Kazuhisa Makita Set to be Posted This Month

SAPPORO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 18: Kazuhisa Makita
SAPPORO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 18: Kazuhisa Makita /

Shohei Otani is not the only Japanese pitcher to be posted. Submarine reliever Kazuhisa Makita is also set to be posted, becoming available to interested teams sometime this month.

The drama surrounding the new posting rules has finally been sorted out, with an agreement in place. Now the eagerly awaited Shohei Otani Watch can commence, as teams vie for the rights of one of the most intriguing players in decades.

However, Otani is not the only pitcher that has come available. The Seibu Lions are set to post 33 year old submarine reliever Kazuhisa Makita, a former starter who transitioned to the bullpen two years ago. In that time, Makita has posted a 1.91 ERA in his 108 appearances, issuing only 21 walks in his 140.1 innings.

Makita is definitely not a strikeout artist, with only 78 strikeouts over the past two seasons. However, despite his submarine delivery, Makita also has relied on his impeccable control. Last season, he issued only five walks in 62.2 innings, for an impressive 0.7 BB/9 rate. As with most submarine pitchers, Makita is also quite adept at keeping the ball in the park, allowing only 46 homers in 921.1 innings.

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Although he is not likely to close in the majors, the Japanese righty does hold some experience in the role. In his rookie season, before becoming a full time starter, Makita notched 22 saves.

It is also not a given that Makita would come stateside. The prevailing thought is that if Makita is only given minor league offers, he could remain in Japan, serving as a valuable middle reliever. If he does land a major league contract, he is likely to serve in that same role, facing difficult right handed hitters in the sixth or seventh innings.

Should Makita be signed, it may not be a surprise for him to function in a role similar to that of Brad Ziegler over the years. He could, in theory, close in a pinch, but would primarily serve as a middle reliever. In an era of flamethrowing relievers, the softer tossing submariner would be quite a different look for those batters he would face.

Next: Otani signing deadline set

Kazuhisa Makita may not be as exciting a player as Shohei Otani, but he could still be s useful piece on a major league roster. Once he is posted, it will be interesting to see what type of offers he is given.