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[11/22/2014] Daisuke Matsuzaka turns down Yokohama, could be close to deal with Softbank

by on Nov.22, 2014 @ 10:28 pm, under NPB
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According to Sponichi, Daisuke Matsuzaka (34) may be close to agreeing on a deal with the Softbank Hawks.

Matsuzaka was said to have narrowed down his NPB options to two teams, the Softbank Hawks and Yokohama Bay Stars. The media learned on Friday that he recently turned down the Bay Stars. Yokohama president Jun Ikeda is quoted in a Jiji Press report as saying, "We did what we could. It's up for him to decide what to do."

Softbank may have offered Matsuzaka three or more years on their offer, along with the uniform number eighteen. He is currently in Boston and has already added NPB baseballs to his throwing program. He will most likely finalize his contract with the Hawks when he returns to Japan early next month.

Source: Sponichi 11/22/2014, Jiji Press 11/22/2014

[11/6/2014] Rumors: Hanshin Tigers, Hiroshima Carp, Softbank Hawks

by on Nov.07, 2014 @ 5:30 am, under NPB
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Kyuji Fujikawa

  • The Softbank Hawks are interested in Fujikawa (34). Fujikawa returned to Japan after the season but is currently back in the United States. He wants to continue playing in the US, but will also field offers from teams in Japan in case things do not pan out. Softbank could be seen as a flexible organization after they allowed Hideki Okajima to return to the Majors after one season. They could offer something similar to Fujikawa. Source: Sanspo 11/6/2014
  • The Hanshin Tigers are also interested in Fujikawa. Source: Sanspo 11/6/2014

Chihiro Kaneko

  • Kaneko and the Orix Buffaloes may have agreed to something on the side during contract negotiations last year that would allow him to go to the Majors via the posting system this off-season based on performance (like winning the Sawamura Award). Source: ZakZak 11/6/2014

Hiroki Kuroda

  • The Hiroshima Carp are expected to get in touch with Kuroda (39) at some point. Source: Sports Hochi 11/6/2014

Daisuke Matsuzaka

  • The Softbank Hawks could offer Matsuzaka (34) up to six years. Matsuzaka has indicated interest in recording 200 NPB + MLB victories and pitching into his forties. Source: ZakZak 11/6/2014
  • The Hawks could offer three or more years at over two billion yen total and the uniform number eighteen. Matsuzaka is reportedly working out with the Japanese baseball. He is also planning to conduct negotiations face-to-face and without an agent. Source: Sponichi 11/6/2014

Hiroyuki Nakajima

  • The Hanshin Tigers are not planning to rush their offer to Nakajima (32). They learned that he recently switched agents and they want to make sure their first offer is solid. Source: Sports Hochi 11/6/2014
  • The Tigers feel they have to up their ante now that Nakajima's new agent is Scott Boras. They do not want to get into a bidding war. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/6/2014
  • The Tigers could offer a deal up to four years at 1.2 billion yen total. Source: Daily Sports 11/6/2014
  • If Takashi Toritani leaves the organization, the Tigers could also offer Nakajima short. Source: Sanspo 11/6/2014
  • Since the Seibu Lions are said to be preparing a three-year deal at 800 million yen, the Tigers feel they have to put together a package that is at least three years at 900 million yen. The Tigers are focused solely on Nakajima at the moment. Source: Sponichi 11/6/2014
  • The Lions are hoping to speak directly to Nakajima. They could speak to him over the phone within the next two to three days. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/6/2014
  • The Chunichi Dragons are interested in Nakajima. Source: Daily Sports 11/6/2014

Keiji Obiki

  • Obiki (30) is planning to exercise his FA option. Yakult and Rakuten are among teams said to be interested. Source: Sports Hochi 11/6/2014
  • Obiki has a house in Tokyo and used to play at Jingu Stadium when he played college ball. The Yakult Swallows could be the front runners. Source: Sponichi 11/6/2014

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Hanshin Tigers

Hiroshima Carp

Softbank Hawks

[11/5/2014] Rumors: Hanshin Tigers, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Nov.06, 2014 @ 5:42 am, under NPB
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Daisuke Matsuzaka

  • The Softbank Hawks could offer Matsuzaka a four-year deal worth 400 million or more a year plus incentives and the number eighteen. The Hawks could be the front runners for a number of reasons, including: Softbank has deep pockets, Matsuzaka's wife is from Fukuoka, Matsuzaka may prefer the less media intensive Fukuoka over Tokyo. Source: ZakZak 11/5/2014

Hiroyuki Nakajima

  • The Seibu Lions could offer Nakajima a three-year deal worth a total of about 800 million yen. The Hanshin Tigers are expected to offer something more. Source: Sponichi 11/5/2014
  • The Lions are also willing to discuss options with Nakajima past their current offer. Source: Sponichi 11/5/2014, Sports Hochi 11/5/2014
  • The Lions are slated to speak to Nakajima over the phone on the 5th. They could offer three or more years at 200 or more million yen. Source: Daily Sports 11/5/2014

Takahiro Arai

Naoki Miyanishi

  • Miyanishi will most likely spend all the time he has until the 8th to decide on his option. A number of teams are interested in his services, including Hanshin and Orix. Source: Sponichi 11/5/2014
  • Miyanishi could be planning to announce his decision to stay in Sapporo on the 8th. Source: Daily Sports 11/5/2014

Yoshihisa Naruse

  • The Yakult Swallows are interested in Naruse. The Tigers were rumored to be preparing a three-year offer in the area of 600 million yen. Yakult could be putting together a package in the same range. Source: Daily Sports 11/5/2014

Keiji Obiki

  • Obiki is planning to exercise his FA option. He is expected to make an announcement on the 6th. The Fighter could be open to returning to the negotiating table after he becomes a free agent. Source: Daily Sports 11/5/2014

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Hanshin Tigers

  • The Tigers are interested in Kyuji Fujikawa (34) and Munenori Kawasaki (33). These could be considered alternates to Yoshihisa Naruse (29) and Hiroyuki Nakajima (32). Source: Nikkan Sports 11/5/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Yamai (36) decided not to exercise his FA option. He finalized his contract on Wednesday. He agreed to a three-year deal worth an estimated 120 million yen each year (or 360 million yen total). The 120 million yen is up 60 million over what he made this season. Source: Sports Hochi 11/5/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • The Bay Stars have an interest Kam Mickolio (30). They see him as a candidate to close. Source: Sports Hochi 11/5/2014

[10/31/2014] Rumors: Rakuten Eagles, Seibu Lions, Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes

by on Nov.01, 2014 @ 4:44 am, under NPB
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Rakuten Eagles

  • Motohiro Shima (29) has decided not to exercise his domestic FA option. He informed team official Yozo Tachibana of his decision before practices on Friday. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014

Seibu Lions

  • The Lions are interested in Hiroyuki Nakajima (32). They see him as someone that can play third and bat third. His old uniform number, three, is also available. Source: Sports Hochi 10/31/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • The Hawks are looking into Daisuke Matsuzaka (34). They could offer him a multi-year deal. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014 ... Softbank could offer Matsuzaka a multi-year deal with the uniform number eighteen. They are also interested in Munenori Kawasaki (33). Source: Sponichi 10/31/2014 ... The Hawks could offer Matsuzaka a four year deal worth 400 million yen a year plus incentives. They could also offer him the number eighteen. Source: Sports Hochi 10/31/2014
  • Jason Standridge, Brian Wolfe, Dennis Sarfate, and Dae-Ho Lee will be returning next year. They signed two-year deals before the start of the season. Barbaro Canizares, Paul Oseguera, and Edison Barrios are question marks. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014
  • Toru Hosokawa (34) finished out the final year of a four-year deal. He is not planning to exercise his FA option. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014
  • Nobuhiko Matsunaka (40) will most likely stay with Softbank, but is not ready to make a decision. Source: Sanspo 10/31/2014
  • Softbank may not go after any domestic free agents this off-season. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Tomotaka Sakaguchi (30) earned his domestic FA option this year. There is a good chance he will remain with Orix. He has already spoken to the Buffaloes at least once and has likely received an offer. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014
  • Yoshihisa Hirano (30) spoke to team official Ryuzo Setoyama at Hotto Motto Kobe on Thursday for about ten minutes. He still needs more time to think, but will likely stay. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014 ... The Buffaloes may have offered Hirano a number of different kinds of deals to choose from. Source: Daily Sports 10/31/2014

[10/31/2014] Koji Uehara, Hisashi Iwakuma, Kyuji Fujikawa

by on Oct.31, 2014 @ 11:17 pm, under MLB
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The MLB released a list of free agents on Thursday. Hiroyuki Nakajima (Athletics), Kyuji Fujikawa (Cubs), Hisashi Iwakuma (Mariners), Daisuke Matsuzaka (Mets), Norichika Aoki (Royals), Hiroki Kuroda (Yankees), and Ichiro Suzuki (Yankees) were included on the list. Fujikawa and Iwakuma have options.

Source: MLB.com 10/30/2014

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The Boston Red Sox signed Koji Uehara (39) to a two-year deal worth eighteen million US dollars. From ESPN's Gordon Edes:

... The Red Sox signed Uehara before he became eligible to negotiate with other clubs Tuesday. His deal nearly doubles the two-year, $9.25 million contract he signed with the Red Sox before the 2013 season, before he had been identified as the club's closer. It is $2 million less than last's winter's two-year, $20 million deal the Detroit Tigers gave to free agent Joe Nathan, who is perhaps the closest comparison to Uehara, given that he was 38, a year younger than the Japanese right-hander.

... "You're really looking at a guy who has been one of the elite relievers in baseball for several years," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "And again, based on our evaluation at the end of the year and what he did, we did not see any reason why that can't continue.''

... "From a health standpoint, he had a little lower back issue at the end of the year, but that was resolved and wasn't really a concern going forward," Cherington said, making the first mention by any Red Sox official that the pitcher's back had been bothering him.

Source: ESPN 10/30/2014

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Hisashi Iwakuma (33) will be back in Seattle next year. From The Seattle Times' Ryan Divish:

... The Mariners announced that [Iwakuma's] $7 million option for 2015 has been exercised. However, they didn't decide on the option. Per a source, Iwakuma did enough in 2014 — 15-9 with a 3.52 ERA in 28 starts — and last season to have the option vest automatically. So there was no decision to be made.

Source: The Seattle Times 10/30/2014

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The Chicago Cubs declined Kyuji Fujikawa's (34) option. From The Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales:

The Chicago Cubs' 40-man roster shrunk to 35 Thursday as reliever Carlos Villanueva filed for free agency, and the team declined the 2015 option on reliever Kyuji Fujikawa.

... Fujikawa will receive a $500,000 buyout and becomes a free agent.

Source: ESPN 10/30/2014

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Daisuke Matsuzaka is planning to return to his home in Boston to begin workouts for next season in November. Source: Sponichi 10/31/2014

[9/26/2014] Hiroki Kuroda, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Koji Uehara

by on Sep.26, 2014 @ 5:37 pm, under MLB
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Hitters

Player Tm Date Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Ichiro Suzuki NYY 9/25 BAL 5
NYY 6
RF 3 1 0 0 1 1 1 .282
Batted eighth. Ks, G4, BB-R[41], G1. Nikkan Sports 9/26/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/26/2014, Sponichi 9/26/2014, Sponichi 9/26/2014
Norichika Aoki KCR 9/25 KCR 6
CWS 3
RF 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .283
Batted second. L8, F9, 1B7, Ks. Replaced on defense in the bottom of the 8th. Nikkan Sports 9/26/2014, Sponichi 9/26/2014
Munenori Kawasaki TOR 9/25 SEA 7
TOR 5
2B 3 1 0 0 1 1 3 .255
Batted second. Kl, G4, BB-R[31], G6f. Nikkan Sports 9/26/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/26/2014, Sponichi 9/26/2014

Pitchers

Player Tm Date Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Hiroki Kuroda NYY 9/25 BAL 5
NYY 6
95-68 27 8.0 3 2 2 0 9 2 3.71
Started the game. Left after eight innings with New York up 5-2. Nikkan Sports 9/26/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/26/2014, Sponichi 9/26/2014, Sponichi 9/26/2014, MLB.com Highlights
Daisuke Matsuzaka NYM 9/25
Gm 2
NYM 0
WSN 3
24-15 7 2.0 1 0 0 1 2 0 3.89
Entered the game in the bottom of the 6th with New York down 3-0. He was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the top of the 8th. Nikkan Sports 9/26/2014, Sponichi 9/26/2014
Koji Uehara BOS 9/25 TBR 1
BOS 11
7-6 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.52
Entered the game in the top of the 9th with Boston up 11-1. Nikkan Sports 9/26/2014, Sponichi 9/26/2014

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[9/24/2014] Ichiro Suzuki, Norichika Aoki, Munenori Kawasaki

by on Sep.25, 2014 @ 1:41 am, under MLB
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Hitters

Player Tm Date Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Ichiro Suzuki NYY 9/23 BAL 5
NYY 4
RF 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 .285
Batted eighth. L1, 2B9[13], Ks, G6. Nikkan Sports 9/24/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/24/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/24/2014, Sponichi 9/24/2014, Sponichi 9/24/2014
Norichika Aoki KCR 9/23 KCR 7
CLE 1
RF 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .284
Batted second. Ks, 2B7[22], L7, G1. Replaced on defense in the bottom of the 7th. Nikkan Sports 9/24/2014, Sponichi 9/24/2014
Munenori Kawasaki TOR 9/23 SEA 2
TOR 10
3B-2B 4 1 0 1 0 1 4 .261
Batted fifth. Ks, F8, G4f one RBI[15]-R[29], HBP, G4. Moved from third to second in the top of the 9th. Nikkan Sports 9/24/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/24/2014, Sponichi 9/24/2014, Sponichi 9/24/2014

Pitchers

Player Tm Date Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Junichi Tazawa BOS 9/23 TBR 6
BOS 2
1-1 1 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.86
Entered the game in the top of the 8th with a runner on first, two out, and Boston down 5-1. Got the one batter he faced, Wil Myers, to fly out to left. Nikkan Sports 9/24/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/24/2014, Sponichi 9/24/2014, Sponichi 9/24/2014
Daisuke Matsuzaka NYM 9/23 NYM 2
WSN 4
4-3 1 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.98
Entered the game in the bottom of the 8th with a runner on third, two out, New York down 4-2. Got the one batter he faced, Wilson Ramos, to strikeout swinging. Nikkan Sports 9/24/2014, Sponichi 9/24/2014

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[9/22/2014] Masahiro Tanaka, Ichiro Suzuki, Hisashi Iwakuma

by on Sep.22, 2014 @ 3:26 pm, under MLB
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Hitters

Player Tm Date Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Ichiro Suzuki NYY 9/21 TOR 2
NYY 5
RF 4 0 2 0 0 1 1 .285
Batted eighth. 2B9[12], 1B7-SB[13] (second base), Ks, G3. Nikkan Sports 9/22/2014, Sponichi 9/22/2014
Norichika Aoki KCR 9/21 DET 2
KCR 5
RF 3 0 1 2 1 0 0 .282
Batted second. G6, BB, 3B9[5] two RBI[39,40], L6. Replaced on defense in the top of the 8th. Nikkan Sports 9/22/2014, Sponichi 9/22/2014
Munenori Kawasaki TOR 9/21 TOR 2
NYY 5
3B 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .265
Batted sixth. 2B9[7], Kl, G4, G3. Nikkan Sports 9/22/2014, Sponichi 9/22/2014,

Pitchers

Player Tm Date Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA 9/21 SEA 3
HOU 8
88-51 23 4.1 6 4 4 3 8 0 3.54
Started the game. Left in the bottom of the 5th with runners on first and second, one out, and Seattle down 4-3. (WP 1, IBB 1). Nikkan Sports 9/22/2014, Sponichi 9/22/2014, MLB.com Highlights
Masahiro Tanaka NYY 9/21 TOR 2
NYY 5
70-48 21 5.1 5 1 1 0 4 0 2.47
Started the game. Left in the top of the 6th with runners on first and second, one out, and New York up 2-1. Got the win. (W, 13-4). (HBP 1). Nikkan Sports 9/22/2014, Sponichi 9/22/2014, Sponichi 9/22/2014, MLB.com Highlights, Standing Ovation, Post-game Press Conference
Daisuke Matsuzaka NYM 9/21 NYM 10
ATL 2
11-6 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4.00
Entered the game in the bottom of the 8th with New York up 7-2. Nikkan Sports 9/22/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/22/2014, Sponichi 9/22/2014, Sponichi 9/22/2014
Kyuji Fujikawa CHC 9/21 LAD 8
CHC 5
22-14 6 1.0 3 1 0 0 0 0 4.85
Entered the game in the top of the 7th with Chicago down 6-4. Left after an inning of work with Chicago down 7-4. Nikkan Sports 9/22/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/21/2014, Sponichi 9/22/2014

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[9/12/2014] Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ichiro Suzuki, Norichika Aoki

by on Sep.12, 2014 @ 4:37 pm, under MLB
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Hitters

Player Tm Date Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Ichiro Suzuki NYY 9/11 TBR 4
NYY 5
RF 4 1 1 0 0 0 2 .286
Batted sixth. G1, G4, Fo5, 2B8[10]-R[38]. Threw out James Loney at home in the 6th inning, with help from Brian McCann. Nikkan Sports 9/12/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/12/2014, Sponichi 9/12/2014
Norichika Aoki KCR 9/11 BOS 6
KCR 3
RF 4 0 2 0 1 0 0 .267
Batted lead-off. 2B9[19], 1B5, BB, L9, G4. Nikkan Sports 9/12/2014, Sponichi 9/12/2014

Pitchers

Player Tm Date Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Daisuke Matsuzaka NYM 9/11 WSH 6
NYM 2
44-26 12 3.0 1 0 0 3 1 0 4.05
Entered the game in the top of the 4th with a runner on first, no out, and New York down 6-0. Left after the 6th inning with New York down 6-1. (WP 1). Nikkan Sports 9/12/2014, Sponichi 9/12/2014
Junichi Tazawa BOS 9/11 BOS 6
KCR 3
11-7 4 1.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.18
Entered the game in the bottom of the 7th with a runner on first, two out, and Boston up 4-3. Left after the 8th inning with Boston up 6-3. Nikkan Sports 9/12/2014, Sponichi 9/12/2014

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[9/3/2014] Norichika Aoki, Koji Uehara, Kyuji Fujikawa

by on Sep.03, 2014 @ 6:26 pm, under MLB
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Hitters

Player Tm Date Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Ichiro Suzuki NYY 9/2 BOS 9
NYY 4
PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .284
Entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Francisco Cervelli in the bottom of the 9th. Ks. Nikkan Sports 9/3/2014, Sponichi 9/3/2014
Norichika Aoki KCR 9/2 TEX 1
KCR 2
RF 3 0 2 1 0 0 0 .266
Batted lead-off. G4, 2B7[17] one RBI, 2B7[18]. Replaced by a pinch-runner in the bottom of the 6th. Nikkan Sports 9/3/2014, Sponichi 9/3/2014
Munenori Kawasaki TOR 9/2 TOR 8
TBR 2
2B 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .271
Batted seventh. L6, G6, F8. Replaced on defence in the bottom of the 6th. Nikkan Sports 9/3/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/3/2014, Sponichi 9/3/2014, Sponichi 9/3/2014

Pitchers

Player Tm Date Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Koji Uehara BOS 9/2 BOS 9
NYY 4
18-13 5 1.0 2 1 1 0 2 1 2.36
Entered the game in the bottom of the 9th with Boston up 9-3. Served up a lead-off home run to Brian McCann. Nikkan Sports 9/3/2014, Sponichi 9/3/2014, Sponichi 9/3/2014
Kyuji Fujikawa CHC 9/2 MIL 1
CHC 7
21-13 5 1.0 1 0 0 1 2 0 4.32
Entered the game in the top of the 9th with Chicago up 7-1. Nikkan Sports 9/3/2014, Nikkan Sports 9/3/2014, Sponichi 9/3/2014, Sponichi 9/3/2014

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