3 Japanese stars Dodgers can pursue in addition to Roki Sasaki

The Dodgers aren't nearly done yet.

World Baseball Classic Championship: United States v Japan
World Baseball Classic Championship: United States v Japan / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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Shugo Maki, INF

Maki, a power threat like Murakami, is the oldest of anyone on this list but is still a few years from being posted. Per posting system regulations, restrictions are placed on the amount of money a free agent can make in the international pool unless they're 25 and have a minimum of six years of NPB service. Maki is 25, but he also got his start in the same year as Murakami and Takahashi -- 2021 -- so he still has three seasons to go. However, his 2023 was even better than Murakami's in many ways. He played in 143 games, hit 29 home runs, and drove in 103 runs for a .293/.337/.530 line on the season, earning him his second All-Star appearance.

Funnily enough, Maki has gotten the better of Sasaki during their few matchups, including a three-hit day for Maki in June, which featured a triple and two RBI. If Sasaki comes over to MLB first and chooses the Dodgers, they might also want to make sure that they don't let a hitter who already knows how to get the better of their new, young ace play for another team.

NPB is a relatively small league, made up of only 12 teams with players who frequently play together on the international stage and know each other well. If the Dodgers are really looking to cement themselves as the place to be for Japanese players coming over to MLB, the recruitment might be easier than you think. Although some competition will always exist, the Dodgers have already set themselves up well for the next decade or so, and they have a lot of great options who could come over in the next few years.

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