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Around the NPB Horn: Shugo Fujii rumors and various other updates

by on Nov.10, 2009 @ 1:55 pm, under NPB

Chiba Lotte Marines

...By trading Naoyuki Shimizu away to the Bay Stars for two Takumi Nasuno (P) and Toshio Saito (C), the Marines will likely save quite a bit of money Shimizu's contract this past season was 240M yen vs a combined 30M yen for the two younger players.

...Tasuku Hashimoto will likely announce his FA intentions today.  It is expected that he will exercise his FA option.

Chunichi Dragons

...Motonobu Tanishige and Hidenori likely will not exercise their options to remain with the team.

Hanshin Tigers

...Atsushi Fujimoto will likely exercise his FA option.  That doesn't necessarily mean he won't return to the Tigers though.

...Akihiro Yano's playing dropped significantly with the club's signing of Kenji Johjima, but Yano has decided to continue playing for the Tigers.

"Johjima is a great catcher. ... There were times where I considered asking the club to release me so that I could join another a team ... I really thought long and hard about this, more than at any other time in my career. ... In the end, my feelings for this team won out and I decided [to stay here]."

...The Tigers will likely look into Shugo Fujii.

Said team owner Sakai, "If they want to look into him, then by all means.  He's a good player, and if he's a fit for the team, I think it would be ok to try and go after him.  The bottom line is, we're looking for good players.  We should take a look at him."

...Tomoyuki Kubota is apparently healthy enough to revert back to his usual training routine.  Kubota hurt his left forearm on the 5th and was taking things easy for a couple of days.

...Norihiro Akahoshi likely will not exercise his FA option.

Hiroshima Carp

...Ryuji Yokoyama would like to stay with the Carp, but would also consider free agency if necessary.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Before leaving for the US, Terrmel Sledge said that he'd like to return to the club, if possible, and that he also wanted to thank the fans for their support.

...Negotiations with Shugo Fujii lasted only 15 minutes.

Said Fujii, "I want to play for a new team.  I want to play for a team that I can go all out for.  I want to go to a club that really wants me.  It would be nice if some team picked me up."

Orix Buffaloes

...The team plans to "test" every player on their roster during the off-season to see which players belong at Ichi-gun.

Said Akinobu Okada, "Now's our chance to make decisions.  I've informed each of the coaches as well.  We need to go through every player, other than the newcomers, and decide whether or not we can use them next season."

Okada also said that he's looking to pick out about 40 players that will be considered Ichi-gun material; the rest will likely spend the 2010 season at Ni-gun.  (The breakdown will likely be 20 position players and 20 pitchers.)

...Ryota Aikawa hurt his left thigh (hamstring strain) during fielding practice.  His condition worsened the following day and he has now been excused from Fall camp to recover.

...Okada thinks a club in the Central League will sign Shugo Fujii.

...Tsuyoshi Kikuchihara, Osamu Hamanaka, Hirotoshi Kitagawa, and Naoyuki Ohmura will all likely stay with the team and not exercise their FA options.

Rakuten Eagles

...In addition to announcing Luis Lopez as their Ni-gun batting coach and Misao Takaura as their Ni-gun battery coach, the club also announced Minoru Kumahara as their new conditioning director.

...A few comments by Marty Brown, carried by Sponichi:

I really respect Nomura as he was a great manager.  He knows how to win.  I'm extremely flattered to be following such a great manager. ... Nomura and the front office really made a great team.  There are good players on this team that will allow us to compete.  My goal is to win. ... We need relievers.  I want to talk to the coaches and the front office."

Softbank Hawks

...The Hawks have expressed interest in Terrmel Sledge.

...Tsuyoshi Wada tossed a 60-pitch bullpen session on Monday.  He focused in on throwing his curve.

"I was able to throw a few curves really well.  It's a pitch I'd like to use to strike batters out," said Wada.

Yakult Swallows

...The Swallows will not go after Shugo Fujii.

Yomiuri Giants

...Taishi Ohta worked out (weight training, fielding, batting) for about 9 hours on Monday.

...Giants HQ is quickly filling up with congratulatory flowers, sake, champagne, and over 300 telegrams.

...The Giants officially announced on Monday that Masaki Saito will replace Takao Obana as their Ichi-gun pitching coach.  Ryuji Kimura (currently an Ichi-gun training and pitching coach for the Giants) will likely be named the new Ni-gun pitching coach.

This on the heals of Obana's official resignation.