Sports

Deadline to sign Shota Imanaga expires in three days

Imonaga’s 45-day negotiation period with major league teams begins on November 28. Today is day 42 of said period, and the Japanese southpaw is still on the free market. The 30-year-old has until 5pm ET on Thursday to sign a contract with the MLB club.

Jon Paul Morosi of MLB Network wrote Sunday that Imonaga continues to attract interest from at least five teams. Jim Bowden of The Athletic previously reported that the Cubs, Angels, Giants and Red Sox were the finalists to sign the left-hander. The figure was confirmed by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, who wrote Sunday that Imonaga “has four teams seriously bidding on his services,” including the Red Sox and Cubs.

But San Francisco could emerge as the favorite, according to Mark Feisand of MLB.com.

“Everything points to the Giants,” the source said. “They lost (Shohei) Ohtani and (Yoshinobu) Yamamoto, and even though Imonaga isn’t on the same level as those guys, they don’t want to be left out again.”

Feinsand recently named the Yankees and Mets as the other two teams vying for Imonaga. The left-hander posted a 2.96 ERA in more than 1,100 innings during his eight years in Nippon Professional Baseball. According to Van Sand, some scouts considered Imonaga to be a second or third starter on a major league team.

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