Kaneko staying put in Japan
Japanese right-hander Chihiro Kaneko signed a new four-year deal with the Orix Buffaloes on Wednesday, according to The Japan Times. That puts an end to speculation that the defending Pacific League MVP might be posted this offseason, though the 31-year-old remains open to coming to the Major Leagues in the future.
“I would like to do that at some point,” he told The Times.
The Phillies, Red Sox and Padres were among the teams that reportedly had scouted Kaneko.
Though considered to be less of an MLB prospect than countryman Kenta Maeda — who also won’t be posted this winter — Kaneko won the Sawamura Award in ’14 as Japan’s best starting pitcher. In 26 starts for the Buffaloes, he went 16-5 with a 1.98 ERA and 199 strikeouts over 191 innings, though he had bone cartilage cleaned from his elbow in late November. During his nine-season run with Orix, Kaneko owns a 2.69 ERA.
— Andrew Simon