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NPB News and Notes from 11/15: Kawakami opts for free agency

by on Nov.14, 2008 @ 7:46 pm, under NPB

Sanspo: Kenshin Kawakami has officially declared that he will opt for free agency. On a post at his blog:

Free Agency - 11/14/2008
I've thought about this real hard over the last few days and have decided to opt for free agency.

I will be submitting the necessary paperwork to the team later tomorrow.

I will now begin consider all my new options moving forward. I'd like to start over from scratch and really think about which teams really want me and which team I really want to play for.

I'll publish another update when I have a better handle on things.

Sanspo: The Nioka-Micheal trade was officially announced at a press conference yesterday. The Giants will send infielder Tomohiro Nioka (32) and pitcher Masanori Hayashi (25) to the Ham Fighters for pitcher Micheal Nakamura (32) and outfielder Takahiko Kudo (27). I'm not really sure how this improves the Ham Fighters, but I suppose if Nioka can find his stroke again, he could give them some much needed pop in the lineup (getting away from the Tokyo media might be just what Nioka needs). From the Giants side of things, this is really a great trade. Nakamura will help shore up the bullpen and give the team perhaps one of the setup-closer combo's in the league. And it rids them of a player that caused some headaches earlier in the season when he (Nioka) was caught leaving a hotel with a high profile ex-news reporter (Mona Yamamoto).

Sanspo: The Hanshin Tigers have an interest in Daisuke Miura. The club is supposedly thinking about presenting a 3 year, 13-oku yen deal to the 34-year-old righty. The Yokohama Bay Stars have reportedly offered Miura a 3-year, 10-oku yen deal plus an 4th year player option. The Tigers were originally preparing an offer of 3-years and 8-oku 5,000-man yen with a 4th year player option but later changed course after realizing that Miura could still opt for free agency. The Bay Stars appear to be set on their offer to Miura. And for those wondering, Sponichi is reporting that Miura has opted for free agency.

Sanspo: Shinobu Fukuhara will most likely stick around with the Tigers for one more year.

Sanspo: Norihiro Nakamura has opted for free agency. Sponichi reports the Fighters as a possible final destination for Nakamura.

Sponichi: Koji Uehara announced his intentions to try out for the Majors during a press conference yesterday. He will officially become a free agent on the 19th and will be ready to start negotiating with teams on the 20th. "It has been my dream to play in the Majors since I was in college. I've held onto this dream for the past 10 years and now I'm finally at within reach of realizing that dream."

Sponichi: Shigeru Morikasa will not be exercising his FA option. Since Morikasa didn't get much playing time this season, his main concern was not knowing how many teams would be interested in his services. With the help of the Carp, he has decided to stick with the team in hopes that the Carp will be able to find a suitable destination for him via trade. The bottom line: Morikasa wants to play.

12:18PM UPDATES

Mainichi: The Giants and Lions have apparently agreed on a deal that will send Takayuki Shimuzu to the Lions for cash. Shimizu expressed a desire to be traded due to a decrease in playing time (he appeared in only 41 games this season).