[9/17/2013] Potential problems with Los Angeles Dodgers’ signing of Takumi Numata (UPDATE 9/25 @ 5:26pm)
As reported early, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed nineteen-year-old pitcher Takumi Numata to a minor league contract. It now seems there is a problem.
The Japan Amateur Baseball Association (JABA) announced on Tuesday that Numata did not go through the necessary channels before sitting down with the Dodgers -- he did not get permission from his team, the Edion Aichi Kogyo Daigaku OB Blitz (Industrial League club team), and was never removed from the Industrial League player registry.
The JABA is planning to hold a meeting to discuss what course of action should be taken.
A JABA official said, "It is extremely regrettable that [an MLB team] signed a contract with a player that cannot be drafted by an NPB team and never had paperwork filed to take him off the registry."
NPB teams are not allowed to draft players that joined Industrial League teams out high school for three years and two years for all other cases. Numata is off limits for two years, beginning this year, since this was his first year with with Edion Aichi Kogyo Daigaku OB Blitz -- he graduated high school in 2011, went to university in 2012 and dropped out after a year, joined Blitz in 2013.
Source: Sponichi 9/17/2013
UPDATE @ 11:39am -
There are three main problems:
- Negotiations took place during the season without approval from Edion's manager
- The player was signed despite never being taken off the registry
- The player did not serve the required two years with the Industrial League team he joined
The MLB reportedly contacted the NPB about Numata and was told he would not be available until the fall of 2014. The JABA told the media that Edion never know contract negotiations took place.
Source: Sports Hochi 9/18/2013
UPDATE 9/24 @ 8:07pm -
The JABA held a special meeting today to discuss the circumstances surrounding Numata's contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and to decide what steps should be taken next. Nothing was released to the media since they are still planning to meet with the NPB.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/24/2013
UPDATE 9/25 @ 5:26pm -
Tokyo Sports provides a couple more interesting notes about what happened.
- When Edion learned the Dodgers submitted a player status check, the manager of tried to reason with Numata, but he was already set on signing with the MLB team. It seems there may have been indications that the player was tampered with before the status check was filed.
- There are questions why the scout that signed Numata used a questionable approach to sign a player that broke the gentlemen's agreement between the NPB and MLB despite being in the business for fifteen years and knowing exactly how things are between the two leagues.
Source: Tokyo Sports 9/24/2013