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12/16/2011: Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Munenori Kawasaki, Hisashi Iwakuma

by on Dec.16, 2011 @ 1:09 pm, under NPB

Tsuyoshi Nishioka made an appearance at an adidas press conference on Thursday and said that he would be willing to play the outfield (or any other position) if it meant more playing time, especially with the addition of Jamey Carroll.

"The fact that [Carroll] will be making about the same as me means the team probably wants him to play about as much as they want me to play.  The bottom line is whether or not I can win the starting job," said Nishioka.

He also said that he was feeling great physically.

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Sponichi is reporting that Ryota Igarashi's split contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates could end up being worth more than the two-year deal he signed with the New York Mets, assuming everything on the contract is maxed out.

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The Seattle Times' Larry Stone is reporting that the Seattle Mariners are expected to sign Munenori Kawasaki.  A snip:

But Kawasaki could be a useful player for the Mariners, most likely in a utility role. He and his wife are in Seattle this week, and sources say he will sign a minor-league contract with a spring-training invitation. The signing might not be announced until after the holidays.

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Hisashi Iwakuma left for Los Angeles on Thursday.  Before leaving he said to reporters, "Things are moving on [Yu Darvish] so teams will probably begin moving on other pitchers.  I want to be able to talk to my agent if/when contract talks move into the final stages and it will be easier to get updates if I am in the US."

Sponichi notes the Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics as teams with interest in Iwakuma.  Regarding this, Iwakuma said, "It would be nice if things were decided before the end of the year, but I will consider whatever offers are made.  It is also possible that other teams that were not interested will get involved as well.  I am a worried/nervous but also excited like on draft day."

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Via Nikkan Sports - Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that Hiroyuki Nakajima could be signed and traded to another team.  A snip:

The Yankees could work a sign-and-trade involving Nakajima — an idea that the player’s U.S. agent, Greg Genske, has broached with the club, major-league sources say.

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Nakajima, 29, is open to all possibilities, sources said. While he wants to play every day, he also is intrigued by the idea of playing for the Yankees, even in a backup role.