Japanese star pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano failed to agree to a contract with a major league team by Thursday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline.
A right-hander who turned 31 on Oct. 11, Sugano had been posted by the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League on Dec. 8.
The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly had interest in signing the Japanese veteran.
Sugano was 14-2 with a 1.97 ERA and three shutouts in 20 games last season, striking out 131 and walking 25 in 137 1/3 innings while allowing 97 hits. He is 101-49 with a 2.32 ERA over eight seasons in Japan.
Sugano started for Japan against the United States in the semifinal of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He did not get a decision in the Americans’ 2-1 win, allowing an unearned run and three hits in six innings with six strikeouts and a walk.
Under the posting agreement, the fee would have been 20 per cent of the first $25 million US of a major league contract, including earned bonuses and options. The percentage drops to 17.5 per cent of the next $25 million and 15 per cent of any amount over $50 million.