A pair of pitchers in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball are drawing interest from MLB clubs. Yokohama DeNa Baystars reliever Spencer Patton has caught the attention of a few teams, reports Robert Murray of Fansided; so too has Chunichi Dragons starter Yudai Ohno, per a report from Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Patton seems the more likely of the two to make the jump to the United States this winter, as Morosi cautions it’s “unlikely” Ohno will go to MLB in 2021.
That might simply reflect the players’ respective contractual statuses. Patton is scheduled to be a free agent at the conclusion of the NPB season this month. Ohno, on the other hand, would need to be posted by the Dragons to be eligible to join an MLB club. It’s unclear if Ohno’s unlikelihood of heading to the U.S. is an indication the Dragons wouldn’t be willing to make him available or if the 32-year-old is simply content in his current situation.
It would be hard to fault the Dragons for not wanting to post Ohno, if that is indeed the stumbling block.