Sanpo: Swallows to offer a 10-year contract to Norichika Aoki?! Aoki has shown an interest in going to the Majors in the past and the Swallows would like to keep that from happening. A 10-year contract could be enough to keep Aoki in Japan.
The Swallows have allowed players like Kazuhisa Ishii and Akinori Iwamura to go to the Majors via posting in the past, but ever since Tadashi Suzuki took over as club president last spring, the team has stayed away from allowing players to post.
When Aoki was asked what he thought, he said, "As a player, I'm grateful [that they would say something like this]. I haven't really though about what I want to do, but I certainly can see / feel just how much the Swallows want / need me."
As much as I think it would be interesting to see Aoki in the Majors, I think the NPB can't afford to keep losing it's big stars. Keeping Aoki in the NPB would be a step in the right direction.
Sanspo: Koji Uehara still hasn't received any offers. "I can't say anything because I haven't heard anything. If I do hear of something, I'll try to let you guys know."
Sanspo: It appears as though there will be an official announcement at some point soon regarding Hisayoshi Chono's decision not to join the Lotte Marines. Honda manager Tsuyoshi Ando contacted Lotte representatives on the 3rd to inform them that Chono will be turning down their offer.
Chono has decided to wait another year in hopes that the Giants will pick him during the 2009 draft.
Lotte has not completely given up yet. Their rumored offer was 100M yen signing bonus, 50M yen incentive clause and a yearly contract of 15M yen (which is basically the most an amateur player can sign for). Lotte team president Ryuzo Setoyama said, "We received word on his refusal. But I'd like a chance to talk to Chono directly. It doesn't look good, but I haven't given up entirely."
Sports Hochi notes that this is the first time in 31 years a player has twice turned down a contract from a team that drafted him.