The Orix Buffaloes have announced that they came to terms with Hiroyuki Nakajima (32). He was assigned the uniform number 1.
According to CBS Sports, Nakajima agreed to a three-year deal worth twelve million US dollars (about 1.4 billion yen).
[UPDATE @ 9:20pm]
The Buffaloes held a press conference for Nakajima a little earlier today.
Source: official announcement
[UPDATE @ 11:47pm]
A few notes:
- The Hanshin Tigers were informed by e-mail that Nakajima was not going to sign with them on Thursday night. They were disappointed, but also did not want to get involved in a bidding war to land him. Source: Daily Sports 12/5/2014
- It likely came down to the Tigers and Buffaloes at the end. Hanshin's last offer was rumored to be three years at 900 million yen. The Buffaloes went higher. Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014
- A team official told reporters that Nakajima agreed to a three-year deal worth 1.2 billion yen. Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014
Sponichi has posted a portion of his press conference:
What made you decide to return Japan?
I did want to play in the United States, but I'd be in a situation where I wouldn't how I'd be spending my year just to make it to the Majors. I felt I couldn't afford to waste any more time.
You had a number of offers on the table and decided to come here.
They were close to winning a championship and they asked me to help them. Orix has changed. I'd like to do what I can to help.
How were your two years in the States?
It went by so quickly. I got hurt so things didn't really go according to the way I hoped, but there were a lot of positives too.
How do you feel about your hitting?
I want to drive in a lot of runs. Hitting for average is important, as is driving the ball. I want to be able to get the kind of hit that's needed.
You'll be playing close to home.
There were a lot of people that helped me out over the years. I'd like to take things one at a time.
Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014