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[7/31/2015] Chunichi Dragons: Daisuke Yamai earns international FA option

by on Jul.31, 2015 @ 6:54 pm, under NPB
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Daisuke Yamai (37) earned his international FA option today with nine years of service time on the active roster. "Right now, I need to think more about making my pitches than [the option]," said Yamai to reporters.

Source: Daily Sports 7/31/2015

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[11/1/2014] Rumors: Yomiuri, Hanshin, Chunichi, Yokohama, Yakult

by on Nov.02, 2014 @ 3:52 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Kentaro Nishimura (29) is avoiding FA option discussions with the media. Yoshiyuki Kamei (32) told reporters on Friday he felt strongly about remaining with the Giants. Source: Daily Sports 11/1/2014 ... Both players may have been offered multi-year deals. Source: Sponichi 11/1/2014
  • The Giants are expected to re-sign Takahiko Nomaguchi, Kosuke Naruse, Chikara Yoshikawa, and Ko Takahashi to an Ikusei contracts. Source: Sponichi 11/1/2014

Hanshin Tigers

Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Yamai (36) is planning to stay with the Dragons. He may have agreed to a three-year deal worth a total of about 400 million yen. The contract will be finalized on the 5th. Source: Daily Sports 11/1/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • The Bay Stars are interested in Daisuke Matsuzaka. Source: Sponichi 11/1/2014
  • There is a good chance Tatsuhiko Kinjo (38) will exercise his FA option. The Bay Stars are not planning to leave their offer on the table if Kinjo exercises his option. Source: Sports Hochi 11/1/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Ryoji Aikawa (38) wants to test the FA waters and is planning to exercise his option. He has already informed the Swallows and could file the necessary paperwork on Tuesday. Yakult is open to negotiating after he becomes a free agent. The Yomiuri Giants could be interested. Source: Daily Sports 11/1/2014 ... Aikawa is looking for a shot at winning the everyday catching job. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/1/2014

[10/31/2014] Rumors: Yomiuri, Hanshin, Hiroshima, Chunichi, Yokohama, Yakult

by on Nov.01, 2014 @ 4:47 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Hanshin Tigers

  • Takahiro Arai ended up missing the Nippon Series because of back problems. He finished out the final year of a three-year deal this season. His salary this season was an estimated 200 million yen. There is a good chance the Tigers will offer him something much lower. Source: Sanspo 10/31/2014
  • The Tigers will most likely give Matt Murton a nice raise over the estimated 3.5 million US dollars he made this year. They could also offer him a multi-year deal. Hanshin is also negotiating with Mauro Gomez. He made an estimated 1.2 million US dollars this season. Source: Sanspo 10/31/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Shogo Kimura met team official Kiyoaki Suzuki at Mazda Stadium on Thursday. Kimura is still not sure what he wants to do with his option. He is expected to finalize his decision next week. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014 ... Kimura was likely offered a raise over the thirty-one million yen he made this year. Source: Spoorts Hochi 10/31/2014
  • The Carp are not planning to offer Bryan Bullington (34) and Zach Phillips (28) contracts for the 2015 season. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014, Sponichi 10/31/2014 ... Hiroshima was discussing an extension with Bullington and planning to re-sign Phillips, but backed out of both after signing Mike Zagurski and Kris Johnson. Source: Daily Sports 10/31/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Kenta Asakura (33) is not planning to exercise his FA option and will instead most likely sign a one-year deal. Source: Sports Hochi 10/31/2014
  • Daisuke Yamai met general manager Hiromitsu Ochiai for contract negotiations on Friday. It was their second meeting since the end of the season. Yamai later told reporters he would be ready to talk about his FA option on November 5. Source: Sponichi 10/31/2014, Nikkan Sports 10/31/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Tatsuhiko Kinjo (38) has been offered a contract to stay, but still needs more time to think. Source: Sponichi 10/31/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • The Swallows are not planning to offer Chris Narveson (32) and Chris Carpenter (28) contracts for the 2015 season. Source: Sanspo 10/31/2014

[10/27/2014] Rumors: Chihiro Kaneko (Orix), Yoshihisa Naruse (Lotte)

by on Oct.28, 2014 @ 3:00 am, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Yamai worked out at Nagoya Stadium on Monday and told reporters he had nothing new to say regarding his domestic FA option. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/27/2014

Seibu Lions

  • Takumi Kuriyama has reportedly decided not to exercise his FA option and will remain with the Lions. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/27/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Officials met Yoshihisa Naruse on Monday to continue negotiations on a new contract. No major progress was made. If Naruse decides to exercise his option, Lotte will most likely take their offer off the table. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/27/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Chihiro Kaneko spoke to reporters at Hotto Motto Field Kobe on Monday and said asking the team to post him to the Majors was a possibility. He also said he was going to consider any and all options available to him. "I have always liked the atmosphere at American stadiums. I'll think about it once the [Suzuki All-Star Series] ends," said Kaneko. Source: Daily Sports 10/27/2014, Sponichi 10/27/2014 ... The Boston Red Sox are among MLB teams with interest in Kaneko. Source: Boston Glove 10/25/2014 via Sanspo 10/27/2014
  • Yoshihisa Hirano spoke to reporters on Monday and indicated that he met Orix for contract negotiations, was treated with sincerity, and felt needed. He also said there was a chance he might not exercise his option. Source: Sports Hochi 10/27/2014
  • Takahiro Mahara was unable to provide an update about his FA option when reporters approached him for comment on Monday. Source: Sports Hochi 10/27/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Naoki Miyanishi is slated to meet team officials for contract negotiations after the Nippon Series. Source: Sponichi 10/27/2014
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[10/19/2014] Rumors: Jose Lopez, Chris Seddon (Yomiuri), Daisuke Yamai (Chunichi)

by on Oct.20, 2014 @ 6:23 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Jose Lopez and Scott Mathieson left Japan on the 19th. Lopez is a question mark for next season. He is interested in returning. Mathieson will be in the second year of a two-year deal in 2015. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014
  • Leslie Anderson might require left elbow surgery during the winter. There is a good chance the Giants will ask him back. Frederich Cepeda will most likely return. The Giants are expected to part ways with Chris Seddon. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014
  • Yoshiyuki Kamei and Kentaro Nishimura both earned domestic FA options this year. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014
  • The Giants are planning to look into Chihiro Kaneko. Source: Daily Sports 10/19/2014 ... The Giants will be keeping an eye on Yulieski Gourriel and Alfredo Despaigne. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014 ... The Giants are not planning to offer Cepeda a contract for 2015 and are looking into Hiroyuki Nakajima. Source: Sanspo 10/19/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Ni-gun manager Katsuo Hirata could be reassigned to Ichi-gun head coach. Ni-gun chief/hitting coach Hideo Furuya could take over as Ni-gun manager. Ichi-gun general coach Haruki Yoshitake could join the front office. Source: Sanspo 10/19/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Eishin Soyogi and Shogo Kimura earned their domestic FA options this year. They are expected to meet team officials on the 20th to discuss their options. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014
  • Kenta Maeda has not given up on his dream to play in the Majors and would like to head overseas sooner rather than later. This winter may not be in the cards. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Yamai on his FA option: "There was a time when I wanted to know what kind of interest other teams had in me, but not anymore. More than that, I learned that I have a really strong bond with this team (Chunichi)." Source: Sports Hochi 10/19/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Kiyoshi Nakahata would like to see Yulieski Gourriel return to the Bay Stars next season. Nakahata plans to work him harder if he does. "I treated him like a guest this year, things will be different next year. He doesn't really seem interested in defense. He doesn't like practicing, but he will have to if he does not want to become a distraction. I'll sit down and talk to him about it [if he comes back]." Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • The Swallows would like Hiroyasu Tanaka and Ryoji Aikawa to return in 2015. They are expected to begin negotiations with the two players soon. Source: Daily Sports 10/19/2014

Rakuten Eagles

Orix Buffaloes

  • The Buffaloes are putting together a list of foreign player candidates in case negotiations with Wily Mo Pena fall through. Kila Ka'aihue is one of the candidates on the list. There may be other players with NPB experience on the list. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014
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[10/18/2014] Rumors: Daisuke Yamai (Chunichi), Wily Mo Pena (Orix), Kila Ka’aihue (Hiroshima)

by on Oct.19, 2014 @ 3:23 am, under NPB
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Hiroshima Carp

  • The media learned Kila Ka'aihue will not be returning to Hiroshima next year. There is a good chance Zach Phillips will be offered a contract. Bryan Bullington was offered a contract, but Kam Mickolio is still a question mark. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Yamai is expected to inform the Dragons of his decision when the two sides get together for their second meeting. He does not appear interested in testing the free agent market. Source: Sponichi 10/18/2014 ... Yamai has not made a decision yet and could still exercise his FA option. He hopes to finalize his plans during his second meeting. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014 ... According to a Sanspo report, Yamai may have been offered a multi-year deal worth over 100 million yen. Source: Sanspo 10/18/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • The Marines have given Yoshihisa Naruse permission to skip fall practices and spend time away from the team to think about what he wants to do with his FA option. He could meet with team officials again early next week. Source: Sponichi 10/18/2014, Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Wily Mo Pena left Japan out of Osaka Airport on Saturday. Before leaving, he told reporters he was disappointed the Buffaloes finished in second and wanted to do more to help the team next year, if given the chance. He also said he was not looking for anything specific in his contract and would rather return to Orix next year if possible. Source: Sponichi 10/18/2014, Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014 ... Pena told reporters he still felt pain in his right pectoralis major and planned to have it examined on the Monday after he returned to the United States. Source: Daily Sports 10/18/2014 ... Pena is seeking a mult-year deal. Orix is thinking more along the lines of a one-year contract. Source: Sports Hochi 10/18/2014
  • The Buffaloes are interested in the KBO's Won-Kun Chang. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014
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[10/17/2014] Rumors: Yoshihisa Naruse (Lotte), Chichiro Kaneko (Orix), Daisuke Yamai (Chunichi)

by on Oct.18, 2014 @ 2:39 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • The Tigers may have shifted their attention to Chihiro Kaneko and Naoki Miyanishi, now that there is a chance Daisuke Yamai might not become available. Source: Daily Sports 10/17/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Yamai might end up remaining with the Dragons. He feels strongly about staying and was offered a contract that was close to what he was hoping for. Source: Daily Sports 10/17/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Yoshihisa Naruse met with management for about an hour on the 15th. It was their first meeting. He may have been offered a one-year deal with a drop in salary. Said Naruse, "Honestly, there was a bit of a gap in between our interests. It seems they didn't really take my eleven years with the team into serious consideration... I was surprised and it made me sad." The two side are scheduled to meet again sometime on or after the 20th. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/17/2014, Sports Hochi 10/17/2014, Sponichi 10/17/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • The Buffaloes are planning to begin contract negotiations for potential free agents Chihiro Kaneko, Yoshihisa Hirano, Takahiro Mahara, and Tomotaka Sakaguchi within the next few days. Source: Daily Sports 10/17/2014
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[10/16/2014] Rumors: Daisuke Yamai (Chunichi), Motohiro Shima (Rakuten), Yoshihisa Naruse (Lotte)

by on Oct.17, 2014 @ 2:43 am, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

  • The media learned that Daisuke Yamai met general manager Hiromitsu Ochiai at the Nagoya Stadium facilities on the first day of fall practices on the 9th. He was reportedly offered a multi-year deal with a large bump in salary. Yamai asked for some time to consider the offer. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/16/2014

Rakuten Eagles

  • Motohiro Shima apparently has a clause in his contract that gives him the right to exercise his FA option if he plays in a certain number of games. Source: Tokyo Sports 10/16/2014
  • Team owner Hiroshi Mikitani could get involved in talks with Senichi Hoshino. The Eagles would like to offer their former manager some sort of position in the front office, but Hoshino is balking because of how long it took management to hire his replacement. Source: Daily Sports 10/16/2014

Seibu Lions

  • Ginjiro Sumitani was fitted for his 2015 uniform on Thursday. He is still waiting to talk to the front office about next season. Source: Sanspo 10/16/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Team official Nobuhira Hayashi told reporters on Thursday that the organization met with Yoshihisa Naruse to discuss his future. Nothing was decided during the meeting. The two sides will meet again in about ten days. Source: Sponichi 10/16/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Hiroki Kokubo signed a contract to be Samurai Japan manager through to 2017. However, he can break out of it to accept a managerial position in the NPB. Source: ZakZak 10/16/2014 ... Sadaharu Oh would like to see a former player step in as the next manager. Kimiyasu Kudo could be his top choice. Source: Daily Sports 10/16/2014, Sports Hochi 10/16/2014 ... Oh told reporters on Thursday he met Kudo in Tokyo on Wednesday for an unrelated matter. Source: Sanspo 10/16/2014 ... Sponichi believes that Oh may have offered the managerial position to Kudo on Wednesday. Source: Sponichi 10/16/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • The Buffaloes are not planning to post Yoshio Itoi. "I have not heard anything about it from him and my assistant Shosaku Yokota has said nothing about it either. I know it's something he wants to do. I hear he is also studying English. But it is not something we expected and he is an important part of our team. He's only been here two years. We haven't even won anything. It's still too early," said team president Ryuzo Setoyama. Source: Tokyo Sports 10/16/2014
  • Orix is interested in Alfredo Despaigne and Yulieski Gourriel. Source: Sports Hochi 10/16/2014
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[8/8/2014] Chunichi Dragons: Daisuke Yamai earns domestic FA option

by on Aug.08, 2014 @ 8:25 pm, under NPB
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Daisuke Yamai earned his domestic FA option with eight years of service time on the active roster.

"It took thirteen years, I'm not really sure if that's a long time.  My desire to play baseball one year longer, even one day longer, ended up bringing me here," said Yamai.  When asked about what he planned to do with the option, he replied, "I'm not thinking about the future right now.  I want to keep my spot in the rotation.  It might give me something to think about if I can do that."

Suorce: Nikkan Sports 8/8/2014

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[6/28/2013] Chunichi Dragons: Daisuke Yamai tosses a no-hitter

by on Jun.28, 2013 @ 9:08 pm, under NPB
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Daisuke Yamai made his fifth start of the year tonight against the Yokohama Bay Stars at Yokohama Stadium and tossed the NPB's eighty-eighth no-hitter (accomplished by seventy-seven pitchers).

In tossing the no-hitter:

  • faced thirty batters
  • threw 115 pitches
  • walked four
  • struck out three
  • recorded fifteen ground ball outs (including two double plays) and seven fly ball outs
  • did not allow a runner to get past first

Yamai once was in the middle of tossing a no-hitter (perfect game) during the Nippon Series (Game 5, 2007) but was pulled after eight innings by then manager Hiromitsu Ochiai.

===

UPDATE @ 10:33pm -

Sponichi has posted a portion of his post-game interview:

How do you feel [now that you have tossed a no-hitter]?

I really cannot believe it.  I am not sure what to think.  All I can say right now is that I am happy.

When did you start thinking about it?

Beginning in the 8th.  This was not something I was able to accomplish by myself.  The guys behind me made good plays.  They scored runs for me in the 1st inning and I felt like I had to pitch a complete game.

You just exploded with happiness at the end.

This was the first time I ever tossed a no-hitter in my life.  A couple of my pitches went where I wanted them.  I carefully approached each pitch.  I am grateful for [Motonobu] Tanishige's game-calling.

You combined for a perfect game with [Hitoki] Iwase in the 2007 Nippon Series.

I did have that experience from before, so I did my best to make sure I did not let up.  I did not think about it much, but I feel I managed it.

This has not been an easy season for you.

This was a great day, especially if you think about the walk-off three-run home run I gave up in April.

Source: Sponichi 6/28/2013

===

UPDATE 6/29 @ 4:17pm -

Other stats:

  • The no-hitter was the fortieth in CL history (thirty-seventh pitcher) and the eleventh in Chunichi history (eleventh pitcher).
  • The Yomiuri Giants lead all NPB teams with fifteen no-hitters by eleven different pitchers.
  • Yamai is the tenth pitcher in NPB history to win a no-hitter by nine or more runs, first since Hisanobu Watanabe in 1996 (nine runs).  He was also the first pitcher in Chunichi history to win a no-hitter by nine runs or more runs -- the previous high of eight was set by Melvin Bunch in 2000.
  • The Dragons avoided setting a new franchise record for number of games without a complete game in one season by recording their first complete game in their sixty-eighth game of year.  The record of sixty-seven was first set between May and August 2003.

Source: Sponichi 6/29/2013