The New York Mets made another bullpen move. After retaining Adam Ottavino, the Mets added another right-handed reliever in Shintaro Fujinami.

The team signed Fujinami to a one-year, $3.35 million contract. The deal also includes $850,00 in incentives.

Fujinami, 29, pitched for the Oakland A’s and the Baltimore Orioles last season. Overall, he had a 7.18 ERA in 2023. After an 8.57 ERA with the A’s, Fujinami was much better after being traded to the Orioles, with a 4.85 ERA in Baltimore.

Fujinami had control issues last season, allowing 45 walks in 79 innings. He does have pretty good stuff, with an elite fastball that averaged 98.5 mph in 2023. He also throws a splitter and cutter. His cutter induced a 38.2% swing and miss rate. With the Orioles, Fujinami had 32 Ks,in 29.2 IP.

If Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner can work wonders in Fujinami’s hard throwing stuff, helping him reduce his walks, Fujinami can be a useful piece in the Mets bullpen, with his strikeout potential.

The Mets are also close to an agreement with another reliever in lefty Jake Diekman.

4 comments on “Mets sign RHP Shintaro Fujinami

  • Boomboom

    Shintaro Fujinami’s first 18 games

    * 12.19 ERA
    * 20.3 K% / 15.2 BB%
    * 87 Location+

    Shintaro Fujinami’s last 16 games

    * 2.45 ERA
    * 26.0 K% / 8.2 BB%
    * 99 Location+

    • Brian Joura

      I know you were not using B-R but that site shows Fujinami’s last 16 games as a 4.02 ERA, with 7 ER in 15.2 IP

      I’m not sure how useful his first 18 games are to judge anything, as that included five of his seven starts and he was just brutal as a SP. FWIW, his best start of last year came against the Mets, when he allowed 3 ER in 6 IP despite serving up 2 HR.

      He got better as the year progressed, likely due to a number of factors, including a move to the pen along with getting used to pitching in this country and with the U.S. ball. But his BB% in the last 16 games, while an improvement, is not really something terrific. All Orioles relief pitchers combined had an 8.7 BB%. And that’s over 575.1 IP, compared to Fujinami’s 15.2 IP. Same thing for the K&, which for the team was 25.2%

      Sure, if he could provide the Mets in 60 IP what he gave the Orioles last year in 15.2 IP, that would be … something. It’s Jeff Brigham’s K% combined with Denyi Reyes’ BB%.

      Ultimately, it’s a one-year upside play at somewhat reasonable dollars. I prefer Diekman but no reason both can’t work out. Here’s what Sammon in The Athletic said about Fujinami:

      “Of note, Fujinami, 29, can be optioned to the minor leagues if the Mets desire, per a league source. He will be battling for a spot in a bullpen that doesn’t lack depth in terms of quantity.”

  • Metsense

    It is hard a to hail the signing of a relief relief thrower that has a 7.18 ERA, 5.1 BB9 no matter what his velocity is. At least he has options.
    Diekman in his last 45 games had a 2.18 ERA . 3.21 FIP. Now that is a good value signing. His drawback is he 37 YOA and had a 5.0 BB9. Beggars can’t be choosy.

  • Steve_S.

    Yeah, but in Fujinami’s last 30 games with Baltimore (all as a relief pitcher, unlike with Oakland) his FIP was 4.13 and his WHIP went from 1.66 to 1.21. And the guy throws 100+ mph, topping out at 102.6!!

    For $3 million + he’s a bargain. And he’s 29 years old.

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