The Texas Rangers they announced that the right Kohei Arihara has been designated for assignment. The measure opens a place on the poster for Mike Foltynewicz, who returns to action after being reinstated from the COVID-19-related injury list.
Arihara was the Rangers’ biggest free agent expense in the 2020-21 offseason, as Texas spent a total of $ 7.44MM to get the right on a two-year contract. $ 1.24MM of that money went towards a posting fee at the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (Arihara’s NPB club), while Arihara himself received $ 6.2MM in salary, $ 3.6MM this season and $ 2.4MM in 2022 :
Now, it all seems like some kind of sunk cost to the Rangers, as it seems pretty unlikely that another team would absorb that cost by claiming Arihara from the Waivers. If Arihara signed elsewhere on a minor league contract, a new team would only owe him the prorated portion of a minimum wage, leaving Texas on the hook for the rest of the money.
The 29-year-old Arihara started his MLB career impressively, posting a 2.21 ERA in his first four starts and 20 1/3 innings. However, he struggled a lot in his next three starts due to what was ultimately revealed to be the development of an aneurysm in his pitching shoulder.
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Arihara underwent surgery to remove that aneurysm in May and did not return to the Rangers until September, posting a 6.75 ERA in the 12 innings after Arihara’s surgery.