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1/19/2012: Hideki Matsui, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Norichika Aoki

by on Jan.19, 2012 @ 10:23 am, under MLB

Hideki Matsui spoke to reporters on Wednesday and said:

This is not something limited to just the New York Yankees, because it makes me happy anytime a team [says they are interested].  Although I am not really sure if they have contacted my agent. ... I would of course like to sign my Spring Training.  But there is still about a month to go.  I think it will fine.  I am not even worried."

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Via Nikkan Sports: NESN's Didier Morais provides the following update on Daisuke Matsuzaka:

As Valentine surveyed the area, he also found Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and is likely to miss the first half of the season. The two exchanged New Year's pleasantries -- in Japanese, of course -- but Valentine left encouraged by the visit.

"He's doing really well," Valentine said. "He had a good look in his eye."

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Nikkan Sports mentions that Norichika Aoki will hold a press conference in Japan on 1/20.  Sponichi adds that Aoki probably signed for about US$1.5M a year, or about half of what he made in 2011 (from 330M yen to 115.5M yen).  With incentives (based on the number of games he plays/starts), the two-year deal could be worth around US$5M (or 385M yen).

Aoki is the fifth Japanese player to join the Milwaukee Brewers' organization: Hideo Nomo (1999), Takahito Nomura (2002), Tomokazu Oka (2005-2006), and Takashi Saito (2011).

Aoki will begin working out in Okinawa next week.  And while the Brewers would like to introduce him at FanFest on 1/29, nothing has been finalized due to possible visa timing issues.