The Seibu Lions are planning to post Yusei Kikuchi after the season. Sources close to the situation have indicated that the Lions have already agreed to allow Kikuchi to pursue his dreams of playing in the Majors. Kikuchi could formally select an agent after the regular season. Agent possibilities are said to include Scott Boras, Arn Tellem, and the Wasserman Media Group.
Scouts from teams that have appeared at Kikuchi’s games include the Phillies, Padres, Dodgers, Royals, Red Sox, Yankees, Diamondbacks, Giants, Brewers, Rangers, Rays, and Indians. Nikkan Gendai believes the Padres and Dodgers are the current front runners.
Incidentally, with regards to the media reports about Kikuchi and the Majors this season, Kikuchi told Daily Sports:
This season, I found it difficult when conversations were about the number of MLB scouts that came. I didn’t want any articles about me wanting to go to the MLB to come out. I didn’t want people to misunderstand and think that I was doing all this to appeal [to the scouts]. I just wanted to win a pennant. And when things don’t go well, people start thinking, “Yusei, are you focusing on the Majors?” It was difficult because I didn’t want my teammates to think that way.
I have wanted to go to the Majors for a long time. But it wasn’t a reality, it was just something to see on TV. After I won nine games in my sixth year, I went to Dodgers Stadium for the first time. I saw [Clayton] Kershaw pitch and at that moment I thought, I will regret it if I die without ever pitching [in the Majors]. This was the moment things changed from “I want to go” to “I will go.” I decided I had to tell the team, so I brought it up during contract negotiations that year.