Former Yokohama Bay Star Kota Kobayashi (21) signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians. He is also scheduled to attend the Winter League in Puerto Rico in January. Source: Sports Hochi 11/30/2012
Hiroki Kuroda also apparently received a better offer from the San Diego Padres. Source: New York Post 11/28/2012
The Baltimore Orioles are interested in Koji Uehara. From the Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly:
The Orioles have already met with Japanese free agent closer Kyuji Fujikawa, who would be a set-up man in the majors, and they are at least considering other late-inning relievers, including Uehara, who played with the Orioles from 2009 until he was dealt away in July 2011.
Although he doesn’t like to talk about specific free agents, Duquette said about Uehara: "He's on our list, we like him. He’s been here before."
The 37-year-old Uehara, who compiled a 1.75 ERA in 37 games with the Texas Rangers in 2012 after rebounding from a midseason lat injury, still maintains a residence in Baltimore. He broke down in tears when the Orioles dealt him to Texas for Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis.
Hisanori Takahashi returned to Japan on Thursday. He told reporters he is not yet ready to return to Japan and that he plans to play at least one more year in the US. Source: Sponichi 11/30/2012
Yu Darvish was named the Texas Rangers' rookie of the year. From a press release:
The Rangers also announced today that right-hander Yu Darvish has been selected as the team’s 2012 Rookie of the Year in voting conducted by the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Darvish was 16-9 with a 3.90 earned run average in 29 starts in his first season with Texas after signing as a free agent in January. He led all major league rookies with 221 strikeouts, the fifth highest overall total in team history, and 191.1 innings while tying for first in wins, a club rookie record. Darvish had the A.L.'s second lowest opponents batting average (.216) and strikeouts per 9.0 innings ratio (10.4) and also ranked among the league leaders in strikeouts (3rd), wins (T5th), and winning percentage (8th, .640). He joined Cleveland’s Herb Score in 1955 as the only rookies in A.L. history with at least 16 wins and 210 strikeouts in a season, just the fifth such rookie in the modern era (since 1900). Darvish finished third in the voting for the BBWAA A.L. Rookie of the Year Award.
Darvish, Rangers Player of the Year Adrian Beltre and Rangers Pitcher of the Year Matt Harrison will be among the award recipients at the 2013 Texas Rangers Dr Pepper Awards Show, which will be held in conjunction with Texas Rangers Fan Fest on Friday, January 11 at the Arlington Convention Center. Other award winners will be announced in upcoming weeks. Tickets for Fan Fest, which will take place January 11-12, are on sale at texasrangers.com/fanfest or by calling 972-RANGERS.
Kyuji Fujikawa may be down to the Angels and Cubs. He could get a two-year deal worth around US$5 million.
The Angels apparently made a lasting impression on Fujikawa during their meeting with him. He likes Chicago because Wrigley Field reminds him a little of Koshien. The bullpen situation for both teams could also tip in his favor.