Via Nikkan Sports, Kosuke Fukudome on his current situation:
I do not really a preference for where I want to play (Japan or the US). I will play where ever I am needed. It is also possible I will not get any offers. ... I do not really mind if it takes a while for something to come to fruition.
The Twins have spoken with the agents for Japanese pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma, a righthander, and Tsuyoshi Wada, a lefthander. Iwakuma was injured during last season and has to prove he's healthy. Wada is 33-13 over his last two seasons. Twins GM Terry Ryan remarked that, for some reason, pitchers have had an easier time transitioning to MLB than position players.
And Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon on Hideki Matsui (via ESPN):
"He's a wonderful professional," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Maddon went on to call him a "clutch hitter" and a "good man." He said the Rays are just now discussing their plans for the DH spot.
Iwakuma told reporters on Monday that while one of his goal did include winning a Cy Young award, he also wanted to win a Roberto Clemente award. Teams interested in Iwakuma include the Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals, Minnesota Twins, and Oakland Athletics.
The Seattle Times' Geoff Baker on Munenori Kawasaki:
Zduriencik confirmed that he is looking at free-agent Japanese infielder Munenori Kawasaki — among others — for the backup shortstop job. Munenori said last week he'll only play for the Mariners and would take a minor-league deal if needed in order to team with training partner Ichiro. ... He added that defense is more of a priority for the job than offense. Kawasaki is known more for his glove than his bat.
Nikkan Sports is also reporting that he may end up getting a split one-year contract with an option for a second year.
Hisanori Takahashi told reporters on Monday that he has plans to work out with Norihito Kaneto and Hiroki Sanada in Hawaii again in January.
Ichiro Suzuki worked out for about two hours at Hotto Motto Field today (running, BP, long-distance catch, base-running).