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Tag: Foreign Interest

[6/12/2014] Rakuten Eagles to sign Zach Lutz

by on Jun.12, 2014 @ 4:16 pm, under NPB
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According to a number of reports, including a tweet by ESPN's Adam Rubin, the Rakuten Eagles are in the process of signing twenty-eight-year-old infielder Zach Lutz.  Sanspo reports the two sides will finalize a deal as soon as his work visa clears.

The Eagles signed John Bowker to help fill the loss created by Kevin Youkilis' injury.  But they were still looking for a right-handed infielder with some pop.  Lutz could split time with Ginji at first base once the Inter-league season ends and Andruw Jones goes back to being a full-time designated hitter.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/12/2014, Sanspo 6/12/2014, Sponichi 6/12/2014, Daily Sports 6/12/2014


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[6/4/2014] Rakuten Eagles sign Rhiner Cruz to one-year deal

by on Jun.04, 2014 @ 11:42 pm, under NPB
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The Rakuten Eagles announced today that they signed twenty-seven-year-old pitcher Rhiner Cruz to a one-year deal worth an estimated twenty million yen.  He has been assigned the number forty-nine.   The Eagles are hoping Cruz can help bolster the starting rotation.

Source: official announcement, Nikkan Sports 6/4/2014, Sports Hochi 6/4/2014

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[6/3/2014] Rakuten Eagles in discussions with Rhiner Cruz

by on Jun.03, 2014 @ 1:54 pm, under NPB
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According to at least two reports, the Rakuten Eagles are currently talking to twenty-seven-year-old pitcher Rhiner Cruz.  The two sides are closing in on a deal that might be pending a physical.  The Eagles see Cruz as someone that might be able to give them innings as a starter, even though he has spent most of his time pitching out of the bullpen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/3/2014, Sponichi 6/3/2014


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[5/24/2014] Orix Buffaloes sign Joey Butler to one-year deal

by on May.24, 2014 @ 1:09 pm, under NPB
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The Orix Buffaloes announced today that they signed twenty-eight-year-old outfielder Joey Butler.

According to Jiji Press, the two sides agreed to a one-year deal worth an estimated forty million yen plus performance bonuses. The Buffaloes signed Butler because they wanted to strengthen their offense with a hitter that could bat in the middle of the order.

Source: official announcement, Jiji Press 5/24/2014, Nikkan Sports 5/24/2014

[UPDATE 5/25 @ 2:51pm]

Butler is scheduled to arrive in Japan within the next couple of days.  He could make the active roster some time in mid-June.  Most reports are saying the deal was worth an estimated 400,000 in US dollars, or about forty-one million yen.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/25/2014


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[5/20/2014] Sanspo: Orix Buffaloes checking on talent overseas, Mike Jacobs high on list

by on May.20, 2014 @ 11:33 am, under NPB
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According to a report by Sanspo, the Orix Buffaloes are checking on talent overseas and thirty-three-year-old infielder Mike Jacobs is high on their list.  The Buffaloes are looking for a bat with pop that can hit in the middle of the order and play first base.  They currently have five foreign players on the roster.  Wily Mo Pena, Esteban German, Brandon Dickson, and Alessandro Maestri have been the mainstays of the group.  Yuniesky Betancourt has not panned out thus far.  Orix has not given up on Betancourt, but are also considering other options.

Source: Sanspo 5/20/2014

[5/13/2014] Yokohama Bay Stars reportedly finalize deal with Yulieski Gourriel

by on May.13, 2014 @ 11:40 am, under NPB
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According to a report by Nikkan Sports, the Bay Stars are close to finalizing a deal with twenty-nine-year-old infielder Yulieski Gourriel. They are expected to make an announcement shortly, possibly as early as today.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/13/2014

[UPDATE @ 1:07pm]

At least two sources are reporting that the Bay Stars have reached an agreement with Gourriel.  Specifics are unknown, but the infielder has been assigned the number 10.

The Bay Stars have posted a photo at Facebook of Gourriel's autograph with the tagline: "Me gusta Yokohama" (I like Yokohama) under the title "Welcome to Yokohama."

Source: Jiji Press 5/13/2014, Nikkan Sports 5/13/2014

[UPDATE @ 4:30pm]

The Bay Stars have posted an announcement at their official site.

[UPDATE @ 6:16pm]

Sports Hochi is reporting the two sides agreed to a one-year deal worth a total 100 million yen (estimate).  He will come to Japan as soon as he secures a work visa.  That could put his arrival some time in early June.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/13/2014

[5/11/2014] Yokohama Bay Stars in discussions with infielder Yulieski Gourriel

by on May.11, 2014 @ 8:58 pm, under NPB
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Yokohama Bay Stars General Manager Shigeru Takada told admitted to reporters today that they were in discussions with twenty-nine-year-old infielder Yulieski Gourriel.  He also indicated that talks were going well.

There are some issues regarding available slots for foreign players on the active roster, but the Bay Stars really like Gourriel and are making an exception with him.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/11/2014, Nikkan Sports 5/11/2014, Nikkan Sports 5/11/2014, Sanspo 5/11/2014, Sponichi 5/11/2014, Daily Sports 5/11/2014, Daily Sports 5/11/2014, Sports Hochi 5/11/2014

[UPDATE 5/12 @ 1:19pm]

If the two sides reach an agreement, the Bay Stars could move Takehiro Ishikawa to center and give Gourriel the starting job at second, batting third.  Yokohama currently has three foreign players on the active roster (Aarom Baldiris, Jorge Sosa, and Guillermo Moscoso).  Tony Blanco is close to returning.  Kiyoshi Nakahata is not planning to take Baldiris off the active roster, which means they will fill their four foreign player slots with three position players and one pitcher.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/12/2014

[4/30/2014] Seibu Lions announce addition of Ernesto Mejia

by on Apr.30, 2014 @ 5:25 pm, under NPB
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The Seibu Lions announced today that they reached an agreement with twenty-eight-year-old infielder Ernesto Mejia.  No other information is known at this time.

The Lions released the following statement from Mejia:

I am happy for this opportunity to play for the Seibu Lions and will be looking forward to experiencing Japanese baseball and culture.  I am honored to have been selected by the Seibu Lions.  I promise to play hard for the team and for the fans.

Source: official announcement

[UPDATE 5/5 @ 7:23pm]

The Lions held a press conference for Mejia at their offices in Tokorozawa on Monday.  He was assigned the number ninety-nine.  His contract is worth an estimated 350,000 US dollars plus performance bonuses.

Source: official announcement, Sports Hochi 5/5/2014


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[4/28/2014] Rakuten Eagles interested in John Bowker, closing in on deal

by on Apr.28, 2014 @ 11:08 am, under NPB
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According to a number of reports, the Rakuten Eagles are talking to thirty-year-old outfielder John Bowker and may be close to finalizing a deal, pending the results of a physical.  Bowker is appealing to the Eagles because he of his experience in the NPB (he spent two seasons with the Yomiuri Giants).

Andruw Jones has shown decent power with six home runs so far this season, but has struggled with consistency.  Kevin Youkilis was brought in this year to fill the hole left by the departing Casey McGehee, but was taken off the active roster on Saturday with a heel injury.  There are also concerns about his back over the course of the entire season.

Bowker can play the outfield and first base.  He will most likely fill in for Youkilis for the time being, but could also provide the Eagles with additional options down the road -- insurance in case of injury or to help shake things up.  He will most likely bat fifth in the line-up.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/28/2014, Sports Hochi 4/28/2014, Sponichi 4/28/2014

[UPDATE 4/29 @ 1:27pm]

Bowker could arrive in Japan within the next few days -- he is already in the process of getting his visa and will fly over as soon as everything is ready.  A contract with the Eagles will be finalized once he passes his physical in Japan.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/28/2014