Chiba Lotte Marines Sasaki Rocky (22) is expected to win an astronomical contract if he advances to the major leagues.
Sasaki started the match against the Orix Buffaloes held at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan on the 28th and recorded 8 hits, 1 walk, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts and 3 runs in 7 innings. He gave up a run in the first inning and broke the record of 20 consecutive scoreless innings in the opening, but threw a ball so powerful that a fastball of 165 km/h was stamped on the scoreboard.
Sasaki, who throws a fastball over 160 km and a sharp splitter, is the young ace in the spotlight in Japanese professional baseball. Now he is in his third season in the first team. His season performance is overwhelming with 4 games (27 innings), 3 wins and an average earned run average of 1.00, and his strikeout rate is 38, which is by far the highest in all Japanese professional baseball.
On the 28th, Numbers Web, a Japanese media outlet, asked three American media reporters: Boston Globe reporter Peter Abraham, Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Epstein, and New York Newsday reporter Eric Borland for their opinions on Sasaki.
The three reporters agreed on the fact that Sasaki is a major league pitcher. Reporter Abraham said, “Pitchers who throw 100 miles (161 km) usually feel like they are trying to force a fastball. But Sasaki throws 100 mph with ease.” Reporter Epstein also said, “Honestly, I thought he was a great pitcher. The splitter is an incredibly good pitch.” “I felt he had all the tools he needed to pitch in the major leagues,” Borland said.
When asked what kind of contract Sasaki would receive if he entered the major leagues, various opinions came out. However, there was no disagreement that Sasaki would win a super-large contract.
Reporter Abraham said, “Sasaki is still a young pitcher. He could be offered a 10-year contract if he comes to the majors at around age 25. Wouldn’t his annual salary be around 25 to 30 million dollars (approximately 33.5 to 40.2 billion won). However, four to five years from now, the size of the contract will increase, so it is not strange to receive an outrageous offer.” 안전놀이터
Reporter Epstein said, “Gerrit Cole (Yankees) signed a 9-year, $324 million (approximately 434.5 billion won) contract, and Sasaki will be able to get a contract at the level he wants. If you post, there may be a fierce recruitment competition that offers a long-term contract of about 10 years.”
Reporter Borland also said, “It is difficult to answer because there are still several years left. He could get hurt, go into a slump, or have a better season. In terms of annual salary, it could be between 25 million and 30 million dollars, maybe 50 million dollars (about 67.1 billion won). The best pitcher’s ransom continues to rise, so it is difficult to predict at this time.”