The Rakuten Eagles held a press conference for Akinori Iwamura earlier today at the club offices. It seems the Eagles gave Iwamura a 2-year contract reportedly worth 300M yen plus incentives. He was also assigned the number 1.
Iwamura apparently had offers from other NPB clubs but opted to sign with the Eagles after receiving a call from Senichi Hoshino.
Sanspo is carrying Iwamura's comments from the press conference:
What are you feeling right now?
I want to put the Eagles uniform and get down to playing as soon as possible. I also have high expectations of myself next year.
What was your reason for picking [the Eagles]?
I didn't have a lot of fun while playing baseball this past year. All I wanted to hear was that I was wanted. When Hoshino said he wanted to play baseball with, I said I did too, even before working out basic agreement.
Your experience from the Majors...
I played on a weak team that managed to get to the World Series. We did it because we came together as [a team]. There were times we had to work together [in order to win]. I'd like to help teach that to this team.
So they also expect you to help lead this team?
I'll of course do whatever I can to help. I'd like to keep my door open 100% to any young players that might have questions for me.
I want to get that big hit in a crucial inning. I couldn't hit a lot of homers in the Majors, so I'd also like to work on strengthening myself so that I can get back to that. I want to do whatever I can to help the team win.
Incidentally, it was Tatsuya Shiokawa that gave up the number 1.