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Mets sign Shintaro Fujinami, finalize deal with Jake Diekman

The team has added a pair of pitchers to their bullpen for the 2024 season.

New York Mets v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Mets have signed right-hander Shintaro Fujinami to a one-year deal worth $3.35 million with a possible $850,000 in incentives, according to Jon Heyman. In addition, the club finalized their deal with left-hander Jake Diekman pending a physical, according to Andy Martino.

Fujinami came over last winter from Nippon Professional Baseball after a successful career, which included a 3.41 ERA and over 1,000 strikeouts. He was posted by the Hanshin Tigers and was signed by the Athletics to a one-year deal worth $3.25 million with the intention of joining Oakland’s rotation. However, he posted a 14.40 ERA in four starts and was relegated to the bullpen. He especially struggled with his command while in Oakland, posting a 5.47 BB/9 in 49 13 innings.

After pitching to an 8.57 ERA and a 4.90 FIP with the A’s, he was traded to the the Orioles in exchange for Easton Lucas fared much better in Baltimore. He pitched 29 23 innings with the O’s and posted a 4.85 ERA and a 4.13 FIP while recording his first two major league saves. He improved his walk rate to 4.55 BB/9 and increased his strikeout rate from 9.30 K/9 to 9.71 K/9. Joel Sherman added that Fujinami was signed to be a reliever and also has minor league options available, so he can be optioned should be continue to struggle in the majors.

Fujinami will join a bullpen that features Edwin Díaz, Brooks Raley, Adam Ottavino, Jorge López, Drew Smith, and Diekman. The team has been rumored to be in on Diekman since yesterday, and he is now officially on board as a complement to fellow South Paw Raley. Diekman split 2023 between the White Sox and the Rays, posting an unsightly 7.94 ERA in 11 13 innings for Chicago before excelling to the tune of a 2.18 ERA in 45 13 innings with Tampa Bay. The Mets will fill the rest of their bullpen spots with a plethora of options who are competing for a spot during Spring Training.