Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, and Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster are scheduled to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the 21st. They will also meet Conductor Seiji Ozawa and US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy. The Red Sox trophy will be put on display at the MLB Cafe in Tokyo on the 22nd.
Source: Sponichi 1/18/2014
From an MLB Press Release:
The schedule will include events for members of the public to view the trophy as well as private events. On January 20, Wally will land at Narita Airport with the trophy. On January 21, Tazawa, Uehara and Wally will present the trophy and a Red Sox jersey to the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzō Abe. In the evening, a reception will be held at the residence of Ambassador Caroline Bouvier Kennedy. On January 22, fans will have the opportunity to get an autograph and pose for photos with Wally, as he explores the sights of Tokyo before bringing the trophy in the evening to the MLB Café, a MLB themed restaurant serving a menu inspired by American ballpark food.
Source: MLB.com 1/17/2014
The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Tazawa and signed him to a one-year deal. From the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber:
Two days after avoiding arbitration with reliever Burke Badenhop, the Red Sox have reached agreements with first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp, reliever Junichi Tazawa and infielder Jonathan Herrera, an industry source confirmed Friday...
... Tazawa will see his salary rise from $815,000 to $1.275 million after emerging as a trustworthy setup man in the Red Sox' bullpen. He posted a 3.16 ERA in 71 appearances last season and got several key outs during the playoffs, none bigger than a pair of double plays from Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera in the ALCS.
Source: WEEI 1/17/2014
Masahiro Tanaka updates from Saturday, January 18, 2014.
- Tanaka closed out his workouts in the Kanto region on Friday and left for Sendai on a shinkansen in the evening. [Sponichi 1/18/2014]
- Tanaka worked out at Kobo Stadium today for the first time this year. He tossed a bullpen session using an MLB baseball and told reporters it felt normal. Tanaka did not make any comments about where he might be playing this year. [Sponichi 1/18/2014] ... Tanaka tossed thirty pitches to a standing catcher. He mixed in his curve, slider, two-seamer, and splitter. [Daily Sports 1/18/2014]
- Angels Owner Art Moreno told reporters Tanaka was a pitcher they wanted, but there was also a budget they had to consider. [Sponichi 1/18/2014]
- Cubs Manager Rick Renteria was part of the group that met with Tanaka when he was in Los Angeles. The group also included President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, General Manager Jed Hoyer. Renteria said he planned to purchase the Rosetta Stone to learn some Japanese. [Sponichi 1/18/2014]
- According to the New York Post, Tanaka met with seven teams during his stay in Los Angeles. [New York Post 1/16/2014]
- A number of teams, which could include the Yankees, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, and Cubs, submitted formal contract offers to Tanaka up through to the 16th US time (17th Japan time). Almost all teams probably submitted nine-figure deals at six years. [Nikkan Sports 1/18/2014]
- ESPN's Jayson Stark tweet: In non-replay news, amazing how many owners in Ariz. were convinced #Cubs are ready to blow away the field & sign Tanaka to a monster deal. [Tweet 1/17/2014 via Nikkan Sports 1/18/2014]