June 24, 2024

The New York Mets announced on Friday afternoon that relief pitcher Shintaro Fujinami has departed the team because of a family issue.

According to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, the 29-year-old right-hander has taken a plane back to Japan and won’t be going back to Spring Training camp for a few days. It is anticipated that he will return to the United States well in advance of Opening Day on March 28.

On February 2, Fujinami was signed by the Mets to a one-year contract. After a rollercoaster first season spent divided between the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles, he was coming off of it.

Based on meeting all of his incentives, Fujinami’s base compensation for 2024 is projected to be $3.35 million, with the potential to reach $4.2 million. In 2023, the reliever earned $3.25 million.
Three-time Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star Fujinami began the season as a starter and went 0–4 with a 14.40 ERA and nearly equal walks to strikeouts.

However, Fujinami posted a 3.32 ERA and a 3.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his last 20 appearances with the Athletics. After being acquired by Baltimore, Fujinami made two unimpressive appearances before going on to pitch 23 games with a 2.92 ERA and 3.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

After a couple poor outings during the close of the regular season, Fujinami was left off of the Orioles postseason roster.

Throughout 2023, Fujinami was 7-8 with a 7.18 ERA, 1.494 WHIP, and 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 79.0 innings and 64 appearances.

In addition to Fujinami, the Mets added two more bullpen arms this offseason: Jake Diekman and Jorge López. Luis Severino, Sean Manaea, and Adrian Houser were recruited by the team to complete its rotation, which might not include Japanese sensation Kodai Senga at the beginning of the regular season.

New York Mets Relief Pitcher Leaves Team Due to Personal Matters

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