MLB Rumors: Grading the Mets latest surprising bullpen addition

The New York Mets have continued their trend of making frugal signings on Friday, adding Shintaro Fujinami to their bullpen. Below, we grade the signing and discuss how it impacts the Mets

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles / G Fiume/GettyImages
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The New York Mets continued their trend of making frugal signings on Friday, signing Japanese right-hander Shintaro Fujinami to a one-year, $3.35 million contract.

Fujinami made his Major-League debut last season with the Oakland Athletics. The right-hander struggled in Oakland, going 5-8 with a 8.57 ERA before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles.

The 29-year-old posted better numbers in Baltimore, going 2-0 in 30 appearances with a 4.85 ERA.

Now, the right-hander is set to begin the next chapter of his career in New York with the Mets.

Below, we grade the signing and discuss how it impacts the Mets for 2024.

Grading the Shintaro Fujinami signing for the Mets

Obviously, the stats Shintaro posted in 2023 are a bit of a red flag. Between his stops in Oakland and Baltimore, he went 7-8 with a 7.18 ERA in 64 appearances. He started seven games and logged 79 innings in total.

He also averaged 5.1 walks per nine innings and 8.3 hits allowed, which is a major concern. However, there are some perks to adding Fujinami.

Firstly, he possesses a high strikeout rate, having averaged 9.5 per nine innings. He also is a guy that can be used as a starter or a reliever. The Mets got him at a good price too.

While this isn't an earth-shattering move by any means, this could help the Mets. For just one year and $3.35 million, it could be a low-risk, high-reward type move. He'll have an opportunity to prove himself and either earn a spot in the rotation or in the bullpen.

It's a solid frugal addition for the Mets. It doesn't necessarily move the needle for a team that lost 87 games last year, but it could turn out okay for New York as they try to bounce back. He has high upside and can miss bats. His fastball also averaged 98.4 mph last season and even touched 101 mph.

Grade: C+

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