Norichika Aoki will have a chance to ask Takashi Saito some questions about what it is like playing for the Milwaukee Brewers this week when the two go out to eat -- they belong to the same management company and were already scheduled to meet.
Sponichi has the following comments from Yakult Swallows' managing director Junsei Atarashi:
On why they announced the name of the winning bidder:
Instead of having the information leak out to the US media, we wanted it to come out of Japan. We also wanted to let everyone know as soon as possible.
On Aoki heading to the US:
As a player representing Yakult, I would like to see him excel [in the US]. I would like to see him give back to pro yakyu if he ever decides to return to Japan.
The Brewers won the bidding. Your impressions.
I am happy that such a wonderful team placed a bid on me. They won their division and they seem like a strong team.
What about to the club that decided to post you?
I am really grateful to them.
Have you gotten closer to realizing your dreams?
I am relieved that things are beginning to take shape. But I still have not signed a contract, so while I am happy, I still do not feel at ease. My agent will be taking care of negotiations so I can focus on practicing and getting myself prepared.
What are your plans moving forward?
I have not really thought about anything, including flying out to the US. I think I will continue my practices in Tokyo for the rest of the year.
I hear [spring training] is shorter in the Majors with more exhibition games. I want to be close to being fully prepared by the start of [spring training]. ... If there are things I find useful, I plan to add them to my training.