Sanpso: The Rakuten Eagles are negotiating a deal with ex-New York Yankee Darrell Rasner. Early reports indicate that the contract will be for 2 years at about 5-oku yen.
Daily Sports: 16-year-old Eri Yoshida was picked by Kobe in the 7th round during a recent draft for the newly establish Kansai Independent Leagues. If Yoshida goes on to play for Kobe, she will become the first woman to take part in a sport dominated by men. (There was an all-women's baseball league in Japan that started up in 1950, but it lasted only 2 years.)
Daily Sports: The Hanshin Tigers are showing interest in Seibu Lions catcher Kosuke Noda. The Tigers currently have Akihiro Yano as their starting catcher, but need to come up with an alternative plan should something happen to him (Yano turns 40 in December). The Tigers did have a back-up plan in Toshihiro Noguchi, but it appears he will be exercising his option to become an FA.
Daily Sports: Bobby Valentine has officially signed on to stick around for one more season. In the final year of a 4-year contract, Valentine held a mini-press conference at Narita Airport prior to leaving for the States. He announced that he will be returning next season to honor his last year of his contract and that he has no intentions of backing out of it.
Trey Hillman is quoted as saying, "[Kawakami] could be a solid 3, 4, or 5 type pitcher in the Majors." And when asked how he might compare to Hiroki Kuroda, "Kawakami's a solid pitcher, but I think Kuroda is better conditioned and is more capable."