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Chance of Hiroyuki Kobayashi signing with Hanshin Tigers increasing

by on Jan.11, 2011 @ 10:04 am, under NPB

According to reports filed by both Daily Sports and Sanspo, it appears there's a good chance that Hiroyuki Kobayashi will sign a deal with the Hanshin Tigers in the coming week.

Sanspo's claims they learned on Monday that Kobayashi's agent, Alan Nero, will be flying into Japan sometime later this week and could meet with the Hanshin Tigers as early as the 12th.  And in order to land Kobayashi, the Tigers are expected to submit their best offer.

In addition to some of the points mentioned yesterday, Daily Sports (DS) reports that Kobayashi has received minor league offers from 6 MLB clubs and that some (or perhaps all) of those deals are split contracts.  DS furthers says that when Kobayashi said an invite to spring camp would be "a little tight" he actually meant he wasn't interested in signing a split contract at all.  That would mean none of the offers currently on the table will appeal to Kobayashi.  DS goes on to say that Kobayashi may have a "deadline" of the 15th for receiving an MLB offer, after which point if he receives none, he may turn his attention towards the NPB.  And since the Hanshin Tigers are the only team that have been pushing for his services, they may be the ones to sign him.