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[11/28/2014] Rumors: Norihiro Nakamura, Wily Mo Pena, Jose Lopez

by on Nov.29, 2014 @ 2:57 am, under NPB
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Yokohama senryokugai Norihiro Nakamura (41) has not given up on playing in 2015. Source: Daily Sports 11/28/2014 ... "I'm not really thinking about skipping a year so I will have to make a decision when the time comes. Right now, I just want to play baseball next year," said Nakamura. Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

The Hanshin Tigers could be in the market for two more foreign players (a pitcher and position). They are looking for insurance in case one or more of their main foreign players gets hurt or goes through a rough patch. Source: Daily Sports 11/28/2014

The Rakuten Eagles are planning to release Andruw Jones and Brian Falkenborg by leaving them off their reserved list because they are considering other options. If things do not pan out, they could try to re-sign one or both of the players. Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

The Eagles are interested in Wily Mo Pena (32) and could offer him a multi-year deal. Source: Sports Hochi 11/28/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars are planning to leave Tony Blanco and Enyelbert Soto off their reserved list. The Bay Stars hold options for the 2015 season, but are not expected to exercise them. Yokohama is interested in Jose Lopez. Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

Chunichi senryokugai Sang-Hoon Song (21) is planning to play for the Shinba baseball club (Industrial League Club Team). Source: Nikkan Sports 11/28/2014

[11/26/2014] Rumors: Yulieski Gourriel, Wily Mo Pena, Andruw Jones

by on Nov.27, 2014 @ 1:27 am, under NPB
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The Softbank Hawks could hold a press conference for Daisuke Matsuzaka (34) in early December. Source: Daily Sports 11/25/2014

Hiroyuki Nakajima (32) has been narrowing down his options while conducting negotiations with teams. The Hanshin Tigers recently confirmed with Nakajima's agent that they were still in the hunt. The Tigers feel negotiations may be winding down. People close to the situation believe Nakajima could be ready to make a decision in early December. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014

The Tigers reportedly offered Mauro Gomez (30) a two-year deal. Source: Sports Hochi 11/26/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars will push hard to re-sign Yulieski Gourriel (30). The Yomiuri Giants are also interested. The Baseball Federation of Cuba could gather some time next month to discuss potential assignments for 2015. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014

The media learned on Tuesday that the Seibu Lions are not planning to offer Randy Williams a contract for the 2015 season. Source: Sponichi 11/25/2014

The Orix Buffaloes will most likely part ways with Wily Mo Pena (32). Source: Daily Sports 11/26/2014

If the Chiba Lotte Marines fail to re-sign Alfredo Despaigne (28), they could shift their attention to someone like Andruw Jones (37). Source: Sanspo 11/25/2014

Kota Suda (28) sat down with the Yokohama Bay Stars for contract negotiations on Tuesday. He held off on agreeing to a salary reduction because there were still some things he wanted to discuss. He will meet Yokohama again on December 10. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/25/2014

Yohei Oshima (29) could end up going through salary arbitration as the Chunichi Dragons do not appear interested in making an adjustment to their initial offer. He is slated to meet with officials again to continue negotiations. General manager Hiromitsu Ochiai is not planning to take part in the follow-up meetings. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014 ... Oshima and Ryosuke Hirata (26) are not planning to agree to their current offers and are willing to take things to salary arbitration. Team represenative Kazuo Nishiyama told reporters he was willing to meet players as many times as they wanted, but also indicated that they should not expect any changes to their offers. It may be part of the reason why Ochiai does not plan on attending follow-up meetings with players. Source: Daily Sports 11/26/2014

Keiji Oyama (34) met the Rakuten Eagles for salary negotiations on Wednesday. He placed their offer on hold because he could not agree to the amount of their proposed salary cut (three million yen). Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014, Sports Hochi 11/26/2014

[11/23/2014] Rumors: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Andruw Jones, Wily Mo Pena

by on Nov.24, 2014 @ 5:45 am, under NPB
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The Softbank Hawks and Daisuke Matsuzaka (34) may be close to finalizing a four-year deal worth an estimated 1.6 billion yen (not including incentives). The Hawks are planning to offer Matsuzaka the number eighteen. Matsuzaka will most likely leave his family behind in Boston during the season. Source: Sanspo 11/23/2014 ... Matsuzaka may be close to finalizing a three-year deal worth at least 1.2 million yen (including incentives). A deal could be reached in early December. Source: Sponichi 11/23/2014 ... Matsuzaka may have decided to return to Japan because he wants to start. Source: Sports Hochi 11/23/2014

The Twins are interested in Wily Mo Pena (32), according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino. Source: Tweet 11/22/2014

The Rakuten Eagles are not sure what to do about Andruw Jones (37). Jones has hit fifty home runs in two years, but with a low batting average of .232. He would like to return next year, but the Eagles are looking at other options, like Pena and Tony Blanco. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/23/2014

Yokohama senryokugai Shugo Fujii (37) attended a batting practice pitcher tryout with the Yomiuri Giants on Saturday. He threw 122 pitches and faced a number of players, including Tomoya Inzen and Daisuke Nakai. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/23/2014 ... Fujii has also received a player contract offer from an independent league team. He is planning to make a decision about 2015 within the next few days. Source: Sponichi 11/23/2014

Yohei Oshima (29) could go through salary arbitration with the Chunichi Dragons. If he does, he will become the eighth player in NPB history to go to arbitration, first since Hideaki Wakui in 2010; and the second player in franchise history to go to arbitration, first since Hiromitsu Ochiai in 1991. Source: Sponichi 11/23/2014

[1/12/2014] Rakuten Eagles News and Notes

by on Jan.12, 2014 @ 11:48 pm, under NPB
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The media learned on Saturday that Manabu Mima (27) was going to file marriage papers with twenty-six-year-old talent Anna Santos today.  The two met in 2011 through a common acquaintance and starting dating in August of the same year.

Source: Daily Sports 1/12/2014

The Eagles made an announcement about the marriage today.

Source: official announcement

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The 2013 draft class appeared on a sports TV program in Sendai on 11th.  They were each given buttons to push as indications of a positive response and were then asked a number of questions.  One of the questions was whether they had dreams of going to the Majors.  Three indicated they were interested -- the buttons are not supposed to be linked to names to keep responses "anonymous."  1st round draft pick Yuki Matsui did not reveal what his answer was, but did say that he wanted to push himself by competing at high levels.

Source: Daily Sports 1/12/2014Sanspo 1/12/2014Sponichi 1/12/2014

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Shuttle runs were a part of today's training camp exercises for the 2013 draft class.  8th round draft pick Susumu Aizawa led the 2013 draft class with 129.  1st round draft pick Matsui came in second with 122.

Source: Sports Hochi 1/12/2014

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Andruw Jones could end up becoming doubling as a part-time coach this season, according to Tokyo Sports.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/12/2014

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The Eagles received 132 applications for their 2014 cheerleading team.  Forty-six made it to the final stage.  Twenty-four were selected and six were designated as members in training.

Source: official announcementSports Hochi 1/12/2014

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A Mercedes-Benz suddenly went up in flames a short distance away from Kobo Stadium at around 2:00pm today.  It took firefighters about twenty minutes to put out the flames.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/12/2014

[1/8/2014] Rakuten Eagles announce Brian Falkenborg signing, Andruw Jones extension

by on Jan.08, 2014 @ 2:17 pm, under NPB
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The Rakuten Eagles announced today that they came to terms with Brian Falkenborg (35) and signed Andruw Jones (36) to an extension.

According to the reports, the Eagles signed Falkenborg to a one-year deal worth an estimated 200 million yen (includes signing bonus).  He has been assigned the number forty.  The Jones extension is a one-year deal worth an estimated 400 million yen (includes incentives).

Source: official announcement (Falkenborg), official announcement (Jones), Sankei 1/8/2014

[1/7/2014] Rakuten Eagles come to terms with Falkenborg, finalize extension with Jones

by on Jan.07, 2014 @ 4:42 pm, under NPB
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According to at least two reports, the Rakuten Eagles have come to terms with Brian Falkenborg (35).  Nikkan Sports is also reporting that the Eagles have finalized a contract extension with Andruw Jones (36).  An announcement about both deals are expected within the next couple of days.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/7/2014, Sponichi 1/7/2014

[1/5/2014] Masahiro Tanaka, Andruw Jones, Brooks Conrad

by on Jan.05, 2014 @ 3:28 pm, under MLB
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Masahiro Tanaka updates from US sources via Japanese media.

The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham writes that while the Boston Red Sox are "impressed with the talents of Japanese righthander Masahiro Tanaka, they do not expect to be contenders for his services."  Source: Boston Globe 1/4/2014

The Daily News' Bill Madden notes that the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Mariners, Angels, Rangers, Dodgers (possible), and Oakland (sleeper) could all be interested in Tanaka.  Source: Daily News 1/4/2014

ESPN has posted a couple of articles about potential landing destinations.  Andrew Marchand goes over why the Seattle Mariners could be the favorites.  Jim Bowden lists five teams with the best shots and Dan Szymborski ranks teams with the most to gain (both insider articles).

FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal mentions that the Arizona Diamondbacks could make an offer in the 140 US million dollar range (includes twenty million posting fee).  Source: ESPN 1/3/2014 via Sponichi 1/4/2014

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Andruw Jones is apparently drawing some interest from MLB teams, according to MLBDailyDish.com's Chris Cotillo.  NBCSports Hardball Talk's Bill Baer adds that the best Jones might be able to get in the United States is a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

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Former Hanshin Tiger Brooks Conrad signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres.  The deal does not include a spring training invite.  From MLB.com's Joey Nowak:

The Padres have signed 33-year-old infielder Brooks Conrad to a Minor League deal, though it does not include an invite to Major League Spring Training.

... Conrad spent last year with the Japan Central League's Hanshin Tigers, batting .175 (10-for-57) over 24 games.

Source: MLB.com 1/4/2014 via Daily Sports 1/5/2014

[12/1/2013] Nyjer Morgan, Aarom Baldiris, Alex Ramirez, Rakuten Eagles, Yomiuri Giants

by on Dec.01, 2013 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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Yokohama Bay Stars

The Bay Stars will leave the lines of communication open with Nyjer Morgan (33), but will also look into pitchers that might be available on the overseas market.  Pitching is a top priority.

Source: Daily Sports 12/1/2013

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Yokohama is looking into Aarom Baldiris.

Source: Sponichi 12/1/2013

Hanshin Tigers

The Tigers will meet Seung Hwan Oh at a hotel in Seoul on the 4th to finalize their contract with him.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/1/2013

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GM Katsuhiro Nakamura told reporters negotiations with Yasutomo Kubo were final and that there were no plans to meet again.

Source: Sanspo 12/1/2013

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants will most likely lose two players as compensation for signing Kan Otake and Yasuyuki Kataoka.  The Carp have already expressed an interest in pursing a player plus money as compensation for losing Otake.  The Lions will most likely select a player plus money since they will not gain a lot by selecting only money and they know the Yomiuri system is stacked.

Source: ZakZak 12/1/2013

Softbank Hawks

Shinya Tsuruoka will most likely be assigned the number eight.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/1/2013

Seibu Lions

The Lions are reportedly interested in Alex Ramirez.  They feel he still has enough left in the tank to succeed as a DH or a right-handed bat off the bench.  They also feel he can help players out with hitting advice.  His positive attitude and popularity among fans are big pluses.

Source: Sponichi 12/1/2013

Rakuten Eagles

The Eagles have included Andruw Jones and Casey McGehee on their list of reserved players.

Darrell Rasner, Jim Heuser, Kenny Ray, and Brandon Duckworth were left off the list.

Source: Sponichi 12/1/2013

[11/21/2013] Rakuten Eagles: Andruw Jones will likely return, Casey McGehee should be ok as well

by on Nov.21, 2013 @ 1:53 pm, under NPB
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According to Nikkan Sports and Daily Sports, Andruw Jones (36) will most likely return next season.  Daily Sports adds that Jones will likely return under the same terms he agreed to this past season -- a one-year deal worth 300 million yen.

Negotiations with Casey McGehee (31) also appear to be going well as team officials were quoted as saying, "Things should be ok."  The two sides still have to work out the final details, but it seems as though McGehee will be returning next season as well.

Source: Daily Sports 11/21/2013, Nikkan Sports 11/21/2013

[11/5/2013] Rumors: Nippon Ham Fighters, Seibu Lions, Softbank Hawks, Rakuten Eagles

by on Nov.06, 2013 @ 1:44 am, under NPB
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Nippon Ham Fighters

The media learned on Monday that Toshinori Asanuma is planning to end his career.  He was senryokugai'ed by the team on October 25 and after thinking it over, informed the team he wanted to retire.  He has been offered a job in the organization and will most likely take it.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/5/2013

Seibu Lions

Six players will be able to exercise their FA options over the next two winters: Hideaki Wakui, Yasuyuki Kataoka, Ginjiro Sumitani, Takayuki Kishi, Takeya Nakamura, and Takumi Kuriyama.  With Wakui, the Lions may have decided early on that it was not worth re-signing him because of the cost and his desire to be a starter when the current coaching staff was looking at him more as a closer.  He was also involved in a scandal that caused problems for the parent company.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/5/2013

Softbank Hawks

Katsuki Yamazaki is still not sure what he plans to do with his FA option.  The Hawks have already offered him a multi-year deal.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/5/2013

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The Hawks might end up spending about 3.5B yen this off-season.

Players the organization is interested: former players Tsuyoshi Wada and Munenori Kawasaki, Nippon Ham's Shinya Tsuruoka, Chunichi's Kenichi Nakata, Hiroshima's Kan Otake, Orix's Dae-Ho Lee, and Nippon Ham's Brian Wolfe.

Source: Sponichi 11/5/2013

Rakuten Eagles

Andruw Jones (36) and Jim Heuser (29) are interested in returning next season.  Both players left Japan out of Narita Airport on Tuesday.

Source: Daily Sports 11/5/2013

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Kenny Ray (38) left for the US on Tuesday out of Narita Airport.  Before leaving, he joked about his mask.

"I usually keep it [in my backpack] but I put it with the luggage when I checked-in. ... I thought about wearing it as I left the country, but then they might take it... So I decided not to," Ray said.

He added, "I think some people may have learned about me because of the mask.  Even after I am fully healed, I think I would like to wear it again next year. ... There may be people out there that do not recognize me without it."

Ray would like to return to Rakuten next year.

Source: Daily Sports 11/5/2013

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Daisuke Kato (33) was senryokugai'ed by Rakuten on Monday.  He still wants to play and is planning to attend the twelve-team tryouts later this month.

Source: Sponichi 11/5/2013

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The Eagles are looking into Jason Standridge (34) and Brian Wolfe (32).

Source: Daily Sports 11/5/2013