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[11/14/2014] Free Agents: Toritani, Kaneko, Obiki, Naruse, Koyano, Aikawa

by on Nov.15, 2014 @ 2:36 am, under NPB

Takashi Toritani

  • The Tigers are planning to improve upon their last offer.
  • The Tigers thinking about including future plans for naming him manager.
  • Tigers' team president Nobuo Minami and Yutaka Wada could be included in the next round of negotiations.
  • The Tigers realize discussions with MLB teams will take some time and are prepared to wait on Toritani's reply into the new year.
  • The Tigers are expected to resume negotiations some time next early next week.

Sources: Daily Sports 11/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2014

Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Chunichi Dragons will wait to contact Kaneko until after the Suzuki Japan All-Star Series.
  • Motonobu Tanishige is willing to get involved in negotiations.
  • The Hanshin Tigers would like to make an offer if the opportunity presents itself. Their biggest concern is what Kaneko is trying to accomplish by exercising his option. They may decide to approach him after they see how Orix handles the situation.
  • Softbank and Rakuten are also interested.
  • The Orix Buffaloes are also planning to resume negotiations after the Suzuki Japan All-Star Series.
  • Buffaloes' team official Ryuzo Setoyama told reporters on Friday that Kaneko has not contacted them and they have not contacted him. He also said they have yet to talk about posting him.

Source: Daily Sports 11/14/2014, Sponichi 11/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2014, ZakZak 11/14/2014, Sanspo 11/14/2014, Sanspo 11/14/2014

Keiji Obiki

  • Negotiations with the Yakult Swallows started at 11:00am.
  • Yakult most likely offered Obiki a three-year deal worth 300 million yen. They may have offered him the uniform numbers 1 and 13.
  • Yakult manager Mitsuru Manaka wore an orange and purple striped tie to negotiations, in reference to Hosei University.
  • Obiki felt passion behind Yakult's request to join them and was pleased that they valued his leadership and personality; he did not notice the colors of Manaka's tie at first, but was happy when he did.
  • Obiki is expected to meet Orix this week and Rakuten next week on the 16th.
  • Obiki is not planning to meet each team more than once.
  • There is a good chance the Rakuten Eagles will offer a larger package (years and yen).
  • The Orix Buffaloes could also offer Obiki the uniform number 1.

Sources: Daily Sports 11/14/2014, Sports Hochi 11/14/2014, Sports Hochi 11/14/2014, Sponichi 11/14/2014, Sponichi 11/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2014

Yoshihisa Naruse

  • Negotiations with the Yakult Swallows started at 5:00pm.
  • Yakult most likely offered Naruse a three-year deal worth 600 million yen and the uniform number 17.
  • Yakult manager Manaka wore a dark blue tie with red and white stripes to negotiations, in reference to Yokohama High School.
  • Naruse was glad Yakult did not have to juggle uniform numbers to give him 17; he did not notice the colors of Manaka's tie; he felt needed with Manaka's presence.
  • Naruse currently has no plans to meet other teams.
  • Staying close to Tokyo was Naruse's top priority.
  • Naruse is planning to thank fans for their support during Lotte's fan appreciation day on the 22nd.

Sources: Daily Sports 11/14/2014, Sports Hochi 11/14/2014, Sports Hochi 11/14/2014, Sponichi 11/14/2014, Sponichi 11/14/2014, Sanspo 11/14/2014

Eiichi Koyano

  • The Seibu Lions are planning to reach out to Koyano sometime around the 18th.
  • The Lions could offer a multi-year deal and the uniform number 5.
  • The Orix Buffaloes are also interested.

Source: Sponichi 11/14/2014, Sanspo 11/14/2014

Ryoji Aikawa

  • Aikawa wants to play for a team that will give him a shot at winning the everyday catching job.
  • The Yakult Swallows are planning to go with Yuhei Nakamura at catcher next season.
  • The Yomiuri Giants are willing to give Aikawa a chance to win the everyday job. He will most likely be competing against Seiji Kobayashi.
  • Aikawa is not planning to return to the negotiating table with Yakult.
  • There are no other teams currently interested in Aikawa.
  • Aikawa could finalize his decision some time next week.
  • The Giants could offer a one-year deal worth around seventy million yen plus incentives. Aikawa earned 110 million yen with the Swallows this year. Their last offer may have been an estimated eighty million yen.

Source: Sponichi 11/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2014, Sanspo 11/14/2014

4 comments on “[11/14/2014] Free Agents: Toritani, Kaneko, Obiki, Naruse, Koyano, Aikawa

    1. Gen Post author

      To be honest, I’m not 100% sure, but there are a couple of things to consider.

      Chunichi was set on going after Sumitani. That could have turned off Aikawa. Aikawa has also stated that he wants to win, and if it’s between the Giants and Dragons, he might feel the former has a better chance. I also can’t imagine the Dragons wanting to get into a bidding war with the Giants — if he were younger, maybe, but at his age, he would really be more of a stopgap until they find a more permanent solution.

      1. IM

        Good points.
        Did Aikawa make it known that he was considering free agency prior to declaring? I didn’t really notice anything beforehand and was somewhat surprised that he had declared. Sumitani is certainly the younger player, but doesn’t have the offensive track record Aikawa has.
        The Dragons don’t seem to ever want to be in bidding war over any players (domestic, foreign or otherwise), but doesn’t sound like Yomiuri has offered him a ton yet.
        Chunichi is pretty much desperate for catching help, but I’m sure if everything were equal Aikawa would choose Yomiuri.

        1. Gen Post author

          I don’t really remember him being that vocal about the possibility of becoming a free agent, but I think he did drop hints along the way.

          It hasn’t been mentioned, but I wonder if location had something to do with it. He’s from Chiba and has spent his entire career in the Kanto region. Perhaps Chunichi felt if given the choice, he would choose to stay closer to home.

          Aikawa is also a B-level free agent. Maybe Chunichi didn’t want to give up so much for a thirty-eight-year-old catcher.

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