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[12/5/2014] Orix Buffaloes come to terms with Hiroyuki Nakajima

by on Dec.05, 2014 @ 2:17 pm, under NPB

The Orix Buffaloes have announced that they came to terms with Hiroyuki Nakajima (32). He was assigned the uniform number 1.

According to CBS Sports, Nakajima agreed to a three-year deal worth twelve million US dollars (about 1.4 billion yen).

Source: official announcement, CBS Sports 12/4/2014, Sponichi 12/4/2014

[UPDATE @ 9:20pm]

The Buffaloes held a press conference for Nakajima a little earlier today.

Source: official announcement

[UPDATE @ 11:47pm]

A few notes:

  • The Hanshin Tigers were informed by e-mail that Nakajima was not going to sign with them on Thursday night. They were disappointed, but also did not want to get involved in a bidding war to land him. Source: Daily Sports 12/5/2014
  • It likely came down to the Tigers and Buffaloes at the end. Hanshin's last offer was rumored to be three years at 900 million yen. The Buffaloes went higher. Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014
  • A team official told reporters that Nakajima agreed to a three-year deal worth 1.2 billion yen. Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014

Sponichi has posted a portion of his press conference:

What made you decide to return Japan?

I did want to play in the United States, but I'd be in a situation where I wouldn't how I'd be spending my year just to make it to the Majors. I felt I couldn't afford to waste any more time.

You had a number of offers on the table and decided to come here.

They were close to winning a championship and they asked me to help them. Orix has changed. I'd like to do what I can to help.

How were your two years in the States?

It went by so quickly. I got hurt so things didn't really go according to the way I hoped, but there were a lot of positives too.

How do you feel about your hitting?

I want to drive in a lot of runs. Hitting for average is important, as is driving the ball. I want to be able to get the kind of hit that's needed.

You'll be playing close to home.

There were a lot of people that helped me out over the years. I'd like to take things one at a time.

Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014