Padres close to signing Japanese LHP Yuki Matsui

Credit: Japan Times

Credit: AP Photo

The San Diego Padres need pitching.

The Padres ‘ rotation looks empty after losing Seth Lugo, Nick Martinez, and Michael Wacha to free agency. Blake Snell and Josh Hader also looked destined to leave town. The trade with the Yankees brought four young pitchers to the Padres, but they all come with risk.

A.J. Preller and the Padres always think outside the box when cultivating their roster. There are players from several nations on the roster as MLB slowly shifts to a global sport.

Left-handed relief pitcher Yuki Matsui is a player who fits well with what the Padres are trying to do.

Reports are that the Padres and Matsui are close to an agreement on a deal. It is being reported that Matsui needs to take a physical to finalize the signing.

Matsui sits 92-94 mph with his fastball but has an excellent slider and split-finger fastball. The 28-year-old pitcher owns 236 career saves in Japan and is regarded as one of the best closers in the league.

Even though Matsui stands 5-foot-8, he gets the most out of his motion. He has proved to be very durable over the years and would move right into the Padres relief core. The thought is that Matsui could close for the Padres if Robert Suarez falters at all.

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The lefty was 2-3 last year with a 2.20 ERA, a 0.890 in 59 games, and 57 innings last year with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He saved 39 games last year and struck out 72 batters while walking only 13 hitters. He has elite control and should do well facing major-league hitters.

The Padres are not done. They need more pitching and also need help in the outfield and with a DH.

With the current budget restraints, Preller and the Padres have their work cut out for them.

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