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[12/9/2015] Hiroshima Carp files paperwork to post Kenta Maeda

by on Dec.09, 2015 @ 2:14 pm, under NPB
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Hiroshima Carp official Kiyoaki Suzuki spoke to the media earlier today and said the team filed paperwork to post Kenta Maeda with the NPB on Tuesday (December 8) morning. Hiroshima received word this morning that the MLB has been notified. The posting fee was most likely set at the maximum twenty million US dollars.

Source: Daily Sports 12/9/2015, Sports Hochi 12/9/2015, Sponichi 12/9/2015, Nikkan Sports 12/9/2015, Chunichi Sports 12/9/2015, Tokyo Sports 12/9/2015

[UPDATE 12/10 @ 8:48am]

The MLB informed teams that Maeda was posted on December 9. The posting period will begin on December 10 at 8:00am EST (December 10 at 10:00pm Japan time) and end on January 8, 2016 at 5:00pm EST (January 9, 2016 at 7:00am Japan time).

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/10/2015, Sanspo 12/10/2015

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[12/4/2015] Hiroshima Carp planning to post Kenta Maeda

by on Dec.04, 2015 @ 11:52 am, under NPB
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The Hiroshima Carp held a press conference at the team offices in Hiroshima today to announce their intention to post twenty-seven-year-old pitcher Kenta Maeda this off-season.

"We went over player performances, contributions, and conditions from this past season in preparation for next year. We made our decision after considering a number of things, like player options and the posting system after this year. In the end, we felt now was the best time, for both Maeda and the organization. Based on this, we decided to begin preparations for the posting system," said team official Kiyoaki Suzuki.

Suzuki added, "Our decision will make fans sad, but I hope we can all support him if he ends up going to the Majors."

Source: Daily Sports 12/4/2015, Sponichi 12/4/2015, Chunichi Sports 12/4/2015

[UPDATE @ 6:36pm]

Maeda was in Osaka for a Mizuno ambassadors meeting today. He held a press conference afterward and said, "I am very grateful to owner Hajime Matsuda, team personnel, and fans. My experiences in international tournaments, like the WBC, made me realize that I'm still inexperienced. My desire to try different things and test myself in difficult situations only grew stronger."

Source: Sports Hochi 12/4/2015

Owner Hajime Matsuda spoke to reporters and said, "Last year, [we said we would] consider [posting him] if he acted and pitched liked an ace this year. He did a very good job."

He also said, "I think the fans will back [this decision]."

Source: Sports Hochi 12/4/2015

A few key quotes from the Carp's press conference:

What was the biggest reason why you accepted [the decision to post Maeda]?

I think we gave three reasons last year. Team, organization, and player. Maeda had a good season and put together some good numbers. He is set to earn his FA options after this year -- he has seven years and 137 days [under his belt], which means he will earn his option with just eight more days [of service time on the active roster]. He hasn't earned the option yet, but we took his feelings very seriously.

Are you planning any special additions?

If there is a good player we will go after him, but it's difficult to find good players. Any additions will include foreign players. We will begin preparations for that.

Was performance a big factor?

It's all about timing and how this year might be the best. The posting system is for three years, it ends after next year and we're not sure what is going to happen to the system, it could even be scrapped. There are uncertainties so we thought this year would give him the best chance at reaching his dream.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/4/2015

[UPDATE @ 8:45pm]

Maeda posted the following message at his blog:

I wanted to announce that the team has accepted my request to use the posting system.

I am really grateful to owner Matsuda, director Suzuki, and to all the fans that support me.

But not everything has been decided.

This is still the beginning.

I will try to provide another update once things are decided.

Source: blog 12/4/2015


[11/25/2015] Kenta Maeda’s interaction with the media on November 24

by on Nov.26, 2015 @ 12:34 am, under NPB
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Sanspo posted Kenta Maeda's interaction with the media on November 24:

What did you talk about with Carp official Kiyoaki Suzuki?

Things. We can't really talk during the season. I'm grateful that he was able to make time to talk to me so soon after the Premier 12.

How did things go?

Not really much to say. I didn't have a good season last year. It isn't like I tried to have a good season this year just so that I could go to the United States, but I did alright. That's different compared to last year.

What is your schedule like for practices?

December is kind of up to me, I'll be working out at places I can, when I have time.

Why do you want to play [in the United States}?

There are a lot of reasons. I think it's a different kind of game. My experiences in the WBC and other international tournaments made me aware of the high level of play and of my own personal weaknesses. I want to put myself in that.

A high level of play?

It isn't that the level in Japan is low, it's just the scale for everything is different. Like the number of teams. If I do this now, there might be teams interested in me. If there is no chance, then it won't happen. I just want to try.

Source: Sanspo 11/25/2015

Nikkan Sports also posted Maeda's interaction with the media.

Did you have a meeting with the organization?

Yes. I did. I let them know what I was thinking.

What did you talk about with Carp official Kiyoaki Suzuki?

Things. I can't really go into details.

Do you feel relieved?

I wasn't feeling confused or anything. We were always supposed to meet after the Premier 12 and I felt I had to let them know what I was thinking. I'm grateful that Suzuki was able to make time to talk to me so soon after the Premier 12. I think it was good that we were able to do this so soon.

Will you be talking to Suzuki a lot?

I'm not really sure. It isn't like everything was decided today, so I think we will talk.

What about the Majors?

My feelings grow stronger every year. It must have been a few years back, after I mentioned it during contract negotiations, people started asking me about the Majors, they sometimes asked if I was going to the Majors.

Why the Majors?

There are many reasons. I think it's a different kind of baseball. Not everyone can make it there. If I have a shot at making it, then I'd like to take it. A lot of Japanese players are going, but for some, they haven't done as well as they would have liked, or things aren't going as well as they were in Japan. And that's why I want to go. I don't think the level in Japan is low, it's just the scale is so different. There's a difference in the number of teams. If I do this now, there might be a team that wants me. That's also why I want to go. I don't think I'd feel this way if I had no chance.

What about your training?

I haven't decided. I have a little freedom in December, I think I will be training when I can, where I can. I'm not really all that concerned about it. I don't think I'll be appearing in events like I normally do.

What comes next?

My feelings alone mean nothing, so hopefully things will continue to move forward during discussions with the team.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/25/2015

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[10/26/2015] Hiroshima’s Kenta Maeda wins 2015 Sawamura Award

by on Oct.26, 2015 @ 6:12 pm, under NPB
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The selection committee for the Eiji Sawamura Award met today and decided to give this year's award to Hiroshima's Kenta Maeda.

For a pitcher to be considered for the award, they must meet as many of the following criteria as possible:

  • fifteen or more wins
  • 150 or more strikeouts
  • ten or more complete games
  • 2.50 or better ERA
  • 200 or more innings
  • twenty-five or more games
  • .600 or better winning percentage

Maeda won fifteen games, struck out 175, tossed five complete games, recorded a 2.09 ERA, threw 206.1 innings, pitched in twenty-nine games, and had a winning percentage of .652. He only missed in one category, complete games. Maeda also won the award in 2010.

Hanshin's Shintaro Fujinami and Nippon Ham's Shohei Otani were also under consideration.

Selection Committee Members: Tsuneo Horiuchi (chief), Masaji Hiramatsu, Choji Murata (absent), Manabu Kitabeppu, and Hisashi Yamada.

Source: official announcement

[UPDATE 10/28 @ 9:21pm]

A little more on the selection: Horiuchi did not think it was necessary to name a recipient for the award this year. Maeda was an option, based on the number of criteria he met, but Horiuchi was not impressed with his performance, mostly because it was not much better than what he accomplished when he won the award the first time around in 2010. He felt the pitcher needed to do more to win the award a second time.

Horiuchi felt Otani had a first-half that warranted a Sawamura Award, but the second-half left a lot to be desired. Fujinami was also considered a really strong candidate with his 221 strikeouts.

Source: ZakZak 10/28/2015

[8/27/2015] Hiroshima Carp: Kenta Maeda’s post-game t-shirt

by on Aug.28, 2015 @ 12:32 am, under NPB
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For those that have not already seen a photo of the t-shirt Kenta Maeda made for his post-game hero interview (photo taken from Daily Sports):

Kenta Maeda t-shirt

A few notes about the t-shirt:

  • Maeda is making it a point to draw something on a white t-shirt after every victory he records at Mazda Stadium this year. He drew on his first shirt after a victory on April 9. This was his sixth shirt. After the interview, he gives the shirt to a fan.
  • With regards to this shirt in particular:
    • "BERRY" is NOT a mistake. It was intentional and is a play on words. It refers to the band Berry Goodman. They were at the game and band member MOCA threw out the ceremonial first pitch. They are also responsible for Maeda's current intro music, 1988.
    • The number ten is for the tenth victory Maeda recorded. The face in the zero is supposed to be his.

Source: Sports Hochi 8/27/2015, Sponichi 8/27/2015

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[12/25/2015] Kenta Maeda, Go Kamamoto, Yulieski Gourriel

by on Dec.26, 2014 @ 3:23 am, under NPB
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Hiroshima's Kenta Maeda agreed to a 2015 salary of 300 million on Wednesday. He will turn twenty-seven next year. He became the youngest pitcher in Central League history to reach 300 million yen. The previous record of twenty-nine years was set by Koji Uehara in 2004 and Kyuji Fujikawa in 2009. The NPB record of twenty-four was set by Yu Darvish in 2010 and Masahiro Tanaka in 2012. Source: Sponichi 12/25/2014 ... Maeda told reporters during his contract press conference on Wednesday that he felt closer to reaching his dreams of pitching in the Majors. "I don't really see it as a dream, I think I am close to making it happen. I still want to go as soon as possible. It would be nice if I can go after the 2015 season. I feel I am closer than when I first brought it up," said Maeda. Source: Sponichi 12/25/2014

The Softbank Hawks re-signed Go Kamamoto (21) to an Ikusei contract. His uniform number will remain 122. Source: Sports Hochi 12/25/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars expect to finalize their contract (officially) with Yulieski Gourriel (30) some time in January. Source: Sports Hochi 12/25/2014

The Hanshin Tigers are planning to check on talent in Cuba. Team official Eiichi Takano is slated to make a trip in January. Source: Sanspo 12/25/2014

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[12/24/2014] Takashi Toritani, Kenta Maeda, Tadashi Settsu

by on Dec.25, 2014 @ 3:19 am, under NPB
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The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly offered Takashi Toritani (33) a Major League contract. The San Diego Padres are also said to be interested. Source: Daily Sports 12/24/2014 ... Discussions with Toronto may not be going well. The two sides may be fairly far apart on years and terms. Source: Sanspo 12/24/2014

Kenta Maeda (26) finalized his contract for the 2015 season on Wednesday. He agreed to a twenty milion yen raise and is set to make an estimated 300 million yen next year. Maeda is the first player in franchise history and the youngest pitcher in Central League history to reach 300 million yen. Source: Daily Sports 12/24/2014, Daily Sports 12/24/2014, Sponichi 12/24/2014, Sports Hochi 12/24/2014

The Yakult Swallows held a press conference to introduce Suguru Ino (31) on Wednesday. He agreed to a deal worth an estimated eight million yen and was assigned the number sixty-three. Source: official announcement, Sponichi 12/24/2014

The Softbank Hawks were unable to finalize terms for the 2015 season with Tadashi Settsu (32) before the end of the year. "Personal issues" was cited as the reason. Source: Sports Hochi 12/24/2014

Lotte senryokugai Tadahiro Ogino (32) will be joining Hitachi Seisakusho. Ogino spent two years playing for Hitachi before turning pro and after graduating from Kanagawa University. Source: Sports Hochi 12/24/2014

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[12/22/2014] Kenta Maeda, Takahiro Okada, Suguru Ino

by on Dec.23, 2014 @ 2:27 am, under NPB
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Kenta Maeda (26) might ask the Hiroshima Carp to provide him with a concrete list of things he needs accomplish to be posted next year. Source: ZakZak 12/22/2014

Takahiro Okada might not sign an agreement for the 2015 season until some time in the new year. Source: Sanspo 12/22/2014

The Yakult Swallows announced the addition of Yomiuri senyokugai Suguru Ino (31). They will hold a press conference for him on Wednesday. He was assigned the number 63. Source: Sponichi 12/22/2014

Former Yakult Swallow Takanori Sato (21) wants to continue playing and is planning to attend tryouts for the BC League on February 15 next year. He might have a chance with the Fukushima Hopes. Source: Sanspo 12/22/2014

Yokohama senryokugai Takuro Ito (21) was hoping to remain in the NPB, but has yet to receive an offer. He could end up signing with the BC League's Gunma Diamond Pegasus. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/22/2014

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[12/19/2014] Chihiro Kaneko, Yohei Oshima, Kenta Maeda

by on Dec.20, 2014 @ 6:27 am, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers could offer Chihiro Kaneko (31) anything from a one-year deal to a four-year deal. Source: Daily Sports 12/19/2014 ... The Tigers believe Kaneko (right elbow) will be ready for the start of the regular season. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/19/2014

Yohei Oshima (29) met with Chunichi for salary negotiations for the third time this off-season on Thursday and agreed to their original seventy-four million yen offer. He considered arbitration, but decided to sign. "This won't end unless someone folds. I've been a long-time fan so I don't really want to cause any problems for the Dragons. My wife telling me that there would be no guarantee I would be happy after arbitration was also a big factor." Oshima's wife also told him that he was already making enough money. Source: Sports Hochi 12/19/2014, Sponichi 12/19/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/19/2014

Hiroshima's Kenta Maeda (26) is expected to finalize his contract for the 2015 season before the end of the year. Maeda met the Carp on Thursday to lay the groundwork for a contract. He will most likely sign for 280 million yen (no change from this season). Source: Sports Hochi 12/19/2014

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[12/18/2014] Rumors: Kenta Maeda, Yohei Oshima, Seung-Hwan Oh

by on Dec.19, 2014 @ 3:45 am, under NPB
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Some more numbers from Kyuji Fujikawa's contract with the Texas Rangers, from CBS Sports' Jon Heyman: $1M '15 salary, $2M club option for '16 w/ 100K buyout. so $1.1M guarantee. '16 base can rises to $3.5M on '15 gf. Source: Jon Heyman Twitter 12/17/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars held a press conference for Hideki Okajima (38) on Thursday. He was assigned the number twenty-one and agreed to a contract worth an estimated sixty million yen plus incentives. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014

The Hanshin Tigers are planning to send a representative to Korea to negotiate terms for the second year of Seung-Hwan Oh's (32) two-year contract. The Tigers are also hoping to learn more about what Oh has planned after the 2015 season. Source: Sanspo 12/18/2014 ... Daily Sports is reporting that Oh is open to remaining in Japan after the 2015 season, based on information taken from a source close to the pitcher. Tigers' general manger Katsuhiro Nakamura feels it could come down to either staying in the NPB or returning to Korea. Source: Daily Sports 12/18/2014

Kenta Maeda (26) met the Hiroshima Carp official at Mazda Stadium on Thursday for preliminary salary negotiations and was told that they were not planning to post him to the Majors this off-season. Maeda accepted the decision. The two sides are expected to finalize a contract for the 2015 season before the end of the year. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014, Sports Hochi 12/18/2014, Daily Sports 12/18/2014

Yohei Oshima (29) resumed salary negotiations with the Chunichi Dragons on Thursday and decided to agree to their original offer of seventy-four million yen (17.75 million yen raise). Oshima went over the numbers with team representative Kazuo Nishiyama and felt better about where he stood with the team. He also did not want negotiations to drag out for too long. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014

Yuki Yoshimura (30) met the Softbank Hawks for salary negotiations on Thursday and placed their forty-five million yen (ten million yen raise) offer on hold because he felt he deserved a little more. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014, Sponichi 12/18/2014

The Hawks re-signed Masato Sakata (21) to an Ikusei contract. His uniform number will remain 120. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014

The Yakult Swallows are interested in Yomiuri senryokugai Suguru Ino (31). Source: Nikkan Sports 12/18/2014

Yokohama senryokugai Kazumasa Kikuchi (32) had surgery to clean out his right shoulder in October and is not yet ready to retire. He is hoping to attend tryouts with teams during spring camp. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014

Thirty-eight-year-old pitcher Tomokazu Oka is hoping to continue playing next year and is waiting for an offer. Source: Sponichi 12/18/2014

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