Sponichi: The Seibu Lions extend Alex Graman. It seems the Lions and Graman have come to an agreement on a 2-year extension that will be worth $300M yen. It appears Hiram Bocachica will also be returning with the Lions next season as well -- a 1-year deal worth 55M yen.
Sponichi: Kyuji Fujikawa gets a substantial raise. Fujikawa has something to be happy about. The Tigers have given him a 100M yen raise, meaning he'll be making 380M yen next season. There are conflicting reports though: other publications are stating that Fujikawa got a 120M raise to make 400M next season.
Sanspo: There will be 4 "Kawashima Seats" at Jingu Stadium next season. After receiving an 8M yen raise from the Yakult Swallows, Ryo Kawashima will be adding another seat to his "Kawashima Seat" section. The four seats are located behind home plate and would be worth about 1.1M yen over the course of a season. The seats are given away to fans with physical difficulties.
Sponichi: Hirokazu Ibata and the Chunichi Dragons have agreed to a 5-year extension that guarantees him 250M yen next season. His salary will fluctuate after that, based on what I assume will be his performance from the previous season. Ibata said, "If possible, I'd like to retire a Dragon. ... I told them, please sign me up until I'm 40. ... I intend to be a regular at least until then. And hopefully they'll offer me another extension after that." Ibata is turns 34 next season.
Sponichi: Akira Otsuka (LOT) will be releasing a monthly manga beginning in February. It will be available for free from Yahoo Comics and a book version will be published in July. Otsuka's goal is to try and illustrate what it takes to be a professional baseball player.
The manga will be about a failed baseball player that gets the chance to go back to his high school playing days to become a success.
Sports Hochi: Jose Fernadez may be leaving the NPB for good. Alan Nero, Fernandez's agent, says that he has yet to receive any offers for the 34-year-old corner infielder.
Sports Hochi: The Yakult Swallows are still very much interested in Ryoji Aikawa. However, they also realize Aikawa has his hearts set on the Majors. Provided he doesn't get any offers, the Swallows are prepared to make him an attractive offer.
Sports Hochi: Tomas De La Rosa and Maximo Nelson will be returning to the Dragons for the 2009 season. De La Rosa gets $200,000 and Nelson will get $100,000.
Sponichi: Dan Evans thinks Kenshin Kawakami is a second tier pitcher. Evans is quoted as saying that he feels Kawakami belongs in the same group of pitchers as Lowe and Sheets and that quite a few times are showing interest in the 33-year-old righty. The latest teams to join the fold: the Giants and Twins.