The Texas Rangers have added another arm to their pitching staff. It was announced on Saturday that the Rangers are signing Kohei Arihara. The Japanese right-hander has agreed to a two-year deal with the club reported to be worth up to $7.5 million. Posting fees are also included in the agreement.
Hey Kohei! 🇯🇵
We have officially signed RHP Kohei Arihara from Nippon Professional Baseball's Pacific League to a 2-year contract. pic.twitter.com/3z2xXQymLz
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) December 26, 2020
What the Rangers Needed
It is no secret that Rangers need help with pitching. The signing of Kohei Arihara adds another candidate for their starting rotation. The 28-year old right-handed pitcher spent the past six seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Pacific League of Nippon Professional Baseball. His best season came in 2019 when he made 24 starts and posted a record of 15-8 with an earned run average of 2.46. During that stretch, he averaged 8.8 K/9.
Arihara throws three pitches. He has a fastball that reaches the low-90 mph range. He also throws a changeup and a slider. Most experts wouldn’t consider him to be as overpowering as other pitchers that have previously come from Japan, but he can still hold his own against hitters. One could even say that he is Japan’s version of Greg Maddux. He relies on control and his offspeed pitches rather than velocity.
Just in Time
The Rangers made a very late push for Arihara. Saturday was the posting deadline for the young right-handed pitcher and that is when they signed him. They designated right-hander Art Warren for assignment to make room for Arihara on the 40-man roster.
The Rangers are excited and they are hoping that he will add depth to their starting rotation. There, he is expected to join Kyle Gibson, and Jordan Lyles. Other candidates include lefties Wes Benjamin, and Kolby Allard. Righty Dane Dunning will also be in the mix. Kyle Cody is another option, but the signing of Arihara has decreased his chances. He’ll most likely see much needed development time in MiLB.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images