We have something to cheer about as the Blue Jays have signed Shun Yamaguchi to a 2-year deal worth $3 million per season.

Shun Yamaguchi was productive this past season in Japan’s Central League where he posted a 2.91 ERA. He also led the league with 188 strikeouts and 15 wins while pitching for the Yomiuri Giants. Shun has spent 14 years the league and had to sign a contract by Wednesday or he would be sent back to the NPB.

The 32-year-old’s primary pitch is a split finger fast ball, but he has something else unique in his repertoire; the forkball.  Major League Baseball hasn’t seen many forkball pitchers in the majors since Tim Lincecum had a changeup with forkball-like movement. The last Blue Jay to pitch the forkball was Tom Henke.

Role Outlook

During his time in the NPB he averaged just 0.8 HR/9 so he might be a good piece to the rotation in the backend. Worst case he could come out of the pen as a long reliever in a opener role, which is becoming increasingly popular.