Fantasy

Arizona Adds Bullpen Depth with Yoshihisa Hirano

The Diamondbacks have come to terms with Japanese righty closer Yoshihisa Hirano. In Japan, the 34-year-old accumulated 156 saves over his career, but he is probably just a back-of-the-bullpen arm for Arizona.

Just a couple of seasons ago, Hirano was striking out more than 10 batters per nine innings in Japan, which would translate to a 9.0 K/9 in the majors. Last season, his K/9 dropped to 7.4 K/9, but he still posted a respectable 2.98 ERA. The strikeout drop, which would translate to 5.5 K/9 in the majors, is likely from a velocity decline. Besides the strikeout drop, his career Japanese walk rate (2.1 BB/9) and groundball rate (53%) are decent, which helps set a nice floor.

Overall, Hirano’s 2017 season translates to a major league equivalent of 3.38 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 2.9 BB/%, and 51% GB%. Some pitchers who put up similar 2017 major league seasons were Jhan Martinez, Tony Watson, and Brandon Kintzler. Owners can maybe dream on Kintzler, but it’s going to be tough for a team to give the closer role to someone with a strikeout rate under 6.0. Speculate for saves elsewhere.

Previous Hot Stove Analysis

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Brewers Bolster Rotation with Jhoulys Chacin

Orioles Lose Zach Britton, Brad Brach Likely Closer

Giants Add Evan Longoria, Rays Create a Mess

Red Sox Bring Back Mitch Moreland

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Phillies Ink Carlos Santana to Three-Year Deal

Everyone’s Signing Relievers, But Who Will Close?

Angels Trade for Ian Kinsler

Cardinals Finally Get Their Marlins Outfielder

Cubs and Twins Gamble on Smyly and Pineda

Chase Headley Gets Dumped on Padres

Cubs and Cardinals Add Potential Closers

Giancarlo Stanton Joins Yankees

Rockies Sign Chris Iannetta

Angels Land Shohei Ohtani

Tigers Sign Mike Fiers

Dee Gordon Traded to Mariners

Cubs Sign Tyler Chatwood

Rangers Sign Mike Minor

Welington Castillo Inks Deal with White Sox

Potential Closers Traded: Boxberger and Johnson

Doug Fister Signs with Rangers

Ryon Healy Traded to Mariners

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