About 300 fans greeted Hideki Matsui at Komatsu Airport in Ishikawa on Saturday. 2012 will be Matsui's 20th pro season. If he signs an MLB deal, he will have spent ten years in both the NPB (1993-2002) and the MLB (2003-2012).
Matsui is currently working out at a pace that will allow him to be at around 100% by mid-February.
If everything goes well, Daisuke Matsuzaka could make a full recovery by June/July (assuming he is able to begin pitching in April). Matsuzaka is scheduled to return to Florida some time early this month.
Sponichi notes Trey Hillman's main concern regarding Yu Darvish playing in the US is communication -- finding an interpreter he can trust could end up playing a big part in whether or not he succeeds.
Nikkan Sports figures negotiations between Darvish and the Texas Rangers will probably drag out until the very last minute.