A's finalize $3.25M deal with Japanese pitcher Fujinami

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Japanese right-hander Shintaro Fujinami and the Oakland Athletics finalized a $3.25 million, one-year contract Friday, a deal that allows him to earn an additional $1 million in performance bonuses for starts.

Fujinami would get $100,000 each for five, eight and 10 starts, $150,000 apiece for 13 and 18, and $200,000 each for 22 and 25.

The hard-throwing Fujinami, 28, could fill a void in Oakland’s rotation or pitch out of the bullpen. He spent the past 10 seasons with the Central League’s Hanshin Tigers.

The 6-foot-6 Fujinami was 3-5 with a 3.38 ERA and .240 opponents' batting average in 10 starts and six relief appearances last year. He walked 21 batters and struck out 65 in 66 2/3 innings.

Much like Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, Fujinami can hit — although he had only 22 plate appearances last season. They are from the same 2012 draft class, with Fujinami just less than three months older than Ohtani.

Fujinami would earn $100,000 for MVP, $75,000 for finishing second in the voting and $50,000 for third, and he can earn similar bonuses for Cy Young Award balloting. He would get $50,000 for making the All-Star Game, $100,000 for World Series MVP or Silver Slugger, and $50,000 for Gold Glove or League Championship Series MVP.

He will be a free agent at the end of the contract.

To open a spot on the 40-man roster, the A’s designated right-handed pitcher Tyler Cyr for assignment.

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The Associated Press