What's Buzzing:

Free-agent RHP Randy Messenger sets deadline for offers from major league teams

Jeff Passan
Yahoo Sports

A potentially intriguing free-agent pitcher may be off the market before it fully develops.

Right-hander Randy Messenger, who has spent the last three seasons dominating Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan for the Hanshin Tigers, has set a Nov. 15 deadline to entertain offers from major league teams, said his agent, Matt Sosnick.

[Yahoo Sports Shop: Buy Boston Red Sox World Series championship gear]

View photo

.

Randy Messenger last pitched in the majors with Seattle in 2009. (AP Photo)

Messenger, 32, has a standing three-year offer from Hanshin that with incentives is worth up to $15 million. He is seeking a two-year deal in the $8 million to $10 million range to return to MLB. While multiple teams have offered a one-year deal – one team went to one year plus an option – none has reached two years yet, Sosnick said.

The mid-level starting-pitching market is usually one of the last to materialize, and accelerating the timetable – Hanshin expects an answer from Messenger by mid-month – could keep him from returning to MLB.

After reinventing himself as a starter in Japan with the help of a split-fingered fastball, the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Messenger has thrived. He led the Central League in innings pitched and strikeouts this season with 196 1/3 and 183, and his 2.89 ERA was fifth among starters. It was his third straight sub-3.00 ERA season, though with run-scoring up across NPB this season, it marked Messenger’s best year compared to the rest of the league.

Scouts this season saw Messenger’s fastball reach up to 96 mph, though one said he sits closer to 92-93. His splitter and slider give him a strong enough off-speed complement that the scout believes he could be a back-end major league starter. From 2005-09, Messenger was a reliever with the Marlins, Giants and Mariners.

On Yahoo’s ultimate free-agent tracker, Messenger ranks 22nd among starting pitchers and 64th overall.

View Comments (4)
  • Red Sox move struggling RHP Clay Buchholz to bullpen

    Red Sox move struggling RHP Clay Buchholz to bullpen

    TORONTO (AP) -- Struggling Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is being moved to the bullpen and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will take Buchholz's spot in the rotation, starting Tuesday at Baltimore. … More »

    AP - Sports - 12 minutes ago
  • Cubs fans get into scuffle over Kris Bryant home run ball

    Cubs fans get into scuffle over Kris Bryant home run ball

    These Cubs fans were willing to risk injury in order to recover a Kris Bryant home run ball. … More »

    Big League Stew - 14 minutes ago
  • Franco's RBI infield single

    Franco's RBI infield single

    Maikel Franco hits a soft grounder that scores Odubel Herrera, cutting the Phillies' deficit to 6-2 in the top of the 7th inning … More »

    MLB.com - 35 minutes ago
  • Odor's suspension cut from 8 to 7 games

    Odor's suspension cut from 8 to 7 games

    Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor started serving his suspension Friday for punching Toronto's Jose Bautista after the penalty was reduced from eight to seven games. Odor was out of the lineup for the series opener against Pittsburgh. The … More »

    AP - Sports - 56 minutes ago
  • Bautista's 1-game suspension upheld

    Bautista's 1-game suspension upheld

    TORONTO (AP) -- Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has had his one-game suspension upheld by Major League Baseball and will serve his penalty Friday, missing Toronto's home game against the Boston Red Sox. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 20 minutes ago