Hisanori Takahashi worked out at in Yokohama on Saturday -- training included a lot of running running and some long distance catch (about 80 meters). Takahashi is scheduled to return to Los Angeles early next week. He also has plans to work out with Norihito Kaneto (YOM) and Hiroki Sanada (free agent) in Hawaii in January.
Takahashi also said one of his goals for next season was to start at least one game. He then added, "If I do not approach the season like that, I will just keep growing older. ... If you can go long, you can also go short, but it is very difficult to go the other way. ... Honestly, [getting a start] might be impossible. ... We already have three great starters and we added the best pitcher in the division. The rotation can probably compete for first and second best in the Majors."
After the clinic, Matsuzaka took a two-hour car drive to Higashimatsushima, Miyagi and visited a temporary nursery school. Matsuzaka donated 50 air purifiers with heats to the city and five of them were being given away to the nursery school.
Nikkan Sports makes mention of a couple of tweets by ESPN's Buster Olney that go against the idea of the New York Yankees doing a sign and trade with Hiroyuki Nakajima:
Sources: Yankees have not had any conversations about executing a sign-and-trade with SS Hiroyuki Nakajima since winning bid for him. [link]
Nakajima would probably be better served playing for another team, but the Yankees haven't had any dialogue with any team about trade. [link]
Club performance played a role, but the bottom-line analysis was that Japanese players who make an impact – Ichiro, Matsui and Daisuke Matsuzaka, a free-agent pitcher who signed with the Boston Red Sox – could be worth an extra $11-million in revenue a season to their clubs.
And Matsuzaka also said he would be more than happy to provide Darvish with advice on the posting process if he needed it and offered the following advice through the media: do not rush negotiations as things will probably take time to fall into place; use your agent to get your ideas/thoughts across to the team you are negotiating with; and do not sell yourself short because you are worth it.
Incidentally, Sports Illustrated is reporting that the winning bid on Darvish beat Daisuke Matsuzaka's bid. A snip:
Though the identity of the major league franchise that won exclusive negotiating rights to the 25-year-old right-hander has yet to be revealed, Japanese league officials say that the offer to Darvish's team, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, is higher than the $40-48 million range that has been reported in the U.S. and Japan.