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[11/12/2014] NPB: Eight players file for free agency

by on Nov.12, 2014 @ 5:27 pm, under NPB
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The NPB released a list of players that filed their FA option on Tuesday. Teams will be allowed to approach these players on Thursday.

Pos Name JPN Name ENG Team Age Type Salary Rank Compensation
INF 小谷野 栄一 Koyano, Eiichi HAM 34 INT 70.00M C None
Signed 3-year deal with Orix worth over 300 million on Nov 27.
NF 鳥谷 敬 Toritani, Takashi HAN 33 INT 300.00M A Player + 50% 2014 salary OR 80% 2014 salary
Hanshin or MLB
OF 金城 龍彦 Kinjo, Tatsuhiko YOK 38 INT 40.00M C None
To sign with Yomiuri
C 相川 亮二 Aikawa, Ryoji YAK 38 INT 110.00M B Player + 20% 2014 salary OR 30% 2014 salary
To sign with Yomiuri
P 金子 千尋 Kaneko, Chihiro ORI 31 DOM 200.00M A Player + 50% 2014 salary OR 80% 2014 salary
Orix or other NPB team
INF 大引 啓次 Obiki, Keiji HAM 30 DOM 70.00M B Player + 40% 2014 salary OR 60% 2014 salary
Signed 3-year deal with Yakult worth an estimated 300 million on Nov 25.
P 成瀬 善久 Naruse, Yoshihisa LOT 29 DOM 144.00M B Player + 40% 2014 salary OR 60% 2014 salary
Signed 3-year deal with Yakult worth estimated 600 million on Nov 27.
P 能見 篤史 Nomi, Atsushi HAN 35 DOM 150.00M B Player + 40% 2014 salary OR 60% 2014 salary
Signed 3-year deal with Hanshin worth estimated 450 million on Nov 13.

* Salaries are not official, only estimates

[11/7/2014] Posts of Interest for the 2014 Off-season

by on Nov.07, 2014 @ 7:06 am, under NPB

[12/18/2014] Rumors: Kenta Maeda, Yohei Oshima, Seung-Hwan Oh

by on Dec.19, 2014 @ 3:45 am, under NPB
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Some more numbers from Kyuji Fujikawa's contract with the Texas Rangers, from CBS Sports' Jon Heyman: $1M '15 salary, $2M club option for '16 w/ 100K buyout. so $1.1M guarantee. '16 base can rises to $3.5M on '15 gf. Source: Jon Heyman Twitter 12/17/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars held a press conference for Hideki Okajima (38) on Thursday. He was assigned the number twenty-one and agreed to a contract worth an estimated sixty million yen plus incentives. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014

The Hanshin Tigers are planning to send a representative to Korea to negotiate terms for the second year of Seung-Hwan Oh's (32) two-year contract. The Tigers are also hoping to learn more about what Oh has planned after the 2015 season. Source: Sanspo 12/18/2014 ... Daily Sports is reporting that Oh is open to remaining in Japan after the 2015 season, based on information taken from a source close to the pitcher. Tigers' general manger Katsuhiro Nakamura feels it could come down to either staying in the NPB or returning to Korea. Source: Daily Sports 12/18/2014

Kenta Maeda (26) met the Hiroshima Carp official at Mazda Stadium on Thursday for preliminary salary negotiations and was told that they were not planning to post him to the Majors this off-season. Maeda accepted the decision. The two sides are expected to finalize a contract for the 2015 season before the end of the year. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014, Sports Hochi 12/18/2014, Daily Sports 12/18/2014

Yohei Oshima (29) resumed salary negotiations with the Chunichi Dragons on Thursday and decided to agree to their original offer of seventy-four million yen (17.75 million yen raise). Oshima went over the numbers with team representative Kazuo Nishiyama and felt better about where he stood with the team. He also did not want negotiations to drag out for too long. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014

Yuki Yoshimura (30) met the Softbank Hawks for salary negotiations on Thursday and placed their forty-five million yen (ten million yen raise) offer on hold because he felt he deserved a little more. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014, Sponichi 12/18/2014

The Hawks re-signed Masato Sakata (21) to an Ikusei contract. His uniform number will remain 120. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014

The Yakult Swallows are interested in Yomiuri senryokugai Suguru Ino (31). Source: Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014

Yokohama senryokugai Kazumasa Kikuchi (32) had surgery to clean out his right shoulder in October and is not yet ready to retire. He is hoping to attend tryouts with teams during spring camp. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014

Thirty-eight-year-old pitcher Tomokazu Oka is hoping to continue playing next year and is waiting for an offer. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014

[12/18/2014] Chihiro Kaneko, Yakult Swallows, Chiba Lotte Marines

by on Dec.19, 2014 @ 3:12 am, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers want a chance to speak directly with Chihiro Kaneko (31), but were told by his agent that he will only meet with the top teams. The Tigers believe that means they will have to one of a handful of teams remaining after Kaneko narrows down his options. The Tigers are expected to offer a three-year deal, but could also go to four years. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014 ... The Tigers could offer Kaneko two kinds of multi-year deals: a two-year contract with posting and a longer term contract that could go up to four years. They could also offer the uniform number eighteen. Source: Sports Hochi 12/18/2014 ... The Tigers understand they may have to revise their offer a number of times before reaching an agreement. Source: Daily Sports 12/18/2014

The media learned on Wednesday that the Yakult Swallows received a list of protected players from the Yomiuri Giants on Monday. The Swallows are planning to make a decision on their compensation for losing Ryoji Aikawa after Lotte and Nippon Ham decide on their compensation for Yoshihisa Naruse and Keiji Obiki. Source: Sanspo 12/18/2014, Sponichi 12/18/2014

The Chiba Lotte Marines are still hoping to decide on their compensation for losing Yoshihise Naruse before the end of the year. Source: Sanspo 12/18/2014

[12/18/2014] Yomiuri Giants, Hiroshima Carp, Yakult Swallows

by on Dec.19, 2014 @ 3:08 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • In the trial between Hidetoshi Kiyotake and the Yomiuri Giants, the Tokyo District Court ruled against Kiyotake and ordered him to pay Yomiuri 1.6 million yen in damages. Kiyotake filed the original lawsuit in December 2011 after his termination following an internal scuffle over personnel changes. He sued Yomiuri for sixty-two million yen for an unfair dismissal and defamation. Yomiuri countered with a 100 million yen defamation lawsuit of their own. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014, Daily Sports 12/18/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Yoshikazu Kura could become the first player in franchise history to play in a game as catcher after turning forty. Hiroshima has had ten players in their forties but none have been catchers. Kura will turn forty on July 27, 2015. Source: Daily Sports 12/18/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Ryo Akiyoshi's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a boy, on the 16th. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014

[12/18/2014] Rakuten Eagles, Seibu Lions, Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Dec.19, 2014 @ 2:56 am, under NPB
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Rakuten Eagles

Seibu Lions

  • Hideto Asamura wants to focus on second base and is willing to give up short. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Kimiyasu Kudo is planning to add tire flipping to spring camp workouts next year. He feels it will be a good way to break up the monotony and make things fun for players. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Former Hanshin Tiger Naohisa Sugiyama will join the staff as Hiroshi Moriwaki's media relations manager and personal assistant, effective January 1. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • The Fighters held a press conference to announce that Masao Kida (46) will join their staff as an assistant general manager, effective January 1, 2015. Source: official announcement, Sponichi 12/18/2014
  • Yuji Arahari's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl weighing 2,982 grams, on December 17. Source: official announcement

[12/17/2014] Rumors: Chihiro Kaneko, Norihiro Nakamura

by on Dec.18, 2014 @ 4:48 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Orix Buffaloes' last offer may have been three years at 1.5 million yen.
  • In addition to Orix, Hanshin, Chunichi, Yokohama, and Rakuten are all said to be interested.
  • The Hanshin Tigers held internal discussions on Tuesday and are closer to finalizing terms for their offer. They will most likely put together a competitive three-year contract, but the sky will not be the limit. They may also be willing to post Kaneko after two years. They may be ready to submit their offer soon.
  • The Buffaloes know that Kaneko likes to think things through and is the type of person that needs to be convinced before making a decision. They would like to know what he wants before the end of the year, but realize things could spill into 2015.

Source: Sanspo 12/17/2014, Sanspo 12/17/2014, Daily Sports 12/17/2014, Sports Hochi 12/17/2014, Sports Hochi 12/17/2014, Sponichi 12/17/2014, Sponichi 12/17/2014

Kaneko updated his blog again.

To my fans,

Thank you for all the comments.

I read all of them.

I wanted to talk about free agency, something everyone is curious about.

I was once asked, "Aren't you supposed to exercise your FA option when you know there is another team you want to play for?"

I have never imagined playing for another team or signing a contract with another team during the season while playing as a member of the Buffaloes.

After I exercised my option, I received offers from other teams and listened to each one with fresh ears.

It's not just about my evaluation. Teams are telling me about things like how they break down data, their plans for team development, and what the team owner is thinking. Some teams have told me about their ties with the community.

This is a first for me. It has been very exciting and informative.

This is something I was able to experience because I exercised my FA option.

I focused on my performance during the season and then listened to offers for the first time after exercising my FA option. It made me realize again, just how important this is for me.

That is why I am still thinking, still struggling.

I am not trying to get teams to increase their offers and I'm not trying to figure out the right time to sell...

I am thinking hard again today because I want to give everyone good news!

Oh, things are going well with my right elbow. It's no longer really causing me problems in my day-to-day activities.

===

Seibu's Takumi Kuriyama was offered a two-year contract, but instead signed a one-year deal. Source: ZakZak 12/17/2014

The Tigers exercised a club option with Matt Murton. At about 450 million yen (based on the current conversion rate of one dollar = 116 yen), he will be the second highest paid player in franchise history, behind Tomoaki Kanemoto's 550 million yen in 2009. Source: Daily Sports 12/17/2014, Sponichi 12/17/2014

Norihiro Nakamura (41) received an "offer" from Gunma Diamond Pegasus (BC League) senior director Alex Ramirez. Nakamura is still waiting for an offer from the NPB. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/17/2014

[12/17/2014] Meikyukai News and Notes

by on Dec.18, 2014 @ 4:46 am, under NPB
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The Meikyukai will hold a meeting in Hawaii on Wednesday. They will most likely discuss eligibility requirements. Pitchers are required to either win 200 or more games or 250 or more saves to qualify. Some Meikyukai members feel 200 victories might be too high for present-day pitchers. Of the fifty-six current members, only fifteen are pitchers. Source: Sponichi 12/17/2014

Organizational changes. Sadaharu Oh (chairman) and Shigeo Nagashima (director) will step down from their respective positions to become honorary advisers. Vice chairman Koji Yamamoto will take over as chairman. Two vice chairman will most likely be named: Isao Shibata and Atsuya Furuta. Kazuhiro Sasaki and former Hiroshima manager Kenjiro Nomura will be added as directors. Source: Sponichi 12/17/2014 ... Yamamoto was officially named the new chairman on Wednesday. Shibata and Furuta were named co-vice chairman. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/17/2014

Koji Yamamoto would like to schedule more youth baseball clinics in Japan that feature younger Meikyukai members, like Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki. Source: Sponichi 12/17/2014

[12/17/2014] Nakamura pulls out of Spring Koshien, 15U World Cup will take place in Fukushima

by on Dec.18, 2014 @ 4:35 am, under High School, Spring Koshien
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The Japan High School Baseball Federation announced that they received and approved a request from Nakamura High School in Kochi Prefecture to withdraw as a Twenty-First Century candidate for the 2014 Spring Tournament. According to the Federation, a member of the team was caught harassing a student.

Nakamura was one of nine high schools that made it into the final round for the three available Twenty-First Century slots.

Source: Sponichi 12/17/2014

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The Baseball Federation of Japan acknowledged that the Third 15U World Cup tournament will take place in Iwaki, Fukushima in August 2016. Source: Sanspo 12/12/2014, Jiji Press 12/12/2014

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Coaching license workshops for former players took place in Tokyo over the weekend (December 13, 14). Seven lectures (about seven hours) were held on Saturday, five (around six hours) on Sunday. Another session will be held in Osaka this weekend (December 20, 21).

A total 147 former players attended the workshop. Among them: Haruki Ihara, Daisuke Araki, Toshiro Yufune, Mac Suzuki, Takashi Ishii, Yasuhiko Yabuta, Yasuhiro Ichiba, Kenichi Yazawa, Kunio Jonouchi, Hisao Niura, Keiji Fukui, Mikinori Kato, Shigeki Noguchi, Taisei Takagi, Keiichi Lee, Isamu Kida, Hiroshi Shibahara, Ryosuke Sawai, Mitsuo Sumi, Michio Sato, Mitsuru Okuzono, Makoto Kito, Kaoru Nimura, Ken Hirano, Takehiro Ishii, Kenji Awaguchi, Kazumi Sonokawa, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Koji Otsuka, and Misao Takaura.

Source: Daily Sports 12/13/2014, Sports Hochi 12/13/2014, Sports Hochi 12/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/13/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014, Sponichi 12/14/2014, Sponichi 12/14/2014

[12/17/2014] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Dec.18, 2014 @ 3:48 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hideki Matsui and Derek Jeter will participate in the Tomodachi Charity Baseball Game on March 21, 2015 at Tokyo Dome. A number of events are scheduled for the day, including a baseball clinic, home run derby, charity auction, and youth baseball game. Source: Sponichi 12/17/2014
  • The Giants announced that Shugo Fujii will join their staff as a batting practice pitcher. He was assigned the number 221. Source: official announcement
  • The Giants were seeking thirty-three million yen in damages against Shukan Jitsuwa (weekly tabloid) for articles that claimed the organization was paying a portion of their players more than what was written in their contracts. The Tokyo District Court sided with the Giants but adjusted damages to 2.2 million. Source: Daily Sports 12/17/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka (right elbow) will most likely attend Ichi-gun spring camp next year. Source: Daily Sports 12/17/2014
  • Shintaro Fujinami feels he would do a lot better if given the opportunity to pitch in more scrimmages and practice games during the pre-season. "To be honest, I wanted to throw more. I wanted to pitch into the seventh and eighth innings during exhibition games, instead of having five-inning or 100-pitch limits," said Fujinami. He added, "Ever since high school, I prepared myself by pitching a lot in games." Fujinami would rather pitch in scrimmages and games than toss bullpen sessions or batting practice. Source: Sanspo 12/17/2014, Daily Sports 12/17/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/17/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • The Bay Stars apparently told Toshiki Kurobane that if he did not quit smoking, they would change his uniform number 9 back to 59. Yokohama first requested that he quit when they gave him the number 9 last winter, but Kurobane did not think it was a requirement. Source: Sponichi 12/17/2014 ... The Bay Stars have implemented a no smoking policy for players they have drafted, beginning in 2012. They have also banned somking on the field. Source: Sports Hochi 12/17/2014

[12/17/2014] Seibu Lions, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Dec.18, 2014 @ 3:43 am, under NPB
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Seibu Lions

  • Takeya Nakamura (right elbow) played catch at a distance of about fifteen meters on Tuesday. He threw the ball thirty times. Nakamura had his elbow cleaned out in October and resumed playing catch on Monday. Source: Sponichi 12/17/2014 ... Nakamura is planning to resume batting practice some time in January. Source: Daily Sports 12/17/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • The Fighters will hold a press conference in Sapporo on Thursday to announce Masao Kida as their new assistant general manager. Source: Sponichi 12/17/2014

[12/17/2014] Yakult Swallows introduce 2014 Draft Class

by on Dec.17, 2014 @ 8:18 pm, under NPB
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Ord Name JPN Team DOB HT/WT POS T/B Level Uni Bonus Contract Date
1 Takeshita, Shingo 竹下 真吾 YAK 1990/10/20 180/82 P L/L Yamaha 22 100,000,000 15,000,000 11/19
2 Kazahari, Ren 風張 蓮 YAK 1993/02/26 185/86 P R/R Tokyo Nogyo University Hokkaido 32 70,000,000 12,000,000 11/28
3 Yamakawa, Koji 山川 晃司 YAK 1996/11/15 184/86 C R/R Fukuoka KoDai Joto High School 55 50,000,000 6,000,000 11/21
4 Terada, Tetsuya 寺田 哲也 YAK 1987/04/02 185/92 P R/R Kagawa Olive Guyners 38 35,000,000 10,000,000 11/10
5 Nakamoto, Yusaku 中元 勇作 YAK 1988/12/12 178/73 P L/L Hakuwa Victorys 39 35,000,000 8,000,000 11/17
6 Doi, Hiroaki 土肥 寛昌 YAK 1990/11/16 181/88 P R/B Honda Suzuka 45 30,000,000 8,000,000 11/12
7 Hara, Izumi 原 泉 YAK 1992/07/26 190/95 OF R/R Daiichi Kogyo University 65 25,000,000 7,000,000 11/13
I1 Nakashima, Shogo 中島 彰吾 YAK 1992/06/15 178/72 P R/R Fukuoka University 111      

===

Source: official announcement