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[11/26/2014] Eiichi Koyano announces decision to sign with Orix

by on Nov.26, 2014 @ 4:30 pm, under NPB
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Eiichi Koyano (34) held a press conference at the Nippon Ham Fighters' offices earlier today to announce his decision to sign with the Orix Buffaloes.

When asked why he selected the Buffaloes, he replied, "I have never struggled with a decision like this in my life. Hiroshi Moriwaki called me directly and his words struck a chord with me. The was the biggest reason that made me feel I wanted to play baseball with him. The Fighters took care of me and I really had a hard time making this decision because my feelings wavered with each moment."

Koyano most likely agreed to a three-year deal worth over 300 million yen.

Source: official announcement, Sponichi 11/26/2014

[11/25/2014] Free Agents: Takashi Toritani, Chihiro Kaneko

by on Nov.26, 2014 @ 11:48 am, under NPB
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Takashi Toritani

  • Toritani spoke to reproters on Monday and said he did not think he would be able to make a decision shortly before or after the winter meetings next month. Toritani will most likely wait until he has as many offers on the table as possible before choosing which team to sign with. The Hanshin Tigers could meet with Toritani again some time after the winter meetings. Source: Daily Sports 11/25/2014

Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Hanshin Tigers held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss Kaneko. They will most likely get involved, now that they know he does not want to be posted this off-season. Source: Daily Sports 11/25/2014
  • The Tigers, as a general rule, do not post players. They would never agree to posting Kaneko after a year, but could consider the possibility after two or three years. Source: Sanspo 11/25/2014
  • The Tigers could offer a two-year deal out of consider for Kaneko's desire to play in the Majors. The yearly salary could be somewhere around 500 million. They could also offer the uniform number eighteen. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/25/2014
  • At least five NPB teams (Hanshin, Chunichi, Softbank, Rakuten, and Yokohama) are interested interested in Kaneko. Of these teams, Rakuten and Chunichi could be okay with posting Kaneko after a year. Source: Sports Hochi 11/25/2014
  • Yokohama could also be okay with posting Kaneko after a uear. Source: Sanspo 11/25/2014
  • The Orix Buffaloes might be willing post Kaneko if he can help the team win a championship. However, the Buffaloes have a no posting rule. Source: Sanspo 11/25/2014
  • The Eagles could offer Kaneko a multi-year deal. They are not planning to include posting as part of their package. Source: Sponichi 11/25/2014
  • The Yomiuri Giants could be interested, but only if Kaneko does not plan on going to the Majors until he earns his international FA option (in other words, no posting). Source: Sanspo 11/25/2014

[11/25/2014] Orix Buffaloes: Chihiro Kaneko will likely have surgery to clean right elbow

by on Nov.25, 2014 @ 11:20 pm, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko (31) told reporters earlier today that he was going to have surgery to clean his right elbow.

"They found a small piece of loose cartilage. It isn't in a complicated spot, but I have a chance at a quicker recovery if I have the procedure done sooner rather than later," said Kaneko.

Kaneko was examined at a hospital earlier today and is planning to get a second opinion on the 28th. Assuming he gets the same recommendation, he could have the procedure in late-November. If he goes under the knife, it will be his second elbow cleaning.

Kaneko's interaction with the media:

Why are you not going to ask to be posted?

I wanted to hear what MLB teams had to say by posting, but domestic teams showed a lot of interest so I decided to give it my best in Japan. I felt strongly about it and made the decision on the 21st.

What about the surgery?

It shouldn't be a complicated procedure. It came down to being the sooner I have the surgery, the quicker I can recover.

You also had your elbowed cleaned in 2011. How was that?

I have already had this procedure done before, so honestly, I'm not that worried. You could say that the early detection will allow me to get the surgery and rehab done, which means I'll be in better condition to pitch and I'll be able to show what I'm capable of when healthy.

What are your plans moving forward?

I'd like to hear what other domestic teams can offer and hopefully I'll be able to give an update.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/25/2014, Sponichi 11/25/2014, Daily Sports 11/25/2014

[UPDATE 11/26 @ 4:19pm]

Kaneko took a team physical on the 23rd and started feeling discomfort in his elbow while he was changing after he returned home. Loose cartilage was discovered when he visited a hospital in Kobe for tests (CT scan) on Tuesday morning. He will get a second opinion on the 28th. He plans to get the elbow cleaned if there is no change in the diagnosis. He could go under the knife as early as the 29th.

When Kaneko had his first elbow cleaning in February 2011, he made it back to the active roster in June. The Buffaloes believe it will take about three months for a full recovery.

The Buffaloes have promised to pay for all expenses, even though there is a chance he will sign with another team.

It should be noted that Kaneko is denying his decision not to ask Orix to post him this off-season had anything to do with his elbow.

Source: Sponichi 11/26/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014

[11/25/2014] Yomiuri Giants finalize contracts with Poreda, Mikolas

by on Nov.25, 2014 @ 7:01 pm, under NPB
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The Yomiuri Giants announced today that they finalized contracts with pitchers Aaron Poreda (28) and Miles Mikolas (26). Poreda was assigned the number forty-nine and Mikolas the number thirty-nine. The two players are slated to arive in Japan some time in late-January.

According to media reports, both players agreed to one-year deals: Poreda for about sixty-five million yen (550,000 US dollars) and Mikolas for about eighty-three million yen (700,000 US dollars).

Source: official announcement, Yomiuri Online 11/25/2014, Sanspo 11/25/2014, Daily Sports 11/25/2014

See also:

[11/24/2014] Rumors: Hiroyuki Nakajima, Alfredo Despaigne, Daisuke Matsuzaka

by on Nov.25, 2014 @ 2:43 am, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers have made the best offer to Hiroyuki Nakajima (32) so far, according to people close to the situation. Source: Daily Sports 11/24/2014

Leslie Anderson, Frederich Cepeda, Scott Mathieson, and Hector Mendoza will most likely return to the Yomiuri Giants next year. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/24/2014

Ryosuke Hirata (26) is not planning to accept the Chunichi Dragons' terms for 2015 until he is fully satisfied he is getting paid his fair share, even if it means negotiations run into next year. Source: Sponichi 11/24/2014

The Chiba Lotte Marines would like Alfredo Despaigne (28) to return to their team next year. They are planning to offer a salary of about 200 million yen plus permissions to skip spring camp. Source: Sports Hochi 11/24/2014

The Softbank Hawks may be close to announcing an agreement with Daisuke Matsuzaka (34). Source: Daily Sports 11/24/2014

The Eiichi Koyano heading to the Orix Buffaloes, the Seibu Lions will most likely check the overseas market for third basemen, in addition to a starting pitcher. Source: Daily Sports 11/24/2014

The Orix Buffaloes are interested in Tony Blanco (34). Source: Sanspo 11/24/2014

[11/24/2014] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Yokohama Bay Stars, Yakult Swallows

by on Nov.25, 2014 @ 12:53 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Hanshin Tigers

  • Seung-Hwan Oh lived in a regular apartment complex this past season. He asked the Tigers if they could find a hotel that had rooms with kitchens for ext year. Oh likes cooking, but does not want to worry about having to keep things tidy. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/24/2014, Sanspo 11/24/2014
  • The Tigers invited Yutaka Enatsu to be a special instructor during Ichi-gun spring camp next year. Development coach Masayuki Kakefu was originally scheduled to spend most, if not all, of his time as a Ni-gun instructor, but will join Enatsu at Ichi-gun spring camp for the first two or three days. He will then head back to Ni-gun spring camp and then return to Ichi-gun spring camp for a few days in mid-February. Source: Sports Hochi 11/24/2014, Sanspo 11/24/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Shoichi Ino got tips on how to throw a change-up from Chihiro Kaneko during the Suzuki Japan All-Star Series. Source: Sponichi 11/24/2014
  • The Bay Stars are thinking about printing an inspirational phrase within the numbers on their uniforms next season. Source: Sports Hochi 11/24/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Masato Furuno (28) married a thirty-four-year-old woman living in Saitama. They filed papers in Matsuyama, Ehime on November 4. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/24/2014

[11/24/2014] Chiba Lotte Marines, Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Nov.25, 2014 @ 12:50 am, under NPB
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Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Lotte senryokugai Takumi Kobe (29) has decided to retire. He attended the first twelve-team tryout on the 9th, but did not receive any offers. Source: Sponichi 11/24/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • The Hawks held a retirement ceremony for Shintaro Ejiri (37) during fan appreciation day on Monday. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/24/2014
  • About 350,000 people gathered along the 2.5 kilometer stretch of road covered by the Hawks' championship parade on Monday. Source: ZakZak 11/24/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • The Buffaloes held a retirement ceremony for Masafumi Hirai (39) during fan appreciation day on Monday. Source: Sponichi 11/24/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Shohei Otani is slated to meet with the Fighters for contract negotiations on December 5. He made an estimated thirty million yen this season and could see his salary jump to 100 million yen based on his accomplishments. If he signs for 100 million yen, he will join Daisuke Matsuzaka as the only players out of high school to reach the mark in their third year. Source: Sports Hochi 11/24/2014 ... Hideki Kuriyama would like to see Otani become a mix of Hideki Matsui and Nolan Ryan. Source: Sports Hochi 11/24/2014, Daily Sports 11/24/2014
  • Hidekazu Kawano's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl weighing 2,950 grams, at 7:10pm on the 22nd.

[11/24/2014] Chihiro Kaneko not planning to ask Orix to post him this off-season

by on Nov.24, 2014 @ 10:04 pm, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko (31) spoke to reporters after fan appreciation day at Kyocera Dome earlier today and said he was not planning to ask the Orix Buffaloes to post him this off-season (he already informed the organization). He did not deny an interest in playing in the Majors and added that things could change after the 2015 season if his desire to head overseas grows.

Kaneko's choices now are to either re-sign with the Orix Buffaloes or sign with another NPB team.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/24/2014, Sports Hochi 11/24/2014, Sponichi 11/24/2014Daily Sports 11/24/2014

[UPDATE 11/25 @ 12:47am]

Kaneko did not give a reason for why he decided not to ask Orix to post him this off-season. It is possible he was satisfied with Orix's latest offer. The organization could have also agreed to consider posting him after a year based on performance. If Kaneko decides to leave, it could be that he wanted to try his luck with another team.

Source: Sponichi 11/24/2014

The notes below are what I was planning to post he announced that he was not going to ask Orix to post him. Some of the information is still pertinent.

Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Orix Buffaloes may have offered Kaneko a deal that was better than three-years at 1.5 billion yen during their meeting with his agent on the 21st. Negotiations lasted about four hours. The Buffaloes came away from the meeting feeling somewhat positive. Orix may have offered Kaneko a three-year deal at one billion yen during negotiations that took place during the season. They met him three times after the season (before he exercised his option) and pushed their offer up to three years at 1.5 billion yen. Negotiations on the 21st was the first they had with Kaneko's new agent. They likely made two offers: a one-year deal at over five million yen and a three-year offer at over 1.5 billion yen. Source: Sports Hochi 11/24/2014, Daily Sports 11/24/2014 ... The Buffaloes could be willing to do a one-year deal with the possibility of posting after the 2015 season. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/24/2014 ... The Buffaloes may have upped their offer from three years at 1.2 billion to four years at 1.6 billion yen. Source: Sanspo 11/24/2014
  • The Hanshin Tigers could be willing to pay at least 500 million yen a season to sign Kaneko. They may also be willing to consider posting him after his second year. They might keep his base salary low the first year, close to the 200 million he made this season, and pad it with enough incentives to push it to 500 million. Source: Sponichi 11/24/2014

[11/23/2014] Free Agents: Chihiro Kaneko, Takashi Toritani, Eiichi Koyano, Ryoji Aikawa

by on Nov.24, 2014 @ 5:51 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

  • Orix Buffaloes' official Ryuzo Setoyama told reporters on Sunday that he spoke to Kaneko's agent on the 21st.
  • The Buffaloes were told Kaneko still felt strongly about the team and wanted to win a championship with them, but was also curious about his options. There was no mention of posting.
  • The Yokohama Bay Stars are interested in Kaneko and could be open to posting him after a year.

Source: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Sanspo 11/23/2014, Daily Sports 11/23/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/23/2014

Takashi Toritani

  • The Hanshin Tigers are planning to give Toritani some space to consider their offer. If they meet with him again, it will most likely be after he hears from MLB teams.
  • Sponichi asked 100 Hanshin fans if they wanted Toritani to stay or leave. Ninety-one wanted him to remain. Six wanted him to go to the Majors. Three did not care either way.

Source: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Sponichi 11/23/2014

Eiichi Koyano

  • Koyano could hold a press conference to announce his decision on the 26th.
  • Koyano has reportedly contacted the Seibu Lions to turn down their offer.
  • Part of the reason why Koyano turned Seibu down may have had to do with not wanting to play at Seibu Dome, where temperatures can fluctuate.
  • Koyano may have also been offered a three-year deal worth over 300 million yen by the Orix Buffaloes. Seibu's offer may have been two years at about 200 million yen.

Sources: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/23/2014, Sponichi 11/23/2014

Ryoji Aikawa

  • The Yakult Swallows could try to snag a veteran outfielder from the Yomiuri Giants as compensation for losing Aikawa. Yakult could have their eye on players like Yoshinobu Takahashi, Yano Kenji, or Tetsuya Matsumoto.

Source: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Sponichi 11/23/2014