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Hanshin Tigers interested in Matt Thornton

by on Oct.07, 2009 @ 1:20 pm, under NPB
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The Tigers are continuing to work on their list of possible foreigners to go after for their 2010 season and Chicago White Sox lefty Matt Thornton appears to be high on their list.  The White Sox recently picked up Thornton's $2.25M option for the 2010 season.

First baseman Tae-gyun Kim out of the Korean Baseball League has also piqued the interest of the Tigers.

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Hanshin Tigers looking at Matt Thornton?

by on Sep.09, 2009 @ 5:54 am, under NPB
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Sanspo reports that the Hanshin Tigers are currently taking a look at Matt Thornton as someone to replace Jeff Williams' spot on the roster next year. One problem though: making the finances work.

First, there's the matter of the Chicago White Sox currently controlling Thornton's options for 2010 and 2011.  Then there's Thornton's contract: $2.25M in 2010 and $3M in 2011.  In all, the Tigers might need close to 400M yen (about US$4.3M) to buy him out from the White Sox and sign him for the 2010 season.

Seems like a fairly big risk to take: regardless of how good a player is in the Majors,  solid performance numbers don't always translate well in Japan because there's a lot more involved in the transition: different strike zones, different work-out schedules, cultural differences...  And I think it's much tougher for a foreigner to get acclimated to Japanese baseball than it is the other way around (the Japanese culture, by definition, isn't very open).

I can't really see this coming to fruition.

Still, it could be interesting to see someone of Thornton's caliber play in the NPB.

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