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NPB News and Notes from 11/21: Eagles interested in Nakamura

by on Nov.20, 2008 @ 9:13 pm, under NPB

Sanspo: Both Takahiro Arai and Akihiro Yano have stated they will not be able to participate in the WBC due to injuries and rehab. Norichika Aoki appears to be ready to go though.

Sponichi: Toshihiro Noguchi entered preliminary discussions with the Yokohama Bay Stars.

Sanspo: Daisuke Miura has also entered preliminary discussions, specifically with the Hanshin Tigers. Miura still isn't sure where he would like to go -- he's sitting at a 50-50 split in terms of signing with the Tigers.

Sanspo: The Eagles are going hard after Norihiro Nakamura. Rakuten would like to plug Nakamura over at third.

Sanspo: The Swallows met with Hei Chun Lee twice in the same day and while a final decision is yet to be made, it appears as though the team has a solid chance in signing the lefty from Korea.

Sanspo: The San Francisco Giants are quoted as having an interest in Kenshin Kawakami.

Sanspo: 8 teams are said to be interested in Junichi Tazawa: Red Sox, Braves, Phillies, Rangers, Reds, Mariners, Mets, and Giants. All 8 teams had scouts at a recent game, but Tazawa did not make an appearance.

Sponichi: Hisashi Iwakuma was awarded the 2008 Golden Spirits Award. The award has been handed out to players for their charitable contribution to society since 1999. The Golden Spirits Award is considered the equivalent to the Roberto Clemente Award.

Iwakuma started donated ~$1,000 (10-man yen) for every win he notches to help children in Thailand in 2007. He has also donated time and money to various groups in Japan.

Sponichi: The Ham Fighters are taking a look at Ryan Wing to fill in the whole left vacant by trading Micheal Nakamura to the Giants.

Sponichi: Ryoji Aikawa is interested in listening to what the Yakult Swallows have to offer. But he still has his site set on the Majors: Aikawa is said to be working with Alan Nero.

Sponichi: Clubs interested in Ken Takahashi: Mets, Giants, Cubs, Padres, Blue Jays. Agent: Peter Greenberg

NikkanSports: Koji Uehara has been fairly quite ever since signing SFX to represent him. 8 teams are said to be interested in the righty.

0 comments on “NPB News and Notes from 11/21: Eagles interested in Nakamura

  1. knucklehead7

    I don’t know how much of a market there will be for Aikawa. Do you think he will be willing to take a minor league deal with the hope of making someone’s roster as a backup catcher?

  2. Gwynar

    That may depend on how much the Swallows might be willing to offer Aikawa. Honestly, I’m a little surprised that he’s pushing so hard for the Majors. It might be a dream, but he’s probably a fringe player and if he wants to play full-time and make money, Japan’s probably the best place for him at this point.

    All that said, I honestly don’t know how serious he is. While I wouldn’t be surprised if he signs a minor league deal, it wouldn’t seem like the wisest of career decisions IMHO.

  3. knucklehead7

    It doesn’t seem like a wise one to me either, but I can’t imagine him getting a much better offer based on his career stats. How is he defensively?

  4. Gwynar

    He’s supposedly a pretty good defender, but I haven’t really seen enough of him to say one way or another. It’s one of the reasons why the Swallows are interested in Aikawa.

    On a side note, catchers with good leadership abilities are coveted in Japan. A lot of that has to do with the fact that catchers lead pitchers unlike in the MLB where pitchers tend to lead catchers. So if a pitcher gets shelled, there’s as much, if not more, blame that goes on the catcher’s shoulders. In this sense, Aikawa might be a very strong leader (I think the Swallows are sort of envisioning him as someone that can come in and help nurture a young staff), but that kind of skill won’t necessarily translate well to the Majors.