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[11/12/2014] Free Agents: Chihiro Kaneko, Yakult Swallows, Eiichi Koyano

by on Nov.13, 2014 @ 5:56 am, under NPB

Takashi Toritani (33) is considering the possibility of having to head to the United States without his family. Source: Sanspo 11/12/2014

The Yakult Swallows announced that they will meet Yoshihisa Naruse (29) and Keiji Obiki (30) for negotiations in Tokyo on Thursday. Mitsuru Manaka is scheduled to attend the meetings. Source: Daily Sports 11/12/2014

The Chunichi Dragons are interested in Chihiro Kaneko. They could shift whatever resources they planned to offer Hiroyuki Nakajima to Kaneko. Source: Sports Hochi 11/12/2014 ... The Dragons could be preparing a three-year deal worth an estimated one billion yen. If they do meet with Kaneko, they plan to keep things quiet. Source: Daily Sports 11/12/2014 ... The Softbank Hawks could be preparing a four-year deal worth over two billion yen. The Orix Buffaloes may have offered their ace as much as 1.5 billion yen over three years. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/12/2014 ... The Rakuten Eagles are also interested in Kaneko. Source: Sponichi 11/12/2014 ... The Hanshin Tigers and Yomiuri Giants are interested, but will most likely take a wait and see approach because they are not sure what Kaneko wants. Lotte, Seibu, and Yakult either have other players on their radar, or not enough resources. Source: Sponichi 11/12/2014 ... MLB teams that sent scouts to watch Kaneko include the Phillies, Red Sox, and Padres. Source: Sponichi 11/12/2014 ... Kaneko made the 2015 team calendar (month of March). Source: Nikkan Sports 11/12/2014

The Orix Buffaloes and Seibu Lions are interested in Eiichi Koyano (34). Source: Sports Hochi 11/12/2014, Sports Hochi 11/12/2014 ... Seibu could offer Koyano a multi-year deal and the uniform number five. Source: Daily Sports 11/12/2014


A quick note about Kaneko and his FA option.

The decision to exercise the option means that Kaneko will have to wait at least four years until he can re-earn an option that will allow him to head overseas as a free agent. The only way he can go to the Majors now, within the next four years, is through the posting system. You could argue that it would have been smarter for him to earn his international option by staying with Orix for one more season, but it is possible he feels very strongly about going to the Majors this year. This is a big risk for Kaneko that could end up back-firing if Orix rejects his request to be posted. It could mean having to sign with another NPB team and working out some sort of agreement that might allow him to head to the Majors through the posting system after one or more seasons (but fewer than four).