Sanspo: Hisanobu Watanabe won the Shoriki Matsutaro Award. Watanabe was awarded the top NPB Award at a press conference yesterday. Past recipients include players like Sadaharu Oh (1977, 2003) and Ichiro Suzuki (1994, 1995, 2004) and managers like Senichi Hoshino (2003) and Bobby Valentine (2005). The Lions are also discussing extending Watanabe's contract, which ends at the end of the 2009 season.
Sanspo: Kenshin Kawakami appears set to test the MLB FA waters. It was learned that Kawakami hired Tony Attanasio on the 18th to represent him. No other details are known.
Sanspo: The NPB announced that they pulled in 1,293,880,500 yen (roughly $13.3M) in gate receipts during the 7-game Nippon Series, an increase of over 264,831,000 yen (roughly $2.5M) from last year's 5 game Nippon Series.
Sponichi: The Hanshin Tigers may still be targeting Kenshin Kawakami. In order to help their efforts, the Tigers may ask Senichi Hoshino to negotiate with Kawakami directly.
Sponichi: The Eagles are still very much interested in Norihiro Nakamura. Club President Hiroshi Mikitani announced at a press conference yesterday that the front office is 100% behind the idea of signing Nakamura.
Sponichi: The Yakult Swallows are taking a look at KBO Doosan Bears lefty Hei Chun Lee. The Swallows don't have too many lefties on the active roster right now and would like to sign the 29-year old.
Nikkan Sports: The Hanshin Tigers are rumored to be preparing a base 3-year, 5-oku yen contract for Daisuke Miura. The contract could also include options for an additional 2 years that could bring the total net worth of the contract up to 11-oku yen. The team is also preparing to offer the uniform number 18.