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The Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, and San Diego Padres have more in common than being three of the most disappointing teams of this Major League Baseball season. Some of their best players -- Shohei Ohtani, Kodai Senga, and Ha-Seong Kim -- were obtained through the posting system after beginning their careers playing in either Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball or the Korea Baseball Organization. 

Come this winter, more teams will be turning to the posting system in pursuit of similar success stories. It's early yet, but three notable players are expected to be submitted this winter for MLB consideration: Japanese pitchers Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shota Imanaga and Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee. We here at CBS Sports have spent recent weeks talking to various front-office sources and evaluators about those players and how their games might translate to MLB. Below, you'll find all that information, as well as potential suitors.

Before we get to The Good Stuff, we feel obligated to explain the mechanism. The posting system, for those unaware, is part of MLB's transfer process with NPB and KBO. Once a player is posted, MLB teams have 30 days to reach an agreement with them. From there, the player's former international team will receive a fee that is determined by the player's total contract value. Here's a breakdown of the tiers: 

  • Contract worth less than $25 million: 20% of contract value
  • Contract worth $25 million to $50 million: $5 million plus 17.5% of amount over $25 million
  • Contract worth more than $50 million: $9.275 million plus 15% of amount over $50 million

With that out of the way, let's get to it. Do note that the players are presented in descending order of their expected cost.

1. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, RHP, Orix Buffaloes

What's his deal? Yamamoto, 25, is a highly decorated right-hander. Last season, he won both the Pacific League Most Valuable Player and the Eiji Sawamura Award (the NPB equivalent of the Cy Young Award). He's made five All-Star teams and, as of this writing, he's a three-time ERA champion and two-time Triple Crown winner. Yamamoto has amassed career marks that include a 1.74 ERA and a 4.54 strikeout-to-walk ratio. If you watched last spring's World Baseball Classic, you saw him take the mound for Team Japan. Oh, and he recently threw his second career no-hitter, and did it with New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman in attendance

What's his game? Yamamoto receives high marks for his command over a varied arsenal. He throws his mid-90s fastball about half the time, with an upper-80s splitter serving as his main secondary pitch. He'll also work in a mid-70s curveball and a low-90s cutter. Each of those pitches has gone for a strike more than 65% of the time this season, nodding at his above-average geography. Yamamoto's splitter is his best pitch when it comes to generating chases and whiffs. He's listed at just 5-foot-10, but these days that could work to his advantage as teams have warmed up to the vertical approach angle concept. 

What's his market? The New York Mets, who have had a great deal of success with Senga this season, have been tied to Yamamoto throughout the summer. The Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, and Kansas City Royals have also been rumored to have scouted him. 

2. Jung Hoo Lee, CF, Kiwoom Heroes 

What's his deal? Lee, 25, hasn't played since fracturing his ankle in July. He's nicknamed "Grandson of the Wind"in a nod to his father, himself a former KBO Most Valuable Player Award recipient. Lee is a lefty batter with a career .340/.407/.491 slash line as well as 65 home runs and 69 stolen bases. I 

What's his game? It's to be seen if and how Lee is impacted by the fractured ankle heading forward. Up to this point, he's been regarded as a plus runner and defender. Those attributes are important to his game, since there's always skepticism about how KBO hitters will take to MLB pitching. At minimum, he may require some time to adjust to his new surroundings, making him more dependent on his secondary skills. Lee has displayed above-average contact and zone-management skills throughout his career, having walked more than he's struck out in five consecutive seasons. This year, he whiffed on just 9% of the swings he took overall, including only 3% of the time versus fastballs. Lee does have some juice in his bat, though the home-run ball has seldom been part of his attack (23 of his 65 career home runs came in 2022).

What's his market? The Giants have scouted Lee extensively and have an obvious need for a center fielder. The Padres are also reportedly interested and may have a small advantage given that he used to be teammates with Ha-Seong Kim. 

3. Shota Imanaga, LHP, Yokohama DeNA BayStars

What's his deal? Imanaga, 30, is by far the oldest player of this group. You may recall that he started for Japan in the World Baseball Classic final against Team U.S.A. He's a left-hander with a career 2.96 ERA and a 3.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Imanaga is nowhere near as decorated as Yamamoto, but he has also made All-Star Games and thrown a no-hitter before, with the latter coming in July 2022.

What's his game? Imanaga is a fastball-heavy pitcher, slinging his rising low-90s heater close to 60% of the time. He's thrown just one other pitch more than 15% of the time this season: his low-80s slider. Imanaga does have a ton of other pitches that play cameo roles, including a low-70s curve and a low-80s changeup. He does a good job of generating chases with his fastball, while his slider has coerced nearly 40% whiffs. 

What's his market? Most of the usual suspects have been tied to Imanaga, including the Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, Giants, Padres, and Phillies. Unlike Yamamoto, Imanaga is likely to be viewed as a secondary or tertiary option. (Though, as one veteran talent evaluator noted, it takes only one team to break the market wide open, à la the Red Sox last offseason with Masataka Yoshida.)