MLB Rumors: Two Teams Drop Out Of Imanaga Sweepstakes; 3 Still Standing

One of the top remaining pitchers on the free agent market is Japanese start Shota Imanaga. His posting window is coming down to the wire, as it closes on Thursday, leaving only about 48 hours left for the left-hander to make his decision. 

His choice apparently has been whittled down, however, as two teams are said to have dropped out of the bidding:

MLB Insider Jon Heyman says that the San Francisco Giants, thought to be a frontrunner as recently as Monday, are now "looking elsewhere", while the Los Angeles Angels, another top suitor, are also out. 

The Boston Red Sox are one of the interested parties remaining, but according to BoSox Insider Chris Cotillo of MassLive, "if the Red Sox want Imanaga, they would have to step up efforts significantly."

The New York Yankees, as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers, are also supposedly still in the running. Both teams need to add solid depth to the middle of their rotations.

The Mets recently signed southpaw Sean Manaea, so their need to sign Imanaga is significantly reduced. They signed Kodai Senga to a five-year, $75 million deal last winter out of Japan, and Imanaga is expected to command more, even up to $100 million. 

Imanaga, 30, has a lifetime 3.18 ERA in the Nippon Baseball League across 8 seasons, with a 64-50 record. Last year, he posted a career-high 188 strikeouts in 159 innings, to go along with a  2.66 ERA.

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