Sponichi reports that the Texas Rangers are interested in Hiroki Kuroda. Sponichi speculates that they might be looking for a sixth starter in case Yu Darvish joins the team.
And Jon Heyman tweeted on Saturday that Kuroda will probably cost between US$13-14M.
hear asking price for kuroda is $13-14M salary. some teams not convinced he will play in the states. could go back to japan
Hideki Matsui told reporters on Saturday that he has started his workouts, that he has maintained his weight at about 100kg, and that his knees were feeling good.
Daisuke Matsuzaka played catch for the second day in a row on Friday -- he threw the ball about 30 times at a distance of around 18 meters. He threw the last five pitches at around 130km/h. If he continues to make good progress he could be cleared to toss a bullpen session around January 20th. And if he does not suffer any setbacks, he might be able to make it back to the MLB roster in May, instead of the original June/July estimate.
Via Nikkan Sports: MLB.com's Adam McCalvy has posted the following update on Norichika Aoki:
Roenicke, bench coach Jerry Narron and hitting coach Johnny Narron will attend the one-day affair with Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, director of pro scouting Zack Minasian and his predecessor, Dick Groch, now a special assistant to Melvin. So will two Brewers officials who spend most of their time at Maryvale: special assistant and player development director Reid Nichols and his top assistant, Tony Diggs.
They will watch Aoki take batting practice off the coaches, they will hit him fly balls and gauge his throwing arm and they will time his running speed.
Nikkan Sports notes the workout is scheduled to take place Maryvale Baseball Park on Sunday (US time).
Boras suggested a sliding scale whereby Japanese players can negotiate with any team and their Japanese teams would receive a percentage of the contract. For instance, if a player leaves after one year, the Japanese team would get 80 percent of the contract, 50 percent after five years and 20 percent with just one year remaining before free agency.
"A lot of Japanese players aren't successful here because they aren't comfortable in their situation," Boras said. "If they could choose where they want to play, their success rate would definitely increase."
The Japan Professional Baseball Players Association is continuing to brainstorm other ideas to replace the current posting system, like the one where the top three bidders get a chance to negotiate. Don Nomura has also suggested imposing fines on teams that win bids but do not sign players to contracts (for example, 20% of the posting fee).