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#pounditSaturday, June 22, 2024

Dodgers favored to sign another Japanese star?

A Dodgers hat in the dugout

Aug 16, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detailed view of Los Angeles Dodgers hat and glove in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers have only just started their season, but they may already have their sights set on another star player joining them for 2025.

As part of a Sunday notes column, Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote that many already see the Dodgers as frontrunners for Japanese ace Roki Sasaki. Sasaki, perhaps the best pitcher in Japan, has long-term MLB aspirations, and at least one executive things the Dodgers are certain to sign him.

“Every team in baseball wants this guy, but there’s no way he’s going anywhere else but the Dodgers. We all know it,” one GM told Nightengale.

The Dodgers might not need more help, but their prominence with Japanese players will only help them if they want Sasaki. It helped them land Yoshinobu Yamamoto prior to this season, and their connection with Shohei Ohtani will also be beneficial.

Sasaki is the youngest player ever to have thrown a perfect game in Japan and is seen as even better than Yamamoto. The 22-year-old has made it clear that he intends to play in MLB eventually, and that could happen as soon as 2025.


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