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12/28/2011: Hiroki Kuroda, Hisashi Iwakuma, Hideki Okajima

by on Dec.28, 2011 @ 10:43 am, under MLB

Nikkan Sports mentions ESPN's Wallace Matthews' report on the New York Yankees and Hiroki Kuroda.  A snip:

It has been reported in several places that the Yankees and Red Sox are actively pursuing free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, but the baseball sources I have spoken with over the past week say it is unlikely the Yankees will make a bid on the 37-year-old former Dodger.

...

Assuming the person is telling me the truth -- and I am -- any Yankee "interest'' in Kuroda is probably designed to drive up the price for the Red Sox.

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Hideki Matsui left for Japan out of JFK Airport on Tuesday and told reporters before leaving that the only thing he could do right now was to wait for offers while preparing for the 2012 season.  He also said that his demands/wishes were not very high and that he planned to approach any deal even-keeled.

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Sports Hochi is reporting that Hideki Okajima is nearing the final stages of finalizing a minor league deal (includes Spring Training invite) with the New York Yankees.  Sports Hochi also reports that Okajima received a number of offers, but all were minor league contracts.

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Via Nikkan Sports and Sponichi, the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser provides the following update on Hisashi Iwakuma:

I checked in with some sources about the A's interest in Hisashi Iwakuma, which was reported by the Contra Costa Times the other day, and while I had it confirmed that Oakland is one of the four teams to have inquired about the Japanese pitcher, the A's are "lukewarm" about Iwakuma.

I'm told that there are two teams with "viable" interest in Iwakuma, and the A's aren't one of them.

On Tuesday, Iwakuma worked out at the indoor training facilities at Kleenex Stadium and tossed a bullpen session (about ten pitches) after he worked with weights and played some catch.

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According to Sponichi, Takashi Saito's new uniform number with the Arizona Diamonbacks will be 48 -- four because it is his lucky number and because he will be in his 40s and eight because it can also represent "infinity" when put on its side.

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Sports Hochi notes that Yu Darvish's divorce could be finalized in January 2012.