Chicago Cubs

Cubs scout highly-touted Japanese pitcher Roki Sasaki, report says

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The Chicago Cubs were rumored to be in contention for prized free agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto last offseason and signed Shota Imanaga, but according to a new report, the team isn’t done looking to Japan for pitching help.

According to Yakyu Cosmopolitan, the Cubs were one of five teams in attendance as highly touted hurler Roki Sasaki threw 111 pitches in his last appearance.  

The Dodgers, Rangers, Cardinals and Reds also sent scouts to the game, according to the report.

Sasaki is just 22 years old, but is already entering his fourth season with Chiba Lotte. In 53 total appearances, Sasaki sports a 21-10 record and a sparkling 1.91 career ERA in those outings. He has 4`` strikeouts in 315.2 innings of work, with a WHIP of 0.833.

If Sasaki is posted this winter, he will likely be one of the top free agent pitchers on the market, and will arrive just in time for the Cubs to require some tough decisions in their pitching rotation. Kyle Hendricks is set to become a free agent at season’s end, and the Cubs will likely look to add another long-term arm to their rotation as Cade Horton likely makes the jump to the big leagues on a regular basis.

The Cubs have made scouting in Japan a priority in recent seasons, landing outfielder Seiya Suzuki and Imanaga over the last three offseasons.

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