A potentially intriguing free-agent pitcher may be off the market before it fully develops. Right-hander Randy Messenger, who has spent the last three seasons dominating Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan for the Hanshin Tigers, has set a Nov. 15 deadline to entertain offers from major league teams, said his agent, Matt Sosnick. Messenger, 32, has a standing three-year offer from Hanshin that with incentives is worth up to $15 million. He is seeking a two-year deal in the $8 million to $10 million range to return to MLB. While multiple teams have offered a one-year deal – one team went to one year plus an option – none has reached two years yet, Sosnick said. The mid-level starting-pitching market is usually one of the last to materialize, and accelerating the timetable – Hanshin expects an answer from Messenger by mid-month – could keep him from returning to MLB. After reinventing himself as a starter in Japan with the help of a split-fingered fastball, the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Messenger has thrived. He led the Central League in innings pitched and strikeouts this season with 196 1/3 and 183, and his 2.89 ERA was fifth among starters. It was his third straight sub-3.00 ERA season, though with run-scoring up across NPB this season, it marked Messenger’s best year compared to the rest of the league.
Free-agent RHP Randy Messenger sets deadline for offers from major league teams
Yahoo! Sports | Nov 6