The Japan Amateur Baseball Association announced today that they issued a lifetime ban on Takumi Numata for signing a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers without following required procedure. Edion director was given a six month suspension, beginning on September 24, for poor handling of the situation.
Additionally, the JABA has asked the NPB to submit a request to the MLB asking them to observe the order in which they try to acquire amateur players. The JABA has also contacted Industrial League teams and club teams to make sure they continue to follow the rules as well.
UPDATE @ 6:58pm -
A couple of points were raised in a Nikkan Sports report:
- The JABA issued the strongest possible penalty because there were no prior similar cases and as an attempt to prevent future cases.
- The JABA is required to remove players from their registry before they sign contracts with professional teams to avoid have them registered as both amateurs and professionals.
- In past cases where JABA players signed with MLB teams, players were properly removed from the registry before signing contracts.
- The JABA has not been able to speak directly to Numata, so they are not sure if he understood the rules. His team has informed JABA officials that they were never informed about his talks with an MLB team and contract. Teams are supposed to be contacted for approval before negotiations can begin.
- It is highly unlikely that the scout that signed Numata did not know the rules.
- The JABA does not want this to become a precedent. They want both players and teams to follow the rules accordingly.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/26/2013
UPDATE @ 8:05pm -
Numata's father, Seiya (聖也), spoke to reporters and said that there were misunderstandings and that the penalty was unfortunate. He also said that he negotiated with the Dodgers on his son's behalf and that he was sorry for the trouble he caused the JABA and the Dodgers.
Numata is currently working out in Japan and is preparing to attend the Dodgers Instructional League in Arizona in October.
Source: Sponichi 9/26/2013
UPDATE 9/27 @ 11:40pm -
Numata spoke to reporters on Thursday and said, "A club team player simply trusted the Dodgers' scout that made the offer. I would like everyone to understand that I did not know this would become such a big deal."
Source: Daily Sports 9/27/2013