Detroit Tigers: Shota Imanaga still there for the taking

In theory, the Detroit Tigers could still sign Shota Imanaga.

World Baseball Classic Championship: United States v Japan
World Baseball Classic Championship: United States v Japan / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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The Detroit Tigers are almost certainly done adding starting pitching. They currently have seven that have a chance to make the team. But if they really wanted to ensure they would have a stout starting rotaton, and are willing to shell out some extra cash, there are still some pretty good options out there.

Blake Snell, Marcus Stroman, and Jordan Montgomery are all quality options as free agent starting pitchers. But for this article, we're going to focus on the last big-name free agent from Japan: Shota Imanaga.

As of this article's publishing, there's only eight days left for Imanaga to sign with an MLB team. Per Japanese posting rules, a player coming over from Japan has 45 days to negotiate and sign with a major league team once they are posted. If the player hasn't reached an agreement by then, they return to their NPB club.

Imanaga was posted back on Nov. 27. It's somewhat surprising that he hasn't reached a deal with a team by now, but his market has likely been delayed by the markets of Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who both signed with the Dodgers.

He's not quite as appealing as those two superstars, but he's a very good pitcher in his own right. A 30-year-old lefty, he has an ability to fill up the strike zone at an insane rate. He had a strikeout to walk ratio of 7.83 in the NPB last season. That's just absurd for any league. He also had a 2.66 ERA in 159 IP. He's going to make the team that signs him very happy.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that he's likely to make north of $100 million in the contract he signs. This isn't too surprising given the deals that Ohtani and Yamamoto got. The price of starting pitching in general has soared over the past couple of years.

So if the Tigers really wanted him, there's nothing stopping them for going out and getting him. But here's some reasons why it's not likely.

For starters, like I said at the beginning, they have seven starting pitchers currently on the roster. Spending $100+ million on another doesn't seem like something that's in the cards.

And that's the other thing. The Tigers aren't likely to spend that much on anybody. It's sad, but that's the reality we live in.

So, theoretically, the Tigers *could* still sign Shota Imanaga, and I don't think a lot of people would complain. I certainly wouldn't. But the chances of it happening are slim to none.

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