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NPB News and Notes for 1/21: Noon Update

by on Jan.20, 2009 @ 9:12 pm, under NPB

Koji Mitsui will be returning to the Seibu Lions for another season after failing his posting attempt. He signed a 1-year deal worth 57M yen, down 13M from last season.

Honestly, how he thought he'd make it to the majors after a bad season at the age of 35, I have no idea.

Tadahito Iguchi is now the new face of the Lotte Marines. After signing a 3-year deal that could be worth as much as 600M yen and claiming the number 6 (a very historic number that players like Hiromitsu Ochiai and Kiyoshi Hatsushiba have worn in the past), Iguchi will also be a part of an agressive campaign to keep the Marines in the public spotlight (advertisements and sponsorship deals).

Iguchi's new contract includes a "Guaranteed Position" (ポジション確約) clause and lingo that deals specifically with how he is to be promoted over the 3-years of his contract. He also gets 1 round-trip ticket to the US a year and complete support for his family (including things like finding a good school for his children). Said Iguchi, "One of the biggest reasons why I decided to play for the Marines was their intensity to sign me. I will do my best to make sure I don't tarnish the number 6."

According to Nikkan Sports, a lot of countries are considering Yu Darvish as the ace of Samurai Japan's rotation.

The Yokohama Bay Stars are looking for a new helmet sponsor. Helmet ads generally bring in about 150M yen a year to teams. With the Bay Stars already looking at about 1B yen in losses every season, finding a new company to sponsor their ads becomes extremely important.

The previous sponsor (List) was originally expected to renew their contract with the Bay Stars, but due to poor economic conditions, they pulled out at the last minute. The team is also considering lowering the fee.

The NPB is currently internally discussing a new rule that could require international scouts to register their interest in Japanese amateur players before approaching them. However, they also understand that creating such rules without discussing things with the international community (read: MLB) won't be as effective.