Two stars from Japan's Nippon Pro Baseball will be posted for Major League Baseball teams this offseason.
The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters plan to post right-hander Kohei Arihara, a source confirmed to Jon Morosi of MLB.com.
Fighters outfielder Haruki Nishikawa will also be posted, according to Jim Allen of Jballallen.com, citing reports from multiple Japanese outlets.
Arihara, 28, has spent his entire six-year career with Nippon-Ham. He threw a team-high 132 2/3 innings in 2020, posting a 3.46 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 106 strikeouts, 30 walks, three complete games, and one shutout. His best season came in 2019 when he was a finalist for the Eiji Sawamura Award - Japan's equivalent of the Cy Young - after winning 15 contests and recording a 2.46 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.
Nishikawa, a 10-year veteran, has also spent his entire career with the Fighters. The 28-year-old slashed a career-high .306/.430/.396 with five homers, 39 RBIs, 42 stolen bases, and 92 walks over 523 plate appearances in 2020. He's led the Pacific League in stolen bases three times, owns three Gold Gloves, and has posted an OBP of .378 or higher in five straight seasons.
Per the MLB-NPB posting agreement, every MLB team will have 30 days to negotiate with Arihara and Nishikawa once they're posted. Any club that signs them will have to pay the Fighters 20% of the first $25 million of their contract as a posting fee.
If the players don't sign in MLB, they'd return to Nippon-Ham in 2021.