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12/1/2012: Ichiro Suzuki, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Kyuji Fujikawa

by on Dec.01, 2012 @ 5:34 pm, under MLB
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Ichiro Suzuki is apparently growing a little impatient with the Yankees and will begin talking to other teams.  From the New York Post's George A. King III:

"At the beginning we talked a lot but since that time, zero," agent Tony Attanasio said of discussions with the Yankees. "As far as we are concerned we don't care what the Yankees do. We have had conversations with multiple clubs. If we see something we like he will go through with it."

In a week's time, Ichiro has completely reversed field.

... Of course, Ichiro's reversal doesn't mean he can't return to The Bronx ...

Nor did GM Brian Cashman eliminate Ichiro from the list of outfield candidates that he will talk to about replacing Nick Swisher in right field.

"I am really not in position to comment but our focus was first on pitching and see the amount of dollars we needed to secure pitching," Cashman said. "Now we will focus on players who want to talk to us."


Hiroyuki Nakajima no longer has any more obligations and is free to return to the States.  However, he probably will stick around in Japan until after the Winter Meetings end.

The Seibu Lions are interested in Nakajima making a return to the organization when he decides to come back to Japan (either as a player or a coach).

Source: Sports Hochi 12/1/2012


Chicago Cuba GM Jed Hoyer is apparently "impressed" with Kyuji Fujikawa, according to an AP report.


Kota Kobayashi caught the interest of a Cleveland scout during the twelve-team tryouts last month.  He is scheduled to attend the Winter League in Puerto Rico in January before heading to Arizona for minor league Spring Training.  He will most likely get started at the Single-A level.

Source: Sponichi 12/1/2012

The Cleveland Indians have signed two Japanese players to minor league deals so far this winter: Kobayashi (November 30) and Takuya Tsuchida (October 30).

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11/30/2012: Kota Kobayashi, Hiroki Kuroda, Hisanori Takahashi, Kyuji Fujikawa

by on Nov.30, 2012 @ 11:50 pm, under MLB
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Former Yokohama Bay Star Kota Kobayashi (21) signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians.  He is also scheduled to attend the Winter League in Puerto Rico in January.  Source: Sports Hochi 11/30/2012


Hiroki Kuroda also apparently received a better offer from the San Diego Padres.  Source: New York Post 11/28/2012


The Baltimore Orioles are interested in Koji Uehara.  From the Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly:

The Orioles have already met with Japanese free agent closer Kyuji Fujikawa, who would be a set-up man in the majors, and they are at least considering other late-inning relievers, including Uehara, who played with the Orioles from 2009 until he was dealt away in July 2011.

Although he doesn’t like to talk about specific free agents, Duquette said about Uehara: "He's on our list, we like him. He’s been here before."

The 37-year-old Uehara, who compiled a 1.75 ERA in 37 games with the Texas Rangers in 2012 after rebounding from a midseason lat injury, still maintains a residence in Baltimore. He broke down in tears when the Orioles dealt him to Texas for Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis.  


Hisanori Takahashi returned to Japan on Thursday.  He told reporters he is not yet ready to return to Japan and that he plans to play at least one more year in the US.  Source: Sponichi 11/30/2012


Yu Darvish was named the Texas Rangers' rookie of the year.  From a press release:

The Rangers also announced today that right-hander Yu Darvish has been selected as the team’s 2012 Rookie of the Year in voting conducted by the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Darvish was 16-9 with a 3.90 earned run average in 29 starts in his first season with Texas after signing as a free agent in January. He led all major league rookies with 221 strikeouts, the fifth highest overall total in team history, and 191.1 innings while tying for first in wins, a club rookie record. Darvish had the A.L.'s second lowest opponents batting average (.216) and strikeouts per 9.0 innings ratio (10.4) and also ranked among the league leaders in strikeouts (3rd), wins (T5th), and winning percentage (8th, .640). He joined Cleveland’s Herb Score in 1955 as the only rookies in A.L. history with at least 16 wins and 210 strikeouts in a season, just the fifth such rookie in the modern era (since 1900). Darvish finished third in the voting for the BBWAA A.L. Rookie of the Year Award.

Darvish, Rangers Player of the Year Adrian Beltre and Rangers Pitcher of the Year Matt Harrison will be among the award recipients at the 2013 Texas Rangers Dr Pepper Awards Show, which will be held in conjunction with Texas Rangers Fan Fest on Friday, January 11 at the Arlington Convention Center. Other award winners will be announced in upcoming weeks. Tickets for Fan Fest, which will take place January 11-12, are on sale at texasrangers.com/fanfest or by calling 972-RANGERS.


Kyuji Fujikawa may be down to the Angels and Cubs.  He could get a two-year deal worth around US$5 million.

The Angels apparently made a lasting impression on Fujikawa during their meeting with him.  He likes Chicago because Wrigley Field reminds him a little of Koshien.  The bullpen situation for both teams could also tip in his favor.

Source: Sponichi 11/30/2012, Sponichi 11/30/2012

Yokohama Senryokugai: Fukuyama, K. Kobayashi, Ohara, Takamori

by on Oct.02, 2012 @ 9:04 pm, under NPB
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The Bay Stars announced today that they will not offer the following four players contracts for the 2013 season.

Pos Player JPN Player ENG Age
P 福山 博之 Fukuyama, Hiroyuki 23
P 小林 公太 Kobayashi, Kota 21
INF 大原 淳也 Ohara, Junya 28
INF 高森 勇旗 Takamori, Yuki 24

Source: official announcementSports Hochi 10/2/2012

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