MLB Executives Impressed by Shota Imanaga’s Performance as Top Prospect

Shota Imanaga #18 of the Chicago Cubs in action during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on May 01, 2024 in the Queens borough of New York City.

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Shota Imanaga #18 of the Chicago Cubs in action during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on May 01, 2024 in the Queens borough of New York City.
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

 

Signing a free agent in MLB requires a lot of thought, effort, and time; not to mention financial resources.

Teams have to think about the odds of a specific free agent performing well on their squad, not just about his past track record.

That makes the whole process tricky.

Now that more than a month of the season is in the books, MLB executives took part in a fun exercise: determining who has been the best of the offseason signings.

Of course, opinions can always differ, but league executives have a pretty good idea about the talent of these players, their contract, and their performance so far in the 2024 campaign.

Considering all these factors, it’s really not surprising to see who they picked as the best offseason signing: Chicago Cubs ace Shota Imanaga.

It’s hard to vote against Shohei Ohtani, as he is mashing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but when you compare the players’ contracts, Imanaga gets the edge.

While Ohtani put pen to paper on a 10-year, $700 million deal, Imanaga signed a four-year, $53 million commitment with the Cubs.

The deal has an option that could take it to a five-year, $80 million pact.

That, for a pitcher who currently has a 0.78 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in 34.2 innings, is what you call a bargain.

Imanaga probably won’t keep an ERA under 1.00 for the entire season, and we know that, but even if he pitches 170 innings of a 2.80 ERA, he would have more than justified the investment made on him.

He has been an ace for the Cubs, and takes the crown home as the best offseason signing so far.

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