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[11/11/2015] NPB: Six players file for free agency

by on Nov.11, 2015 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB

Players that Exercised Free Agent Options

Pos Name JPN Name ENG Team Age Type Salary Rank Compensation Interest
INF 脇谷 亮太 Wakiya, Ryota SEI 34 DOM 24.00M C None Yomiuri
Signed w/ Yomiuri (12/2)
P 高橋 聡文 Takahashi, Akifumi CHU 32 DOM 30.00M C None Hanshin
Signed w/ Hanshin (11/23)
INF 松田 宣浩 Matsuda, Nobuhiro SOF 32 INT 220.00M B Player + 40% 2015 salary OR
60% 2015 salary
Signed w/ Softbank (12/24)
INF 今江 敏晃 Imae, Toshiaki LOT 32 INT 200.00M A Player + 50% 2015 salary OR
80% 2015 salary
Signed w/ Rakuten (11/27)
INF 田中 浩康 Tanaka, Hiroyasu YAK 33 INT 75.00M B Player + 40% 2015 salary OR
60% 2015 salary
To remain with Yakult (11/12)
INF 木村 昇吾 Kimura, Shogo HIR 35 INT 41.00M C None Seibu
Signed w/Seibu (2/5)


News and Notes (will be updated as needed, bullet points without dates/times are from the original post)

Wakiya, Ryota

  • NPB teams that might be interested: Yomiuri. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2015
  • [11/12 @ 12:02am] - The Giants are expected to meet him soon. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2015
  • [11/12 @ 10:08pm] - The Giants are scheduled to meet him on November 16. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/12/2015
  • [11/16 @ 8:38am] - The Giants could offer him the uniform number 2 or 5. The Lions and Giants are currently the only two teams said to be interested in him. Source: Sanspo 11/16/2015
  • [11/16 @ 6:00pm] - He met the Giants in Tokyo on November 16 and was offered a one-year deal and the uniform number 2. Source: Chunichi Sports 11/16/2015
  • [11/16 @ 7:09pm] - He had a chance to speak to Yoshinobu Takahashi over the phone during the meeting. Source: Sponichi 11/16/2015
  • [11/17 @ 8:44am] - He will most likely decide to accept the Giants offer within the next few days. Source: Daily Sports 11/17/2015
  • [12/2 @ 2:47pm] - The Giants announced on December 2 that they signed Wakiya to a contract. Source: official announcement
  • [12/3 @ 7:19am] - He may have agreed to a one-year deal worth an estimated twenty-four million yen plus incentives and the uniform number 2. Source: Sanspo 12/3/2015
  • [12/7 @ 10:02pm] - The Giants held a press conference for him on December 7. He was assigned the uniform number 2. Source: official announcement

Takahashi, Akifumi

  • Chunichi made him an offer during their first meeting on November 10. They have left the door open to re-signing him even though he exercised his FA option. Source: Sponichi 11/11/2015 ... Chunichi may have offered a one-year deal at thirty million yen (no change) or with a slight raise. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2015 ... Chunichi may have offered a multi-year deal. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/11/2015
  • NPB teams that might be interested: Hanshin. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2015
  • He exercised his FA option for the chance to talk to other teams, not drive up his price tag. Source: Sponichi 11/11/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/11/2015
  • [11/12 @ 1:45am] - The Tigers might be preparing a two-year offer. Source: Sports Hochi 11/11/2015
  • [11/12 @ 9:23am] - The Dragons may have offered a one-year deal around forty million yen. Source: Sanspo 11/12/2015
  • [11/12 @ 2:42pm] - The Tigers are scheduled to meet him on November 14. Source: Daily Sports 11/12/2015
  • [11/13 @ 1:44am] - The Tigers will meet him at a hotel in Osaka some time after noon on November 14. Source: Sanspo 11/12/2015
  • [11/13 @ 6:22pm] - The Dragons and Tigers are currently the only teams with interest. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2015 ... The Dragons are not planning to improve the offer they made to him. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2015
  • [11/14 @ 9:59pm] - First round of negotiations with the Tigers lasted about fifty minutes. He met team official Eiichi Takano and spoke to Tomoaki Kanemoto over the phone. He was happy with discussions. He is not scheduled to meet other teams at this time. Source: Sponichi 11/14/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2015
  • [11/16 @ 2:47pm] - The Dragons are hoping to meet him one last time. They are not planning to change their offer, but want another chance to talk to him. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/16/2015
  • [11/17 @ 8:57am] - He is currently working out at World Wing in Tottori. He is scheduled to return to Nagoya some time around November 20. He told reporters on November 16 that he was having a hard time deciding, but did not want to drag things out. Source: Daily Sports 11/17/2015
  • [11/23 @ 4:15pm] - The Tigers announced on November 23 that they reached an agreement with Takahashi. Source: Daily Sports 11/23/2015, Sponichi 11/23/2015
  • [11/23 @ 4:45pm] - The two sides may have agreed to a three-year deal worth 150 million yen. Source: Chunichi Sports 11/23/2015
  • [12/1 @ 10:30pm] - The Tigers held a press conference for Takahashi on December 1. He was assigned the uniform number 41. Source: official announcement

Matsuda, Nobuhiro

  • Possible destination: Softbank or MLB
  • May have been offered 2.5 billion yen over four years. Source: ZakZak 11/11/2015
  • MLB teams that might be interested: San Diego. Source: ZakZak 11/11/2015, Sponichi 11/11/2015
  • [11/24 @ 7:04am] He is not planning to go on the team's championship trip to Hawaii (four nights, six days beginning on December 8) so that he can focus on his plans for 2016. Source: Sanspo 11/24/2015
  • [12/5 @ 2:41pm] The media learned on December 12 that he hired Legacy Agency's Peter Greenberg to represent him in the United States. Source: Sports Hochi 12/5/2015
  • [12/6 @ 12:35pm] He may have boiled his options down to Major league contract or the Softbank Hawks. Source: Chunichi Sports 12/6/2015, Daily Sports 12/6/2015
  • [12/6 @ 10:35pm] He could make a decision about where he is going to play next season before the end of the year. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2015
  • [12/8 @ 10:46pm] He is thinking about visiting San Diego after going on the team championship trip to Hawaii (December 8-13). Source: ZakZak 12/8/2015
  • [12/10 @ 8:45am] The San Diego Padres are expected to make him an offer shortly. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/10/2015
  • [12/10 @ 9:05am] The Padres may have already offered him a one-year deal worth around 123 million yen. He may also be speaking to two other MLB teams. Source: Sponichi 12/10/2015
  • [12/10 @ 12:01pm] Five to six MLB teams are reportedly interested. Source: Sanspo 12/10/2015
  • [12/11 @ 10:34am] He is apparently only considering MLB contracts right now. Source: Sanspo 12/11/2015
  • [12/ 11 @ 6:29pm] He is apparently open to a one-year MLB contract with a low salary, so long as he has a chance to play and prove himself. The Padres offer might have been for one year at one million US dollars at second base. Source: Sponichi 12/11/2015
  • [12/12 @ 12:01am] San Diego Union-Tribune's Dennis Lin tweeted that the organization might offer Matsuda either a two-year contract or a one-year with an option. Source: via Sports Hochi 12/12/2015, Nikkan Sports 12/12/2015, Sponichi 12/12/2015
  • [12/13 @ 6:49pm] The Hawks are planning to meet him at least once after he returns to Japan from the team's championship trip to Hawaii. They have already started working on a list of foreign players in case he decides to sign with an MLB team. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/13/2015
  • [12/15 @ 11:37pm] He is hoping to decide where he is going to play before the end of the year. Sources told the media that he spoke to five to six teams and was offered a Major league contract by just one team, the Padres. In the end, it could come down to just two teams: the Padres and Hawks. Source: ZakZak 12/15/2015
  • [12/18 @ 12:39am] When asked about when he might have a decision on December 17, he replied, "The clock is ticking, but I'm not really sure. I can't really say." Source: Daily Sports 12/17/2015
  • [12/19 @ 12:25am] A few more quotes from December 17: "Chase my dreams or accept reality, I'm struggling with the decision. I waiver every day." ... "I'm running out of time. Which am I going to choose, this might be the last time. If this were just about me then maybe, but I want make this decision after discussing it with my family." Source: Nikkan Sports 12/18/2015
  • [12/19 @ 6:46pm] He spoke to the media after a talk event on December 19 and said he planned to make a decision before the end of the year. Source: Chunichi Sports 12/19/2015
  • [12/22 @ 11:13pm] The Hawks could off him the uniform number 3 as a sign that they want him to be the team leader. Source: ZakZak 12/22/2015
  • [12/23 @ 10:17pm] He will most likely return to the Softbank Hawks, according to a tweet by Jon Heyman. Source: Tweet via Daily Sports 12/23/2015
  • [12/24 @ 9:56am] More coverage.
  • [12/26 @ 12:51am] He received offers from six MLB teams, including the Padres, White Sox, and Cardinals. It worried him that teams were thinking about using him at second and short because of a lack of experience at both positions. He was concerned it might affect his hitting. He also felt in his case, thirty-three might be a little old to try for the Majors. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/25/2015, Nikkan Sports 12/25/2015

Imae, Toshiaki

  • Lotte usually does not re-sign players after they exercise their FA options. Source: ZakZak 11/11/2015, Nikkan Sports 11/11/2015
  • Negotiations with the team may not have been in his favor because a wrist fracture in July limited him to ninety-eight games this season. He met Lotte twice after the Climax Series. They may have gotten close, but ultimately not close enough for an agreement. He may have also felt his role on the team changing or diminishing in a way that he was not ready to accept. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/11/2015 ... Lotte may have offered a one-year deal with a cut in salary. Source: Sponichi 11/11/2015
  • NPB teams that might be interested: Rakuten. Source: Sponichi 11/11/2015
  • NPB teams that might have been interested: Orix. Source: Sponichi 11/11/2015
  • He wants to play third base. Source: Sports Hochi 11/11/2015
  • He would like to sign with a team in Japan. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2015
  • [11/12 @ 9:24am] The Eagles are looking for a reliable third baseman. They could offer him a multi-year deal and a single-digit uniform number. Source: Sanspo 11/12/2015
  • [11/13 @ 6:35pm] The Eagles are very serious about him and reached out to him on November 12. Vice chairman Senichi Hoshino could get involved in negotiations. They could offer him a two-year deal worth around 400 million yen. Source: Chunichi Sports 11/13/2015 ... Team official Hiroshi Abei contacted him on November 12. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2015
  • [11/13 @ 10:26pm] Hoshino admitted to reporters on November 13 that the organization was going after him. Source: Chunichi Sports 11/13/2015
  • [11/14 @ 3:15pm] The Eagles could meet him on November 17 or 18. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/14/2015
  • [11/16 @ 3:20pm] The Eagles announced that they will meet him in Tokyo on November 17. Hoshino will also be in attendance. Source: Daily Sports 11/16/2015
  • [11/16 @ 6:15pm] He is currently scheduled to attend Lotte Fan Appreciation Day on November 22. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/16/2015
  • [11/17 @ 9:12am] Team president Yozo Tachibana and Hoshino will meet him at a hotel in Tokyo on November 17. The Eagles could start with a base multi-year offer worth around 200 million yen a year, or a two-year deal worth a total of about 500 million yen, in addition to a single digit number (0 and 3 are available) and third base. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/17/2015, Sports Hochi 11/17/2015, Sponichi 11/17/2015
  • [11/17 @ 10:12pm] The Eagles met him at a hotel in Tokyo today. They offered him a multi-year deal and asked him to become one of their core players. Source: Daily Sports 11/17/2015
  • [11/18 @ 1:55pm] The meeting on November 17 lasted about fifty minutes. Rakuten may have offered a three-year deal worth over 600 million yen. Source: Sponichi 11/18/2015
  • [11/18 @ 10:55pm] They Eagles may have offered about 500 million yen over two years. No other teams have expressed an interest so far. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/18/2015
  • [11/26 @ 6:54pm] He spoke to reporters on November 26 and said he was hoping to make an announcement about his decision soon. Source: Daily Sports 11/26/2015
  • [11/27 @ 11:08am] The Eagles could offer him the uniform number 8. Yasuhito Uchida is currently wearing the number, but they could give him something else. Source: Sponichi 11/27/2015
  • [11/27 @ 3:47pm] The Eagles announced on November 27 that they reached an agreement with Imae. A uniform number has not yet been assigned. Source: official announcement
  • [11/29 @ 2:41am] He may have agreed to a two-year deal worth around 500 million yen. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/28/2015
  • [11/29 @ 2:43am] Lotte will decide on their compensation once they see who is available. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/28/2015
  • [12/9 @ 10:41pm] The Eagles held a press conference for him on December 9. He was assigned the uniform number 8. Source: official announcement
  • [12/24 @ 10:51pm] The Marines received a list of available players from the Rakuten Eagles on December 23. The organization is planning to go over the list and consider their options in the New Year. Source: Chunichi Sports 12/24/2015, Daily Sports 12/24/2015
  • [01/12 @ 7:48pm] The Marines have been going over Rakuten's list, but have yet to find a player they want right now. They could end up going with full money compensation instead of a player plus money.  They have until January 19 to make a decision. Source: Sponichi 1/12/2016, Nikkan Sports 1/12/2016
  • [01/13 @ 6:08pm] The Marines announced that they decided to go with money-only compensation. They will receive eighty percent of his 2015 salary, or about 160 million yen, from Rakuten. Source: Daily Sports 1/13/2016

Tanaka, Hiroyasu

  • He is expected to stay with the Swallows. Source: Sponichi 11/11/2015
  • [11/13 @ 1:28am] The NPB listed Tanaka as returning to Yakult on November 12.

Kimura, Shogo

  • Hiroshima has never re-signed a player that exercised their FA option. Source: Sponichi 11/11/2015
  • He is not thinking about signing with a team overseas. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2015
  • [11/23 @ 4:14pm] No new developments. Source: Daily Sports 11/23/2015
  • [11/30 @ 12:06am] He cleared out his locker at Mazda Stadium on November 28. He told reporters it was his last day at the stadium and that he still had nothing new to report. Source: Sponichi 11/29/2015
  • [11/30 @ 4:38pm] Hiroshima is not interested in signing him. Source: Sports Hochi 11/30/2015
  • [12/4 @ 7:54pm] Still no offers, as of December 3. Source: Daily Sports 12/4/2015
  • [12/16 @ 2:55pm] Still no offers, as of a ZakZak report on December 16. Source: ZakZak 12/16/2015
  • [12/25 @ 2:49pm] Seibu announced that he is scheduled to attend a tryout during spring camp next year (beginning on the first day). The tryout will most likely last about ten days. Source: Daily Sports 12/25/2015
  • [2/5/2016 @ 7:42pm] The Lions announced that they signed Kimura. He was given the uniform number 0. According to media reports, the two sides agreed to a deal worth an estimated twenty million yen plus incentives. Source: official announcement, Daily Sports 2/5/2016
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7 comments on “[11/11/2015] NPB: Six players file for free agency

    1. Patrick Wilson

      I thought that Imae had a bigger contract than what he got (200 million yen) so my comment wasn’t that scientific. The position switch I knew would be a clincher. Now Matsuda can star for the next 4 years, at his position, 3rd base.

  1. Patrick Wilson

    1 million, to play second base? Look at Dae-Ho Lee, probably not getting much love either… I feel that athletes should always be looking to compete against the best, but I like NPB stars to remain in the NPB. I’m biased a bit. Also, if Lee is to go back to KBO good for that league! The positive to Maeda going to the majors, is some room to youngsters like Akitade Okada in the rotation.

  2. Patrick Wilson

    My guess is Matsuda stays with Softbank. A bit like Toritani last year. It’s taken too long and the idea of playing second base for a capable third baseman must be a bit of a turn off.

  3. Tim

    I have a question related to the case of former Carp Kimura. Now that Seibu signed him after the tryout, do they need to pay compensation to the Carps anymore?

    1. Gen Post author

      Sorry, the info I had up was wrong. He was actually a C level free agent, which means there is no compensation.

      If he was a higher ranked free agent, then I do believe Seibu would owe Hiroshima compensation.

Comments are closed.