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NPB: Jeremy Powell claimed by two teams

by on Feb.04, 2008 @ 9:19 pm, under NPB

In a somewhat odd twist of events, Jeremy Powell was recently announced to have signed with TWO different teams.

Huh? Come again?

Yes, that's right, the Softbank Hawks and the Orix Buffaloes both claimed that they had signed 31-year-old free agent pitcher Jeremy Powell to a contract to play this season.

But how can two teams sign one player?

They can't. At least not officially. According to Powell's agent, the document the Orix Buffaloes sent to him wasn't official and was apparently to be used in conjunction for obtaining his work visa. The Buffaloes, however, say that the document they sent was indeed official.

This problem was obviously presented to the Pacific League heads and their ruling was announced yesterday: Powell can pitch for the Softbank Hawks, but will not be allowed on the active roster until the June 22 (the season starts on March 20).

The talks ultimately relied on where Powell wanted to pitch as both the Hawks and the Buffaloes could not reach an agreement regarding which team he officially signed with.

12 comments on “NPB: Jeremy Powell claimed by two teams

  1. knucklehead7

    What situation would you have chosen?

    Living in Fukuoka and playing for the seemingly better team or splitting your time between Kobe and Osaka?

  2. Gwynar

    I think it was always Powell’s intention to sign with the Hawks.

    As for me personally, I probably would have picked the Hawks. I’m a bit Sadaharu Oh fan and I also like Matsunaka a lot as well.

  3. Nykav

    There was a similar situation in socces a few weeks ago in the Netherlands. A guy seemingly signed a contract, but now plays in England claiming it was only a concept and didn’t have the appropriate signatures.

  4. Gwynar

    @Mike: Ooohh… Silly me.

    To be honest, all three of those cities are fairly similar, although Osaka is probably the largest of the three.

    Population breakdowns:
    Osaka 2.6M
    Kobe 1.4M
    Fukuoka 1.3M

    But I’ve actually never been to any of the three cities, so I don’t have any real first-hand experience.

  5. Gwynar

    Incidentally, Powell held a press conference today announcing that it was always his intention to sign with the Hawks and that he stands by his word that he thought the papers the Buffaloes sent him were for his visa application.

    Now here’s something that’s been bothering me… If the Buffaloes were sending him papers for his visa, it would seem to me that they were doing so assuming that he would be playing for them. I mean, what company sponsors an employee that doesn’t work for them? Something doesn’t add up. It’s entirely possible Powell signed the papers from the Buffaloes assuming they were just for a visa, but I would think that the Hawks (or which ever team he plays for) would take care of that.

  6. knucklehead7

    Yeah, that explanation doesn’t really make sense to me either. Why would you sign papers from a team you have no intention of playing for?

  7. Gwynar

    You know, the other thing I find fairly odd is how the Buffaloes still want Powell. My guess is that it’s just posturing and that they are trying to extract some sort of fine out of Powell or the Hawks, but just imagine how awful things could get if Powell ends back on the Buffaloes.

    PL League officials have already given Powell and the Hawks the green light, but if the Buffaloes raise a big enough fuss, who knows what might happen.

    Personally, I don’t know that I’d want Powell on the team anymore, even if there was an outside shot at getting him. Too much bad karma flying around…

  8. Gwynar

    The Buffaloes finished in dead last last year, despite winning 10 more games over the previous season (52 -> 62). Having Powell in the rotation would have been big for the Buffaloes this season, so I can certainly understand why they would want him on the team. Last season they had 8 pitchers on their staff with a better than .500 winning percentage and only 3 of them also started games. The only saving grace is that 5 of those 8 (and all 3 of those that started) are still in their mid-20’s and appear to have some potential to do well.

    And to put things into a little more perspective, the team high for wins was 8, tied by two pitchers who also racked up double-digit losses.

    Young pitchers to look forward to this season:
    Chihiro Kaneko (2007: 6-2, 2.79 ERA, 5 GS, 2 CG, 2 ShO)
    Kishida Mamoru (2007: 4-3, 2.93 ERA, 11 GS, 5 CG)
    Yasunori Takgai (2007: 4-3, 2.62 ERA, 54 G)

  9. knucklehead7

    Thanks, good to see they have some young guys to look forward to. Any rumors about who they might go after now that Powell is going to play for the Hawks?

  10. Gwynar

    I haven’t really heard anything as of yet. They still maintain that they have rights to Powell. I’m not even really sure who is available right now. I’d have to guess that most "good" players are set to go with their respective teams. The Buffaloes may have no option but to start the season with what they have. They did take two arms (college and high school) during the draft, but I’m not really sure how good they are.

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