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[11/21/2014] Ryoji Aikawa formally turns down Yakult, to sign with Yomiuri

by on Nov.21, 2014 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB

Ryoji Aikawa (38) met with the Yakult Swallows on Friday to formally turn down their offer and to let them know that he was planning to sign with the Yomiuri Giants.

Aikawa first met the Yomiuri Giants on the 13th. He did not receive an offer, but was told he would have a chance to compete for the everyday job at catcher. He met the Giants again on the 16th and was most likely offered a one-year contract worth an estimated sixty million yen and the uniform number 23.

The Giants are also said to have reached a deal with Tatsuhiko Kinjo (38). The Yokohama Bay Stars announced that Kinjo will not be participating in fan appreciation day and posted the following statement from the veteran:

To the fans,

I was able to play for the Yokohama Bay Stars for sixteen years because you supported me by cheering for me while I was on the field. There were good times and bad times. Regardless of how things were going, your cheering never changed. Your warm cheering gave me strength.

I am very sorry, but I will not be able to properly say goodbye to you as I leave this team. I will never forget the appreciation I have for you and will pursue my baseball career to the fullest.

Thank you very much for the sixteen years.

Yomiuri is expected to hold a press conference for both players in early December.

Sources: Sponichi 11/21/2014, Daily Sports 11/21/2014, Daily Sports 11/21/2014, Daily Sports 11/21/2014, official announcement (Kinjo)