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Seibu Lions: Hiroyuki Nakajima wants to be posted?

by on Oct.11, 2010 @ 12:57 pm, under NPB

According to Nikkan Sports, Hiroyuki Nakajima is planning on asking the team about being posted to the Majors during the upcoming off-season.  Nakajima still has two years left before he earns his international FA option, so the only way for him to go to the Majors would be to get posted.

Club president Shinji Kobayashi told reporters on the 10th that he'd like to give as much consideration to dreams that players might have and seems to be open to the possibility of posting Nakajima.  But Kobayashi also said that he hadn't heard anything from Nakajima yet and that it would be tough to part with Nakajima because of what he brings to the team (both in terms of skill and popularity).

An unnamed MLB source is quoted as saying, "There are a number of clubs that would be interested in him.  But Japanese infielders have struggled in the Majors, and realistically, he's more of a second baseman.  He probably won't fetch a very high posting fee."

In the end, the Lions will need to consider which makes more sense: posting him before he earns his international FA option and grab whatever posting fee they can get, or risk having him walk away for nothing when he does earn his international FA option.

Career Stats

Yr Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR TB RBI SB CS SH SF BB HBP SO GIDP AVG SLG OBP OPS
2002 SEI 4 7 7 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 .143 .143 .143 .286
2003 SEI 44 98 89 12 23 3 1 4 40 11 1 2 0 0 5 4 22 0 .258 .449 .327 .776
2004 SEI 133 559 502 70 144 22 3 27 253 90 18 2 3 4 39 11 108 7 .287 .504 .349 .855
2005 SEI 118 444 405 56 111 21 2 11 169 60 11 3 3 3 22 11 67 17 .274 .417 .327 .746
2006 SEI 105 459 412 76 126 22 1 16 198 63 14 4 0 4 30 13 66 12 .306 .481 .368 .852
2007 SEI 143 593 533 68 160 28 5 12 234 74 9 4 1 5 41 13 134 15 .300 .439 .361 .804
2008 SEI 124 556 486 75 161 32 0 21 256 81 25 5 0 3 55 12 96 15 .331 .527 .410 .939
2009 SEI 144 648 560 100 173 31 3 22 276 92 20 12 0 3 75 10 113 17 .309 .493 .398 .893
2010 SEI 130 579 503 80 158 33 3 20 257 93 15 5 0 11 52 13 97 20 .314 .511 .385 .904
Totals 945 3943 3497 537 1057 192 18 133 1684 564 113 37 7 33 319 87 705 104 .302 .482 .372 .856

4 comments on “Seibu Lions: Hiroyuki Nakajima wants to be posted?

  1. muratafan

    If I was Seibu, I would trade him this year, if possible. Seibu won’t get much of anything posting-wise since Kaz Matsui was the guy that Nakajima replaced. Kaz had injury problems, but when he was healthy, he was a very productive player. However, I can’t see Major League teams posting very much for Nakajima since Kaz’s best years would have put him in the upper 1/3 of 2nd basemen in the Majors. Plus, Nakajima doesn’t have Kaz’s speed or range. Throw in the fact that Seibu Dome is very much a hitter’s ballpark and I can see why Major League teams MIGHT sign Nakajima as a free agent, but would NOT pay a posting fee to do so.

    1. Gen Post author

      I can’t really see the Seibu Lions trading the face of the team domestically. I think their only options are to either post him or keep him.

      If they do post Nakajima, I think the fans are going to be fairly upset with the team. That’ll make two popular shortstops the team has lost in less than 10 years. And it’ll mean the offense takes a huge hit. I think he’s going to be tough to replace. At least when they lost Kaz, they actually had Nakajima. This time around, they don’t really have anyone. Hideto Asaumura? Takuya Hara?

      If it were up to me, I’d hold onto Nakajima for at least one more season. Nakajima is scheduled to earn his domestic FA option in 2011, but there’s no way he exercises it if he wants his international FA option in 2012. That means I’d still have some control over him and could still post him at the end of the 2011 season. That would then give me a year to figure out how I want to replace Nakajima.

      Personally, I don’t really see the point in posting Nakajima this year, instead of next year, unless of course you’re either worried about injury, or a drop in production.

  2. Steve

    That would be a really dumb thing for him to push for, and a dumber thing for Seibu to facilitate. He wouldn’t fetch that much, nowhere near enough for Seibu to overcome the bad PR hit they would take with their fans. He’ll probably make them more in the next two years by being in the lineup and selling merch than they would get in posting.

    If Nakajima wants to go, he can go on his own in 2012. Why would he want to go anyway? He’s hugely popular and successful for one of the biggest teams in Japan, in MLB he’d be just another dude. I don’t get it.

    I agree with muratafan, Seibu would be better off trading him domestically than posting him.

  3. Jim

    Agreed on all counts. Let’s not also forget that Nakajima is the team’s best all-around hitter, and he gives a lot of protection for “okawari-kun.” In addition, he adds a nice transition at the top of the lineup from Kataoka and Kuriyama’s speed to a good all-around player in himself to the textbook slugger that is Nakamura.

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