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[11/11/2014] Free agency file period ended on Tuesday

by on Nov.12, 2014 @ 4:54 am, under NPB
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The free agency filing period ended on Tuesday (11/11). The NPB will release a full list of players that exercised their options on Wednesday (11/12). Teams will be allowed to approach players on Thursday (11/13).

Chihiro Kaneko (31) filed his FA option on Tuesday. "I decided to exercise my FA option. As I said before, I would like to consider all options, that is why I made this decision. I now want to focus on Japan vs MLB baseball," said Kaneko. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/11/2014, Sponichi 11/11/2014 ... The Softbank Hawks are interested in Kaneko. Source: Sanspo 11/11/2014 ... According to Daily Sports, Kaneko could be trying to force Orix's hand by exercising his option: if it is the difference between compensation for losing him through free agency (either 100 million yen and a player or 160 million yen) and posting (roughly 2.3 billion yen), it would make more sense to post him. If Orix is still not interested in posting Kaneko, the righty could still leave via free agency and try to work out an agreement with whichever new team he signs with. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2014

Takashi Toritani (33) filed his FA option. The Hanshin Tigers have not given up on Toritani and will try their best to persuade him to stay. Source: Sponichi 11/11/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/11/2014, Daily Sports 11/11/2014

Atsushi Nomi filed his FA option, but only as a formality as he has already agreed to stay with the Hanshin Tigers. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2014

Eiichi Koyano (34) held a press conference at a hotel in Tokyo on Tuesday and announced his decision to exercise his FA option. Source: Daily Sports 11/11/2014, Daily Sports 11/11/2014 ... A number of teams, including the Seibu Lions and Orix Buffaloes, are looking into Koyano. The veteran may have a preference for the Kanto region since he grew up in Tokyo and has a house in the area. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/11/2014

Kazuo Matsui (39) wants to retire an Eagle and is not planning to exercise his FA option. He met with team official Yozo Tachibana twice after the season for contract negotiations. He is expected to sign a multi-year deal. Source: Sanspo 11/11/2014, Daily Sports 11/11/2014

Kentaro Sekimoto (36) will not be exercising his FA option. He is close to finalizing a deal with the Hanshin Tigers. Source: Sponichi 11/11/2014

Hiroyasu Tanaka (32) will not exercise his FA option. He told reporters on Monday that he wanted to win a championship with the Yakult Swallows. Source: Sanspo 11/11/2014, Daily Sports 11/11/2014 ... Tanaka may have been offered a one-year deal worth seventy-five million yen. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/11/2014

The Swallows are hoping to schedule meetings with Yoshihisa Naruse (29) and Keiji Obiki (30) on the 13th. They plan to call Mitsuru Manaka back to Tokyo if they can. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/11/2014

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[10/20/2014] Free Agents and Rumors: Masanori Hayashi (Yokohama), Yulieski Gourriel

by on Oct.21, 2014 @ 10:03 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • The Tigers are interested in Motohiro Shima and Naoki Miyanishi. Source: Sanspo 10/20/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Eishin Soyogi and Shogo Kimura each met team official Kiyoaki Suzuki on Monday. It was their first meeting regarding the 2015 season. The two will likely be given offers during their second meeting some time next week. Source: Daily Sports 10/20/2014, Sports Hochi 10/21/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Veterans Daisuke Miura and Hitoshi Tamura met with team officials in Yokohama on Monday. Tatsuhiko Kinjo is also expected to meet team officials shortly. All three players have FA options. Source: Sports Hochi 10/20/2014
  • The Bay Stars are planning to offer, or have already offered, Masanori Hayashi a three-year contract with a large bump in salary. They met the thirty-one-year-old pitcher for their first round of negotiations on Monday. Yokohama is not planning to keep their offer on the table if Hayasahi exercises his FA option. Source: Sports Hochi 10/20/2014, Sponichi 10/21/2014
  • Yulieski Gourriel held a press conference in Cuba and said. "There are other goods teams like Yomiuri, but if I could pick, I would choose to return to DeNA. The manager, players, interpreter, and fans treated me well. The fans in Japan are the best." Source: Nikkan Sports 10/21/2014

Yakult Swallows

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Yakult Swallows sign Hiroyasu Tanaka to a two-year deal

by on Nov.30, 2012 @ 5:16 pm, under NPB
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The Yakult Swallows signed Hiroyasu Tanaka (30) to a two-year deal worth an estimated 250 million yen plus performance bonuses.  Tanaka is scheduled to earn his domestic FA option next season.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/30/2012, Sanspo 11/30/2012

From the official Yakult site:

What are you thoughts?

I am thankful [for the two-year deal] and it made me feel I am now at that age.  I selected it out of the discussions we held.  I will earned my FA option next year.  I would like to play for the Swallows and I would like to make good on the expectations.  I finished my eighth year, but I hope to start with a fresh look and do my best while starting over from scratch.  During negotiations, they told me they appreciated my effort and that I did well during the second half.  We also spoke about working toward a championship next season.

On looking back at the past season.

I did my best.  I am disappointed we finished so far away from 1st.  We need to win next season.  I am not satisfied with my performances and I think I still have more room to grow.  I appreciate those that voted for me for the Best Nine and Golden Gloves.  I want to become even better.

You did well in the second-half, particularly in September.

It was good that I had a good streak.  It was something that happened to me for the first time since turning pro.  It was a month that provided something to look forward to next season.  If I can have a good full season...  I do feel that, and I would like to work toward realizing that by improving my skills and strength.  I still have a lot of things I need to work on.  Reaching 1,0000 career hits is in the corner of my vision.

Your goals for next season?

I have one, to win a championship.  On a personal level, to have my best year yet.  I want to make sure I work hard this off-season so that I can play in every game next season.  I think that is the most important thing for a professional player.

Source: official announcement


UPDATE 12/1 @ 10:43am - Tanaka is now the highest paid Japanese second baseman in franchise history.  He is also the first Yakult player to get a multi-year deal since Shinya Miyamoto (2011-2012).  Source: Sanspo 12/1/2012

UPDATE 12/1 @ 11:01am - With bonuses maxed out, Tanaka could make as much as 300 million yen.  Source: Nikkan Sports 12/1/2012

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Injury updates for Nakamura (YOK), Aikawa (YAK), Tanaka (YAK): 8/18/2012

by on Aug.18, 2012 @ 4:03 pm, under NPB
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Yakult Swallows

Ryoji Aikawa was evaluated at the hospital and diagnosed with a fracture in his left second costal cartilage.  He will require about six weeks for a full recovery.  Source: Sports Hochi Twitter 8/18/2012

UPDATE @ 6:57pm - Aikawa suffered the injury while playing defense during Thursday's game against Hiroshima.  He was in the starting line-up on Friday, but left early.  Source: Sports Hochi 8/18/2012


Hiroyasu Tanaka felt discomfort in his right hand while playing defense in the 1st inning of Friday's game against the Hanshin Tigers.  He was later removed from the game (after the 3rd inning) and was taken to the hospital where they found no damage to the bones.  Source: Nikkan Sports 8/17/2012Sanspo 8/18/2012

Yokohama Bay Stars

Norihiro Nakamura was taken off the active roster today so that he can focus on rehabbing his right elbow.  Source: Nikkan Sports 8/18/2012

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Yakult Swallows: February 7, 2012

by on Feb.07, 2012 @ 11:59 pm, under NPB
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Batting Practice Bullpen Sessions



  • Yoshinori Sato threw twenty-eight pitches to a standing catcher.  This was Yoshinori's first bullpen session since the start of spring camp. (Nikkan Sports)


  • Orlando Roman tossed his fifty pitch session to a squatting catcher. (Sanspo)


Special instructor Tsutomu Wakamatsu worked with players on their bunts after general practices today.

On Monday, Wakamatsu spent about an hour coaching 3rd round draft pick Wataru Hiyane during extra soft-toss BP.


Tatsuro Hirooka visited the Swallows in Urasoe on Monday and worked with Hiroyasu Tanaka after general practices.  He also spent some time with Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi.


Kimiyasu Kudo visited Swallows' camp in Urasoe on Monday for TV Asahi.  Katsuki Akagawa met Kudo and asked him for pointers on how to throw the curve.


Orlando Roman is currently slated to pitch in a practice game against LG on February 19.

====== UPDATE 2/8 @ 2:29am

2nd round draft pick Ryohei Kiya, 4th round draft pick Yuya Ota, and 6th round draft pick Masato Furuno are each expected to pitch two innings in relief during a practice game against LG on February 16.

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Yakult Swallows: January 23, 2012

by on Jan.23, 2012 @ 11:48 pm, under NPB
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Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi tossed about 30 pitches in the bullpen today.

Masubuchi returned from his workouts in Saipan on January 21.


The Swallows announced today that construction for their new pair seats along the first and third base sides (96 seats) will be completed by early March.  The infield fences will also be fixed (changes include lowering them from 4 meter to 3.5 meters and decreasing the number of fence posts from 64 to 30).


Hitoshi Yamamoto visited Kamitakisan Seiryuji Fudoin in Wako, Saitama today in order to meditate under a waterfall.


Hiroyasu Tanaka told reporters on Sunday that he started his ballet training.

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Yakult Swallows: January 22, 2012

by on Jan.22, 2012 @ 11:51 pm, under NPB
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6th round draft pick Masato Furuno and Ikusei 2nd round draft pick Hugo Kanabushi tossed bullpen sessions today.


Kyohei Muranaka plans to use nanoblocks during spring camp as a way to strengthen his fingers and improve his focus/concentration.


Hiroyasu Tanaka returned from his training session in Los Angeles on Saturday.  Tanaka worked on strengthening his trunk muscles and managed to drop his fat content from 15% to 12%.  He also bumped into Norichika Aoki while in the US.


A number of players, including Ryoji Aikawa and Shinichi Takeuchi, worked out at Jingu Gaien today.  Both players returned from training in Saipan on Saturday.


Yoshinori Sato tossed three bullpen sessions during his workouts in Saipan (he returned yesterday).  During one of them, he threw a total 45 pitches.  He also will not be participating in the charity game on March 10.

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