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Nippon Ham and Orix in two for three swap: Itoi, Yagi for Kisanuki, Obiki, and Akada

by on Jan.23, 2013 @ 3:54 pm, under NPB

The Nippon Ham Fighters and Orix Buffaloes have pulled off a two for three swap.

Heading to the Buffaloes: Yoshio Itoi (31), Tomoya Yagi (29)

Heading to the Fighters: Hiroshi Kisanuki (32), Keiji Obiki (28), Shogo Akada (32)

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/23/2013, Daily Sports 1/23/2013, Sports Hochi 1/23/2013, Sponichi 1/23/2013, official announcement (Orix), official announcement (Nippon Ham)

25 comments on “Nippon Ham and Orix in two for three swap: Itoi, Yagi for Kisanuki, Obiki, and Akada

  1. OHAHA

    Isn’t it crazy that Itoi was names as a captain and expected to be posted after 2013 season and now traded to buffaloes. Never see this coming. Seriously.

    1. Gen Post author

      It sort of makes sense for the Fighters if you think of it this way:

      If the Fighters keep Itoi, they can post him next year (or anytime before he earns his option) and get money for him. But, they lose a good player. If they dump him off to another team now, they no longer have to worry about him and they also get a few players in return. Sure, they lose the money, but they don’t have to pay his contract (they were already having problems signing him for 2013) and they don’t have to worry all that stuff that comes with posting a player.

  2. Dennis R

    Do you think if Itoi didn’t ask to be posted this would have never happened? Or was it in the works prior to him asking to be posted?

    1. Gen Post author

      I don’t know for sure, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it played into the decision. They already lost two popular players in Darvish (posting) and Tanaka (FA). They also lost a first round draft pick last year. That’s three players they lost that they can’t really refill that easily.

    2. Gen Post author

      I forgot to add that I also read a report by Sanspo that Itoi was a signature away from finalizing a contract for the 2013 season. So I think this trade really caught him off-guard.

  3. muratafan

    Wow, this is a pretty huge trade. I have to think it has something to do with Itoi’s intentions. I mean, NPB has a surplus of pitching and a big shortage of hitters. Itoi is a top-10 caliber hitter and Yagi is a 3/4 starter. Kisanuki is a 2/3 starter, so I am not really sure how this is a net benefit to the Fighers.

  4. Steve Novosel

    I see no benefit to the Fighters from this trade.

    Yagi is about as good as Kisanuki and is 3 years younger. Akada is merely OK and Obiki is, well, not.

    There’s not much expectation that either Akada or Obiki are going to turn into anywhere near the same player that Itoi is. Neither is particularly young, either. If the Fighters reloaded with younger players, sure, but I don’t see any benefit at all for them here. They got MUCH worse this year for the sake of preventing some hassle next.

    Very bad misstep by the Fighters.

    1. Gen Post author

      I still think the trade, in theory, was actually a good move for the Fighters. Whether or not they got fair value back, that’s another story. Itoi’s value is probably at it’s peak right now. But then you also have to think that his value dropped because he wants to be posted within the next couple of years. I suppose the Buffaloes could turn down his requests, but would the Fighters, that have made a name for being open to posting players, have been able to do the same without, perhaps, making Otani worry?

  5. Patrick Wilson

    Perhaps they lose the trade but I’m thinking with the Otani worries about the U.S (of course settled) , they probably did’nt want to go over something similar.

    Itoi seemed a little relentless and now he’s not there problem. If Itoi was not a centerfielder anymore was he that much of a need? Of course japanese sluggers are scarce in japan.

    Can Inaba return to RF, Hoffpauir to first and the Mexican guy DH?

    Of course I read more than I see japanese baseball so I might be wrong all over;)

    1. Steve Novosel

      Inaba’s 40, so it’s fairly likely this season won’t be as good as his previous couple where he was merely decent. I can’t imagine a return to the OF is going to be good for his health or his game.

  6. Ed

    Itoi is one of my favorite players, was my favorite player on the Fighters.

    I’m sure we can find someone to take his place in the outfield. We have gloves. But who will take his place at the plate?

    I would not have minded him going to the Majors, that is where he belongs. I would have missed him. But to lose him to another Japanese team makes my teeth hurt.

  7. Ed

    I would really like to see Hoffpauir get 500+ plate appearances this season. Even better would be to have him at first base most games.

    Inaba should be a DH/Coach/sometimes first baseman, for a season or three till he goes full time coach. He had a very good season last year, much better than I expected. But he is getting up there.

    1. Steve Novosel

      I’m not convinced Hoff can hit in Japan. He hit the hell out of Lotte (way too much!) but didn’t do so well against the rest. That’s why he’s sitting alot.

      1. Ed

        I think he would hit more if he didn’t sit so much. Especially if he was in the game instead of hitting from the bench as DH or pinch hitting. Plus, he hits better than many of the other batters we have. He is no Itoi, but he hits as well or better than Nakata.

        Hoff. Nakata

        325. PA 606
        296. AB. 547
        .247. BA. .239
        81. SO. 101
        25. BB. 50
        37 RBI. 77
        14. HR. 24
        0. T. 1
        13 D. 25

        Home runs per plate apperience

        1/23.2. 1/25.2

        Of course, Nakata is over rated.

        The only category than Hoff lags behind Nakata is strike outs. Every thin else the are about even. I would like to see what Hoff can do with 600 plate appearances..

        1. Steve Novosel

          I was saying last year that Nakata is perhaps the 5th best player in your lineup – I guess he’s moved up to 4th now! He’s a less-capable Okawari-kun without the charm.

          Perhaps Hoff does need more of a chance like you say. Every time I saw him last year he murdered us. But IIRC wasn’t he the starting 1B in 2011 for a while and was moved to the DH/bench after a hot start?

          Regardless, he should have more of a chance to play this year, I’m sure.

          1. Ed

            Hoff does seem to be streaky at the plate. But so is Nakata and he still gets at bats.

            I think one of the main reasons he didn’t get as much playing time was so Inaba could play first.he is the star the fans want to see. And Inaba had a good year last year.

            It’s too bad, he had the same problem on the Cubs.

            I wish I had stats for him vs right and left handed pitchers.

          2. Steve Novosel

            Nakata’s got the name – only reason he was in the lineup the first half of 2012. He was horrible to watch, though he did pick it up a bit in the second half.

            Hoff 2012:

            RHP: 53/210 (.253), 10 HR, 25 RBI, 55 K, 17 BB
            LHP: 20/86 (.233), 4 HR, 12 RBI, 26K, 8 BB

  8. OHAHA

    No one will replace Itoi in the same caliber as him.. Losing him with Bs is really painful.. There might be trouble with the contract the Fighters offering him, so instead of making the story longer, they just ended it with a trade.

  9. Dylan

    Great trade by the Buffaloes. If you think Yagi and Kisanuki are equal, then Itoi for Obiki and Akada is a steal. Also, Itoi has to play at least a couple years for Orix.

    1. Steve Novosel

      Even if Itoi plays 1-2 years for Orix it’s a steal. Robbery. I wish we made this deal.

      You must be ecstatic with your offseason this year!

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