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[12/28/2015] NPB Rumor Mill for the week ending on January 3

by on Dec.28, 2015 @ 4:59 pm, under NPB

NPB rumor mill for the week ending on January 3, 2016.


  • Hanshin interested in Eric Thames.

(last update 12/31 @ 7:04pm)

Player Rumor Mill

Player Team Latest Update
Ono, Yudai CHU [01/02 @ 2:06am] According to a report by Tokyo Sports, Ono would like a shot at playing in the Majors at some point in the future. Source: Tokyo Sports 1/2/2016
Yanagita, Yuki SOF [12/31/2015 @ 6:50pm] The Hawks could be planning to offer Yanagita a large multi-year deal after the 2016 season. The twenty-seven-year-old is currently slated to earn his domestic FA option in 2018. Source: ZakZak 12/31/2015
Matsunaka, Nobuhiko -- [12/31/2015 @ 7:02pm] Former Softbank Hawk Matsunaka has been training at Total Workout gym. Source: Sponichi 12/31/2015, Total Workout Announcement
Baldiris, Aarom -- [12/31/2015 @ 7:03pm] Former Yokohama Bay Star Baldiris signed a one-year agreement with Samsung worth an estimated 950,000 US dollars. Source: Sanspo 12/31/2015
Oh, Seung-Hwan -- [12/31/2015 @ 6:59pm] Prosecutors determined that the gambling incident involving Oh "was not habitual but was a one-time event during a holiday." They are seeking a fine worth seven million won. Source: Korea Times 12/30/2015, Daily Sports 12/31/2015, ZakZak 12/31/2015

Contract Agreements

Player Team Latest Update



  • [12/31 @ 7:04pm] The Detroit Tigers signed former Nippon Ham Fighter Michael Crotta and former Chiba Lotte Marine Chad Huffman to minor league contracts. Source: MLB.com via Sponichi 12/31/2015
  • [12/31 @ 7:01pm] The Tigers will continue to keep an eye on twenty-seven-year-old pitcher Hyeon-Jong Yang (KIA Tigers, KBO). He is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2016 season. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/31/2015, Sponichi 12/31/2015, Daily Sports 12/31/2015
  • [12/29 @ 4:51pm] According to a number of media reports, the Hanshin Tigers are looking into Eric Thames as a possible option for the 2017 season. Thames is currently a member of the NC Dinos (Korea) and will become a free agent after the 2016 season. He recorded thirty-seven home runs and 121 RBI in his first season with NC Dinos in 2014. He did even better this year with forty-seven home runs, 140 RBI, and forty stolen bases. Source: Daily Sports 12/29/2015, Nikkan Sports 12/29/2015, Sponichi 12/29/2015


Rumor Mill Archive


4 comments on “[12/28/2015] NPB Rumor Mill for the week ending on January 3

  1. T-Ray

    You just never know how the skills will translate to NPB, even from KBO. I hope the Tigers can sign him but I also hope they lower their expectations… he may not go 40/40 or even 30/30 come 2017…

    1. Ren

      Eric Thames won’t get that 40 steal mark though but I think the power numbers will still be there, I think he’ll probably hit around 20~30 homeruns in the NPB. I’ve seen how most of the pitchers in the KBO pitch, and I tell you, the control there is lacking… And most starters in the league only average 140kph~145kph, and they rarely reach the 150kph mark on the radar gun. But after seeing Thames playing with NC via SPOTV and how he dominated that league, I think he’ll translate pretty well if he plays in the NPB.

      If someone’s interested, here are some of Eric Thames highlights this 2015 season with the NC Dinos.

    2. IM

      I remember Thames as a Mariner, he showed some potential to be a useful MLB player, but ran out of opportunities. I think he’d be good/great in NPB, though I’ve been a little surprised by his homer totals in the KBO. He’s not a big guy, but clearly a good athlete. What makes me think he’d do well is that his swing is compact and natural, and from watching Ren’s video it looks like he’s hitting fastballs and breaking balls with authority.

  2. Burly

    I think Eric Thames could be the next Tyrone Woods if he signs with an NPB team next year. He’s an MLB caliber player who would have a great chance to perform at least as well as Dae-ho Lee and possibly as well as Woods did some years ago.

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