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[12/19/2013] Kensuke Tanaka, Tomokazu Ohka

by on Dec.19, 2013 @ 2:59 pm, under MLB

The Texas Rangers have reportedly signed Kensuke Tanaka (32) to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

Tanaka has placed a greater emphasis on weight training this off-season and has managed to gain four kilograms.  He plans to head to the United States in January to continue his training in Los Angeles.

Source: Daily Sports 12/19/2013, Sponichi 12/19/2013

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The Toronto Blue Jays signed Tomokazu Ohka (37) to a minor league contract.  From MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm:

Ohka made 10 starts for the Blue Jays in 2007 and has been out of the big leagues for the past several years, but he is attempting to reinvent himself as a knuckleballer.

The 37-year-old has been refining the pitch in recent months and is expected to begin the year with Double-A New Hampshire. It's a no-lose situation for both sides, and Ohka will have the added benefit of working alongside former National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey during Spring Training.

... Perhaps the biggest benefit for the Blue Jays is that Ohka's presence in camp will give their catchers more experience with a knuckleballer. Top prospect A.J. Jimenez likely will catch Ohka at the Double-A level, while fellow catchers Dioner Navarro, Thole and Erik Kratz can get more experience with the pitch.

Source: MLB.com 12/12/2013