45-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Takashi Saito in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Takashi Saito Contract Information:
Signed with Arizona in December of 2011.
Saito will play for the Rakuten Eagles in Japan in 2013, the Kyodo news service reports.
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Takashi Saito Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Takashi Saito: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Takashi Saito.
The 41-year-old Saito didn't pitch regularly until July due to a number of minor injuries, but was a very good reliever when he was healthy. He struck out 23 and walked nine in 26.2 innings and ended with a 2.03 ERA. There's no doubt that Saito can still be an effective reliever, but it is very doubtful that he could get through an entire season. The D-Backs signed him in December to work as part of their bridge to J.J. Putz.
Saito had a strong season at age 40 and served as one of Atlanta's setup men. He struggled with a shoulder injury most of the second half of the season and was limited to six outings in September, but should be fully healthy for spring training. His fastball still averaged 91 mph and he had an excellent 69:17 K:BB ratio in 54 innings. The Brewers signed him to a one-year deal in December to bolster their bridge to closer John Axford, and he's also the closer-in-waiting for the Brewers should Axford struggle.
Saito continued a trend of walking more batters and striking out less, though he was relatively effective for Boston out of the bullpen after overcoming an elbow injury in 2008. Having signed with Atlanta, the Braves plan to use him in a setup role and fill-in closer when Billy Wagner isn't available for duty. At 40, his career is winding down, but he can repeat his somewhat fortunate results with the Red Sox if his walk rate (4.04 BB/9IP in 2009) takes a step back toward his career mark (2.82 BB/9IP) this season.
Saito pitched well again in his third year in the U.S., recording 18 saves with a 2.49 ERA and 60:16 K:BB in 47 innings. The low innings count was due to an elbow injury that forced Saito to the DL for two months and though he was able to return in September, the command was not there. Saito turns 39 in February, so considering his elbow woes, it's possible his career is over after the Dodgers let him go last fall. Should he be healthy and interested in pitching another year, he'll likely get a shot in a team's bullpen.
At a salary of just $1 million in 2007, Saito was one of baseball's better bargains after saving 39 games with a 1.40 ERA for the Dodgers. Saito's strikeout rate took a small dip last year, but with 78 in 64.1 innings, he provides nice value in that category as well. To top things off, Saito has excellent control (career BB/9 rate of just 2.3). Barring something unforeseen, Saito will be back as the Dodgers' closer in 2008 and should again be among the league's elite at his position.
Dodgers are relieved to have Saito back in 2007, as he ranked as one of the N.L.'s top relievers in his U.S. debut. Saito's 107 strikeouts led all MLB relievers and are due in large part to his command, experience and deceptiveness, as he's not a prototypical power closer. Saito saved just 24 games in 2006 due in large part to the presence of Danys Baez and he'll have Jonathan Broxton breathing down his neck in 2007, but he should still be one of the top closers this year.
Left Japan as a free agent after the 2005 season with an intent to sign with an MLB team. Saito, who'll turn 36 in February, went 3-4, 3.82 as a fifth starter and swingman last year, with a 1.32 WHIP and a 93-to-29 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 106 innings. If Saito does sign with an MLB club, look for him to see work as a middle reliever, with what little roto impact he has probably coming from his home park.