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The Chicago Cubs appear to have made one of the biggest moves of the MLB offseason Tuesday after the team tentatively agreed to a contract with Japanese left-hander Shota Imanaga, according to multiple reports.

The southpaw would still need to undergo a medical review, scheduled for Thursday in Chicago.

Imanaga spent the past eight seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan’s highest level of baseball widely considered the second-best baseball league in the world behind MLB. 

He posted a 3.18 ERA in 1,002⅔ innings in his time in NPB.

Although Imanaga is not as highly regarded as compatriot Yoshinobu Yamamoto, he is still an intriguing potential mid-rotation starter for the Cubs. Yamamoto signed a lucrative deal with the Dodgers earlier this offseason. 

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The Dodgers also signed pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani to an unprecedented long-term contract. The two-time American League MVP spent the first six years of his professional baseball career in the U.S. with the Los Angeles Angels.

The 30-year-old Imanaga throws a variety of pitches effectively. His fastball has reached speeds in the mid-90s, and he can also throw an effective splitter, slider and curveball.

Shota Imanag pitches in the second inning

Imanaga underwent a procedure in 2020 to repair his damaged shoulder, and he missed the COVID-delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Imanaga competed in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, starting against the U.S. in the gold medal game.

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