Carp. Outfielder Shogo Akiyama, most recently with the Seibu Lions, is an international free agent; he registered an .829 OPS in nine NPB seasons.