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[12/6/2014] Alfredo Despaigne, Yulieski Gourriel, Hideki Okajima

by on Dec.07, 2014 @ 12:44 am, under NPB
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The Chiba Lotte Marines could offer Alfredo Despaigne (28) a one-year deal over 300 million yen. Other teams were said to be interested in Despaigne, but Yomiuri will most ikely focus their attention on Yulieski Gurriel and Orix may no longer have the need. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2014 ... Lotte could offer a two-year deal worth 800 million yen. At 400 million yen a year, he would become the highest paid player in franchise history (the current high of 300 million yen was set by Julio Franco in 1995). Source: Sports Hochi 12/6/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars are close to finalizing a deal with Hideki Okajima (38). An announcement could be made within the next few days. Source: Sports Hochi 12/6/2014

A Bay Stars representative could be heading to Cuba to discuss Yulieski Gourriel (30). Yokohama could offer Gourriel a one-year deal worth 300 million yen. Source: Sanspo 12/6/2014

Masanori Hayashi signed a three-year deal with the Bay Stars. He agreed to a fifteen million yen raise and will make an estimated forty-one million yen next year. Source: Daily Sports 12/6/2014

Tsuyoshi Nishioka (30) finished off a two-year deal and finalized a new one-year deal on Friday. "I got hurt this year and didn't have the kind of season I wanted even after returning. I signed a two-year contract, but only managed to help in one. I want to hear about how Nishioka helped the team by pulling everyone together," said Nishioka. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2014 ... Nishioka also said, "I want to stick to the middle infield, I want focus on second and short. I'm still young. It's difficult to change positions and then go back again later. I went with a one-year deal because I feel strongly about this... My preference for positions is important." Source: Daily Sports 12/6/2014

Ryosuke Hirata (26) was offered forty-seven million yen during contract negotiations on November 22 (twelve million yen raise). He appeared on Tokai TV's Dora HOT Plus on Saturday and said he informed the organization that he was hoping to hit sixty-five million yen in 2015 (difference of eighteen million yen). He is slated to meet with the Dragons again next week. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2014

The Orix Buffaloes will most likely end up spending about 3.5 billion yen on five contracts this off-season: Eiichi Koyano, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Tony Blanco, Bryan Bullington, and Chihiro Kaneko. Source: Sponichi 12/6/2014

Orix senryokugai Shinji Takahashi (36) is slated to join the Shinano Granserows Baseball Club (BC League) as a player/hitting coach. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2014

[12/5/2014] Rumors: Hideki Okajima, Tony Blanco, Bryan Bullington

by on Dec.06, 2014 @ 6:49 am, under NPB
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The Yokohama Bay Stars could know more about where Yulieski Gourriel (30) is going to play next year within the next ten days or so. Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014

The Bay Stars are interested in Hideki Okajima (38). Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/5/2014

The Orix Buffaloes are close to finalizing contracts with Tony Blanco (34) and Bryan Bullington (34). An announcement could be made shortly. Source: Sports Hochi 12/5/2014, Daily Sports 12/5/2014

The Softbank Hawks could be close to finalizing a two-year deal worth an estimated 400 million yen with Rick VandenHurk (29). An announcement could be made some time next week. Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014

It is uncertain when Kenta Maeda (26) will meet with the Hiroshima Carp to discuss his terms for 2015. Maeda has a full schedule and may not have time to meet team officials until after the new year. Source: Sports Hochi 12/5/2014

The Yakult Swallows held a press conference for Keiji Obiki on Friday. He was assigned the uniform number 2. He agreed to a three-year deal worth an estimated 300 million yen. Source: official announcement, Daily Sports 12/5/2014

Yohei Oshima met with Chunichi Dragons official again on Friday and was offered the same deal he received during his first meeting. He turned it down and said he wanted ninety million. During his press conference, he told reporters that while he felt negotiations were more open, he also felt he was not going to get any more than seventy-four million yen (initial offer). A third meeting will most likely take place before the end of the year, but neither side appears willing to budge. Source: Sports Hochi 12/5/2014, Daily Sports 12/5/2014, Sponichi 12/5/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/5/2014 ... Oshima (and Ryosuke Hirata) have the support of the JPBPA. Source: Sponichi 12/4/2014

Kenji Akashi met with Softbank Hawks' officials on Friday to negotiate terms for the 2015 season. He held off on agreeing to a forty-five million yen contract (fifteen million raise) because he wanted more time to think. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/5/2014

Munenori Kawasaki (33) has reportedly decided to spend at least one more year playing in the United States. Source: Sanspo 12/5/2014

Shugo Fujii (37) visited the Yokohama Bay Stars to thank them for their support over the last three years and to let tell them he decided to retire. He is planning to take on a job as a batting practice pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants. Source: Daily Sports 12/5/2014

Yakult senryokugai Takehiko Oshimoto (32) has decided to retire. He attended the first twelve-team tryout on November 9 and received an offer from a team in Taiwan, but none from the NPB. Source: Sports Hochi 12/5/2014

[7/25/2014] Injury Report: Hector Luna (Chunichi), Nobuhiro Matsuda (Softbank)

by on Jul.26, 2014 @ 3:18 am, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

  • Hector Luna (right elbow) could play in his first Ni-gun rehab game on August 2 against Hiroshima.  Ryosuke Hirata (left ankle) is slated to play in his first rehab game on the 29th against Softbank. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/26/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (left hamstring) played in his first Ni-gun rehab game on Friday.  He got the start at first and batted clean-up against Yokohama.  He went 1-for-3.  He will play in two more Ni-gun rehab games over the weekend.  If there are no problems, he could rejoin the Ichi-gun team in time for the start of the Hanshin series that begins on the 29th. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/25/2014, Sponichi 7/25/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Hideki Okajima was diagnosed with a strain in his left calf on Friday.  He will most likely require two to three weeks for a full recovery. Source: Sponichi 7/25/2014, Nikkan Sports 7/26/2014
  • Nobuhiro Matsuda (right index finger) recovery is taking longer than expected.  He might be about two weeks behind schedule.  He might not be able to rejoin the Ichi-gun team until late-August. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/25/2014

[7/24/2014] Injury Report: Kazuki Yoshimi (Chunichi), Hideki Okajima (Softbank)

by on Jul.24, 2014 @ 11:46 pm, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

  • Ryosuke Hirata (left ankle) took batting practice at Nagoya Stadium on Thursday.  He faced three different pitchers and recorded four could-be hits. He could play in his first rehab game some time before the end of the month. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/24/2014
  • Kazuki Yoshimi was taken off the active roster on Thursday with some inflammation in his right elbow.  Yoshimi started feeling tightness in the elbow during his last start on the 23rd.  He was examined at a hospital on Thursday and diagnosed with inflammation.  There were no other abnormalities.  For now, the Dragons plan to skip him once in the starting rotation. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/24/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Wladimir Balentien missed Tuesday's game with pain in his left wrist.  He was examined at a hospital on Wednesday morning.  No abnormalities were found.  He still had some pain in the wrist, but was able to play on Wednesday and hit his first home run since May 31. Source: Sports Hochi 7/24/2014

Seibu Lions

  • The Lions took Yusei Kikuchi off the active roster on Thursday after he developed a blister on his left middle finger during a start on the 22nd. Source: Sanspo 7/24/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Hideki Okajima complained of discomfort in his calf after pre-game practices on Wednesday.  He was taken off the active roster on Thursday as a precaution. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/24/2014 ... Okajima will be examined at a hospital on Friday. Source: Sports Hochi 7/24/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Chihiro Kaneko may have been taken off the active roster on Wednesday with tightness in his neck. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/24/2014

[11/14/2013] Softbank Hawks closing in on deal with Hideki Okajima

by on Nov.14, 2013 @ 8:33 pm, under NPB
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According to Sponichi, the Softbank Hawks are talking to Hideki Okajima (37) about a possible second tour of duty.

Okajima return to Japan in 2012 after signing a deal with Softbank.  He was released after the season because he wanted to pitch in the US.  He signed a minor league deal with Oakland and spent most of the 2013 season at Triple-A Sacramento.

The Hawks knew how strongly Okajima felt about playing in the US, but they also knew he was open to returning under the right circumstances.  They made their interest known early and and it now seems the two sides might be close to some sort of an agreement.  An announcement could be made within the next few days.

Source: Sponichi 11/14/2013

[10/8/2013] Rumors: Kenichi Nakata, Brian Wolfe, Dae-Ho Lee, Seung-Hwan Oh, Chunichi manager

by on Oct.08, 2013 @ 3:43 pm, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

According to Sports Hochi, the Chunichi Dragons may have offered Kenichi Nakata a four-year deal.

"We have spoken to him.  There is no doubt we need him.  We will show him as much good faith as possible.  We think a four-year deal could work," team official Norihito Nishiwaki said.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/8/2013

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The Dragons are planning to let their new manager make decisions on Matt Clark and Warner Madrigal.

The team has already decided to Hector Luna and Daniel Cabrera back in 2014.  Bradley Bergesen was released in September.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/8/2013

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Motonobu Tanishige may now be the leading candidate to replace Morimichi Takagi as manager of the team in 2014 (whether he returns as a player/manager or retires is something that would have to be discussed).  There is also talk Shigekazu Mori could return as head coach to assist Tanishige.

Source: Sanspo 10/8/2013

Hanshin Tigers

The Tigers are interested in Brian Wolfe, as are the Softbank Hawks.  The Nippon Ham Fighters are expected to part ways with Wolfe because they can no longer afford to keep him.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/8/2013

Softbank Hawks

The Hawks could be prepared to spend about 1.5 billion yen during the off-season.  They currently have their eyes on Dae-Ho LeeKenichi Nakata, and Seung-Hwan Oh.

They could offer Lee a two-year deal worth over 700 million yen; Nakata a three year deal worth 400 million yen; and Oh a two-year deal worth over 400 million yen.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/8/2013

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The Hawks could also be looking at Aarom Baldiris.

Source: Sponichi 10/8/2013

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According to Sanspo, Softbank is looking into both Oh and Hideki Okajima.

Source: Sanspo 10/8/2013

Orix Buffaloes

Dae-Ho Lee is open to staying with the Buffaloes if they can work out a deal that fills his needs.  Orix could begin preliminary negotiations with Lee's agent as early as this week.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/8/2013

The players signed a "please return next season" message card and presented it to Lee before pre-game practices on Monday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/8/2013

[9/4/2013] Hiroki Kuroda, Kensuke Tanaka, Hideki Okajima, Koji Uehara

by on Sep.04, 2013 @ 3:49 pm, under MLB
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From September 3:

Hitters

Player Tm Last Gm Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG Other
Norichika Aoki MIL 9/3 PIT 4
MIL 3
RF 3 1 1 0 1 0 2 .287 Batted lead-off. BB (R), 1B9, L8, G3.
Munenori Kawasaki TOR 9/1 DNP                    
Hiroyuki Nakajima OAK 9/2 DNP                    
Hirotoshi Onaka TEX 8/31 DNP                    
Ichiro Suzuki NYY 9/2 DNP                    
Gosuke Katoh NYY 8/29 DNP                    
Kensuke Tanaka SF 9/2 DNP                   Was designated for assignment on Tuesday. [MLB.com 9/3/2013]

Pitchers

Player Tm Last Gm Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Other
Yu Darvish TEX 8/30 DNP                     Next start: September 4 vs Athletics.
Kyuji Fujikawa CHC 5/26 DNP                      
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA 9/1 DNP                     Next start: September 6 vs Rays.
Hiroki Kuroda NYY 9/3 CWS 4
NYY 6
95-62 28 6.1 7 4 4 2 7 1 2.99 Left the game after giving up a one-out solo home run to Alejandro De Aza in the top of the 7th. New York was down 4-1 at the time. [MLB Highlights]
Daisuke Matsuzaka NYM 9/2 DNP                     Next start: September 8 vs Indians.
Toru Murata CLE 9/1 DNP                      
Hideki Okajima OAK 9/1 DNP                     Was designated for assignment on Tuesday. [MLB.com 9/3/2013]
Hisanori Takahashi COL 8/29 DNP                      
Yoshinori Tateyama NYY 8/31 DNP                      
Junichi Tazawa BOS 9/3 DET 1
BOS 2
4-3 1 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.66 Entered the game in the top of the 8th with a runner on second, two out, and Boston up 2-1. (H, 22).
Koji Uehara BOS 9/3 DET 1
BOS 2
9-7 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.16 Entered the game in the top of the 9th with Boston up 2-1. (S, 17).
Tsuyoshi Wada BAL 8/31 DNP                      

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The New York Yankees have an interest in Masahiro Tanaka. From the New York Post:

The Yankees have heavily scouted Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. According to a person following Tanaka, the Yankees have seen a lot of Tanaka's starts. Assistant general manager Billy Eppler and special assignment scout Don Wakamatsu watched Tanaka pitch for the Rakulen Eagles last week.

Tanaka, 24, will have to go through the posting process because he isn't eligible for free agency. He is 75-35 with a 2.50 ERA during his career in Japan.

Source: New York Post 9/2/2013

Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, and Minnesota Twins among other teams that have also scouted Tanaka.

Source: Sponichi 9/2/2013

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[9/2/2013] Norichika Aoki, Hisashi Iwakuma, Koji Uehara

by on Sep.02, 2013 @ 5:14 pm, under MLB
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From September 1:

Hitters

Player Tm Last Gm Game Pos AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG Other
Norichika Aoki MIL 9/1 LAA 5
MIL 3
RF 3 0 1 0 1 1 1 .285 Batted lead-off. BB, Ks, G1 (bunt), 1B8. Made a nice leaping catch for the first out of the game.
Munenori Kawasaki TOR 9/1 KCR 5
TOR 0
PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .220 Entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Kevin Pillar in the bottom of the 8th. Ks.
Hiroyuki Nakajima OAK 9/1 SRC 9
TAC 10
3B 4 1 1 0 0 1   .284 Batted sixth. K (foul tip), G5, G6 (DP), 1B9 (R).
Hirotoshi Onaka TEX 8/31 DNP                    
Ichiro Suzuki NYY 9/1 BAL 7
NYY 3
PH 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .270 Entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Chris Stewart in the bottom of the 8th. 1B5.
Gosuke Katoh NYY 8/29 DNP                    
Kensuke Tanaka SF 9/1 CSP 4
FRE 2
PH 1 0 1 0 0 0   .330 Entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Justin Fitzgerald in the bottom of the 7th. 1B3.

Pitchers

Player Tm Last Gm Game NP-S BF IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Other
Yu Darvish TEX 8/30 DNP                     Next start: September 4 vs Athletics.
Kyuji Fujikawa CHC 5/26 DNP                      
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA 9/1 SEA 0
HOU 2
99-66 28 7.0 6 0 0 1 7 0 2.92 Left the game in the bottom of the 8th with no score. [MLB Highlights]
Hiroki Kuroda NYY 8/28 DNP                     Next start: September 3 vs White Sox.
Daisuke Matsuzaka NYM 8/28 DNP                     Next start: September 2 vs Braves.
Toru Murata CLE 9/1 AKR 3
ALT 8
99-62 29 5.0 12 8 8 1 3 2 4.19 Left the game in the bottom of the 6th with Akron down 8-2. (WP 1, HBP 1). (L, 6-6).
Hideki Okajima OAK 9/1 SRC 9
TAC 10
30-22 8 1.0 5 5 5 0 0 1 4.22 Entered the game in the bottom of the 8th with Sacramento up 9-5. (L, 1-3).
Hisanori Takahashi COL 8/29 DNP                      
Yoshinori Tateyama NYY 8/31 DNP                      
Junichi Tazawa BOS 9/1 CWS 6
BOS 7
14-8 3 0.2 0 0 0 1 1 0 2.67 Entered the game in the top of the 7th with a runner on first, one out, and Boston up 7-5. (H, 21).
Koji Uehara BOS 9/1 CWS 6
BOS 7
15-13 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.17 Entered the game in the top of the 9th with Boston up 7-6. (S, 16).
Tsuyoshi Wada BAL 8/31 DNP                     Latest on Wada via the Baltimore Sun: Over his past six starts, Wada is 4-1 with a 1.43 ERA, but Saturday's outing — in which he allowed five hits and struck out two and walked three — was the first in that span that he pitched on regular rest. "It was good," Showalter said of Wada, who had Tommy John surgery in May 2012. "He threw well. He's come on little by little. That's kind of the par for the course for his surgery. You're going to have some struggles early on. He's gotten more confidence with his fastball. … You don't feel real comfortable throwing the ball in the zone for a while with a little different elbow. I think he's gotten over that now." [Baltimore Sun 9/1/2013]

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