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Report: Padres favorites to sign Kazuhisa Makita

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The Padres are looking like strong favorites to sign right-hander Kazuhisa Makita, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan. Makita is already en route to San Diego for a physical and has until 5 PM ET on January 10 to finalize a contract with the club.

Makita, 33, completed his seventh straight campaign with the Saitama Seibu Lions of Japan Pacific League in 2017. The submariner produced his worst numbers since he transitioned to a swingman role in 2016, though that isn’t saying much — he finished the 2017 season with a remarkable 2.30 ERA, 0.7 BB/9 and 5.0 SO/9 in 62 2/3 innings. While he’s not a strikeout wizard by any stretch of the imagination, he proved himself more than capable of handling MLB batters back in 2014, combining with Takahiro Norimoto, Yuki Nishi and Yuji Nishino to no-hit a lineup of MLB All-Stars during the Japan Series.

A report from Yahoo Japan suggests that the Padres aren’t the only team in the mix for Makita’s services, listing the Rangers as another possible landing spot for the veteran righty. No other bids have been publicized yet, however, and it seems like a foregone conclusion that Makita will end up in San Diego by the January 10 deadline.

Report: Brewers have made formal contract offer to Yu Darvish

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Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.

Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.

The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.

Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.