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Braves draft pick Stewart reaches deal in Japan | AP sports

Braves draft pick Stewart reaches deal in Japan | AP sports”

Yesterday we wrote about Carter Stewart, the American pitcher who, after failing to sign with the Braves a year ago, went to junior college.

After failing to sign with Atlanta and losing a grievance against the Braves, 19-year-old right-hander Carter Stewart has agreed to a six-year contract with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Japan's Pacific League that will guarantee $6 million to $7 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The deal, which Passan reports should be finalized at the end of this month, will result in Stewart beginning his professional career in Japan's minor leagues.

He was reportedly seeking a contract in the $7 million range. However, a post-draft physical showed a wrist issue, leading to a disagreement in signing bonus figures between Stewart and Atlanta. The 6-foot-6 Stewart, whose fastball sits in the mid-90s and curveball has spun at an elite 3,000 RPMs, would be the first American amateur to join a Japanese team on a long-term deal. Stewart, under current rules, would be considered a foreign professional if he spends the next six seasons in Japan, sources said, though those rules are subject to change.

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The secondary benefit for Stewart could be even more lucrative: global free agents 25 or older can sign with any major league team without restrictions, so long as their Japanese team enters them into the posting system.

Carter Stewart might be just what Scott Boras needs.

While pitchers come and go, given the finicky nature of the arm, Stewart and Boras are gambling he'll be an attractive free agent when the time comes.

He enrolled at Eastern Florida State Junior College, finishing 2-2 with a 1.70 ERA in 74 1/3 innings with 108 strikeouts, and became eligible for the 2019 draft.



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