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[11/14/2013] Orix Buffaloes to part ways with Dae-Ho Lee

by on Nov.14, 2013 @ 10:10 pm, under NPB

The Orix Buffaloes will part ways with Dae-Ho Lee.

Team director Ryuzo Setoyama spoke to reporters today about negotiations and said that they tried their best to resign the slugger, but had to give up because they could not give Lee the kind of contract he was looking for.

Yonhap News is carrying a story on the decision.

... Lee Cha-ho, a sports agent and older brother of the player, said Lee Dae-ho told the Osaka-based team in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league on Wednesday that he couldn't accept the club's offer of a new contract.

"He likes the surroundings in the home city of Osaka," Lee Cha-ho said. "But he just couldn't stay with the team with the kind of money that they offered him."

The Buffaloes reportedly offered him 800 million yen (US$8.1 million) for two years, after paying him 760 million yen for two previous seasons.

... "Two to three Japanese clubs have shown interest in Lee Dae-ho and their offer is larger than Orix's," the older Lee said. "Major League Baseball is also interested. He's trying to decide whether to take on the challenge (of playing in the big leagues) or to settle down in Japan."

Jiji News mentions that the Buffaloes ultimately pushed their offer to three years at a max value of over one billion yen.  Nikkan Sports puts the max value at over 1.2 billion.

Source: Sponichi 11/14/2013, Yonhap News 11/14/2013, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2013, Jiji Press 11/14/2013

12 comments on “[11/14/2013] Orix Buffaloes to part ways with Dae-Ho Lee

  1. Burly

    It will be interesting to see what Japanese team is willing to pay Lee more than the 800 million yen over two years offered by Orix. Lee apparently has hopes of playing in the U.S., but I just don’t see him as a major league starter. His power numbers in two NPB seasons do not suggest he’d hit for enough power as a starting 1Bman in MLB. I also get the impression Lee is extremely slow, based on only two triples and zero stolen bases in two NPB seasons. I’d be surprised if a major league team would give him anything more than an unguaranteed minor league contract.

      1. Patrick Wilson

        Rakuten would want him back… He hopes to find a MLB deal.

        With Softbank signing of Canizares I really wonder who would sign him…

        Chunichi?

  2. muratafan

    Well, Orix’s chances for A-class status really decreased if this is the case. Lee would be a great pickup, but at what price? $4m/year is pretty steep and outside of the big 4 (softbank/giants/tigers/dragons), I am not sure who has that big of a pocketbook for a good, not great player.

    1. Steve Novosel

      Orix already had problems scoring runs with him in the lineup.

      Honestly I don’t understand a bidding war for his services. I like him alot, I think he’s a fine player but there are quite a few guys that provide what he does. This talk of making him one of the top 3 best paid or even the best paid in Japan is madness.

      1. muratafan

        Lee’s agent said ‘3 teams in NPB were interested’. The Giants have Murata @ 3b and Lopez at 1b….the only thing I could think of is maybe putting Lopez back at second and have Lee at First.

        Chunichi might be interested, but they have Clark at 1B and they may move him/not re-sign him.

        Hanshin could be interested, but that would mean moving Arai back to 3rd base.

        Softbank could let go of LaHair and that’s probably the best bet of anyone in terms of who could afford that kind of salary. Softbank does spend money, especially when they don’t make the playoffs.

        I would still REALLY like to see how much Messenger is actually getting. Lee getting $4m/year seems like pretty rarefied air.

  3. Carter

    Softbank would have Lahair, Canizares and Lee Dae Ho with Nakamura, a starter last year, doing really good even though he doesn’t hit for power. What are they going to do with him ? Shifting him to the outfield ? Hasegawa is a lock, Uchikawa too but there’s also Yanagita who has great potential. If you want the three best outfielders, that pushes Uchikawa to DH and one of the 1B is out of the team … And for the amount of money they’re paid …

    1. muratafan

      Keep in mind the Hawks are the same team that signed Brad Penny (!) to a really, really expensive deal. In NPB, they are really the big spenders.

      1. Patrick Wilson

        And I don’t like the players they drafted… well they got three industrial league pitchers who might help this year… Kajiya, Okamoto… but… they make me think of the L.A Angels sometimes… with some big spending…

        It would be interesting to compare every NPB team with a major league team… Hanshin (Boston), Yomiuri (NYY), Softbank (LAA)…

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