Kazuhiro Wada will be in the final year of a three-year deal. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2012
At this point in time, Wada is likely the leading candidate to bat clean-up next season. Source: Sponichi 12/14/2012
The Dragons are looking into other foreign candidates to replace Tony Blanco. They do not feel as if they need to find someone before the end of the year. Source: Sports Hochi Osaka 12/14/2012
Shinnosuke Abe suffered a left ankle injury in late-July. From that point on, he struggled with leg problems due to overcompensating: from left ankle to right knee, from right knee to left ankle, from left ankle to right calf, from right calf to left ankle, from left ankle to the area behind his right knee. He almost gave up, but managed to stick around after getting a shot from the team doctor. He also learned a special way to tape his right knee for added support. Source: Sponichi 12/14/2012
Tatsunori Hara could give Hirokazu Sawamura a look as a closer next season.
Said Hara, "Well, [Sawamura] has managed to record double-digit victories, but how many games above .500 is he over the last two seasons? If you consider his abilities, he might be better suited to pitch elsewhere."
Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2012
Yasutomo Kubo spoke to reporters today and said that pitching coach Kiyooaki Nakanishi approached him about closing games next season. Yutaka Wada has not yet spoken to Kubo. Source: Sponichi 12/14/2012
Masanori Fujihara worked out at Naruohama on Thursday. He returned from the Winter Leagues in Australia on the 11th. Winter League stats: 6 G, 1-0, 11 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO. Source: Sanspo 12/14/2012
Minoru Iwata is working on his flexibility this winter (with less of a focus on weight training). Source: Daily Sports 12/14/2012
Takahiro Arai will be in the second year of a three-year contract. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2012
He seemed fairly confident when speaking to reporters on Thursday after contract negotiations with the front office.
"I want to have been best year. I do not like setting goals, but if I can get myself better, then I think I will good to go. I had an awful season. I was not satisfied and I think people are thinking [I may be done], but I think I will be ok. I think I still have plenty left in the tank. I am not overestimating myself, I have confidence. It would hurt no one if I can bat clean-up over the course of a full season," said Arai.
He added, "It is all about results. I think I am expected to pull this team together by putting up results. I will go back to square one during camp. I want to get my shoulder better so that I can show off the new me."
Source: Daily Sports 12/14/2012
Finals are over and 1st round draft pick Shintaro Fujinami has received special permission from his school to skip classes because his grades are good. With the extra time he has available, he is working out about ten hours a day -- he leaves his house at 9:00am and returns at around 8:00pm. Since other students are attending classes, Fujinami spends the first half of his day working out on his own. He has already tossed a bullpen session with an NPB baseball.
The Tigers have already received fan letters for both Fujinami and 2nd round draft pick Fumiya Hojo (one a piece).
Source: Sanspo 12/14/2012
Keiichi Hirano visited Koshien Stadium on Thursday but did not speak to anyone in the front office. The Tigers last offer to Hirano may have been 95 million yen (down from 190 million yen). Source: Sports Hochi Osaka 12/14/2012, Sponichi 12/14/2012
Seven members of the 2012 draft class got tours of the facilities at Mazda Stadium today. Source: Sanspo 12/14/2012
Yokohama Bay Stars
The Bay Stars could end up having Alex Ramirez and Tony Blanco compete for the clean-up spot. Source: Sponichi 12/14/2012
Sixty-one umpires attended a workshop in Tokyo on Thursday. Former CL umpire Hiroya Tomizawa gave a lecture. Source: Sanspo 12/14/2012