Why the Chicago White Sox need Shota Imanaga to save their 2024 season

The Chicago White Sox should pursue Shota Imanaga in free agency.

World Baseball Classic Championship: United States v Japan
World Baseball Classic Championship: United States v Japan / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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The free agency period in Major League Baseball has still been at somewhat of a lull, as no team has made a big splash except for the Los Angeles Dodgers who signed three big pieces of the puzzle for their team. Now they have Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow.

The Chicago White Sox have made small moves but haven’t made a huge splash yet this offseason. Fans are waiting for them to do something to help improve the team and turn them into winners.

The team is weak on pitching as it stands right now and could get weaker if they trade away Dylan Cease. Should they do that, and even if they don’t do that, they need to get a high-impact arm that won't be going anywhere anytime soon. That's where Japan’s Shota Imanaga enters.

Many might remember Imanaga from the World Baseball Classic as he faced the United States as the starting pitcher in the championship game. Not only did Imanaga shine in that game but he also has been a solid and steady pitcher in Japan over his career.

It would appear as if he is ready to come to the United States to pitch.

Would the White Sox take advantage of this talent and get themselves someone with superstar potential.? Imanaga is not going to cost nearly as much as some of the other pitching prospects who are out there right now and that could appeal to the White Sox.

Although his numbers are solid, and he’s been consistent, he’s not going to command a big payday until he proves himself at the big league level.

What makes Imanaga solid when it comes to numbers? In his eight years of playing in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League, he has started 165 games and has a 3.18 ERA. In his last two seasons, he has managed to earn a 2.26 and 2.80 ERA, Imanaga has managed to keep batters from reaching first base by keeping his strikeouts near 150 plus or better most seasons. He also doesn’t allow many walks, which is something that’s, of course, highly sought after in a starting pitcher.

The Whtie Sox would have to pay a fee to sign Imanaga and that fee would be determined by how much they would give him in a contract. Would the White Sox, known for their tight purse strings, want to pay a fee to sign a player like Imanaga? If the talent was good enough, I would hope that they would, but it’s doubtful. Still, the Whtie Sox pitching rotation would be better with Imanaga in it. Maybe they should “roll the dice” and “take a chance” on a guy who could end up being their best pitcher.

The White Sox need a guy like Imanaga in their rotation. He’s a great talent with a ton of upside and would help the Sox improve their rotation. Granted, it’s going to take a little bit of money to get him but imagine what the return on that investment could be? It could be great. Chicago needs to take a chance on a player who’s going to make it big in the big leagues and have an impact.