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[1/15/2014] Nyjer Morgan, Norichika Aoki, Masahiro Tanaka

by on Jan.15, 2014 @ 5:48 pm, under MLB

Former Yokohama Bay Star Nyjer Morgan signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians that includes a non-roster invite to spring training.  From MLB.com's Jason Beck:

Morgan seconded a report from ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that he has reached a Minor League contract to go to camp as a non-roster invite with the Indians, returning to the United States after a season in Japan. The team had not confirmed the signing as of Tuesday evening.

Source: MLB.com 1/14/2014

And from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick:

... Morgan confirmed the signing in an email to ESPN.com on Tuesday. A source said that if Morgan makes the Indians' big league roster and reaches specified incentives, the total value of his contract would exceed $1 million.

Source: ESPN 1/14/2014

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Norichika Aoki worked out in Urasoe, Okinawa on Tuesday.  He is currently working on toning his body and one of his goals is to drop his body fat down to eight percent and keep it there (he was over ten when he was with Milwaukee).

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/14/2014

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[Updates/additions were made at 11:30pm]

Masahiro Tanaka did not meet with the Angels, according to a report by the LA Times' Mike DiGiovanna.  From the article:

The Angels did not meet with Japanese pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka in Los Angeles last week, General Manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed, an indication that the team might not be a serious bidder for the 25-year-old right-hander.

... "We did not meet with Tanaka," said Dipoto, who was at a function in Iowa during the time Tanaka was in Los Angeles. "We were not scheduled to meet with him."

Asked what, if anything, could be inferred from this, Dipoto said, "Nothing more than that. I'm not going to walk through any details. I'm not going to say we're in or out. I'm not going to comment one way or another."

Source: LA Times 1/13/2014

He also did not meet with the Red Sox.  From the Boson Globe's Nick Cafardo:

Masahiro Tanaka did not visit with any Red Sox officials during his visit to Los Angeles last week, but the team has had conversations with the agent for the prized Japanese pitcher, Casey Close, according to a team source.

Late last week, Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino issued a “no comment” on whether the Red Sox had met with the 25-year-old righthander, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for the Rakuten Golden Eagles this past season in the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan.

Source: Boston Globe 1/13/2014

The NPB received a follow-up from the MLB today regarding Rakuten's reply to queries about comments they released about Tanaka's potential plans to donate money back to the organization.  As of now, the MLB is satisfied that the organization has not broken any rules but will continue to monitor the situation.  If Tanaka wants to make a donation of some sort at some point in the future, that matter will be discussed and decided at that time.

Source: Sponichi 1/14/2014, Sports Hochi 1/14/2014

The New York Post has posted an introductory article on Tanaka's wife, Mai Satoda.