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[10/27/2013] Rumors: Hanshin Tigers, Nippon Ham Fighters, Orix Buffaloes

by on Oct.28, 2013 @ 1:39 am, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

The media learned on Saturday that the front office has spoken to all five players with FA options at least once: Takashi Toritani, Shinobu Fukuhara, Yuya Ando, Yasutomo Kubo, and Tomoyuki Kubota.  The Tigers are hoping to retain all five players.

Source: Sanspo 10/27/2013

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The Tigers are in a tough spot with regards to their pitching staff.  Two key members of the starting rotation, Randy Messenger and Jason Standridge, might not return next year.  The front office would like to re-sign Messenger and the jury is still out on Standridge.  Three of their top relievers, Kosuke Kato, Ando, and Fukuhara, are all over thirty-five.  They have an interest in Seung-Hwan Oh, but so do a lot of other teams.  And then there is Kubo and his FA option.

Kubo may ask the team for some indication of where they plan to use him next season and into the future, but the organization may not be able to answer this question until some time in December (could be earlier, but a lot depends on what kind of players are available on the international free agent market and what happens to players like Messenger, Standridge, and Oh).  Whether or not that will be good enough for Kubo remains to be seen.

Source: Tokyo Sports 10/27/2013

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The Tigers are hoping to have a decision on Matt Murton by around November 10.  Talks with his agent are still ongoing.  It is possible Murton makes some sort of a decision within the next few days, depending on what kind of offers he has received from MLB teams.  It is unlikely that he has gotten any MLB offers over the estimated three million US dollars he made this past season.

Source: Daily Sports 10/27/2013

Nippon Ham Fighters

There is a good chance Shinya Tsuruoka will exercise his domestic FA option.  He is scheduled to meet with the team on the 28th and is expected to inform the team of his plans.  Eiichi Koyano is also slated to meet team officials on the 28th -- he will most likely hold on to his option and remain with the team.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/27/2013

Orix Buffaloes

Tetsuya Yokoyama wants to continue playing and plans to attend the twelve-team tryouts on November 10.

Source: Daily Sports 10/27/2013