Tag: Milwaukee Brewers
The Orix Buffaloes are feeling a bit displeased about Alfredo Figaro signing a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers because he was on their reserved list. According to the NPB charter, players on the reserved list are not allowed to sign with other teams, including those overseas.
Said Buffaloes assistant team director Shosaku Yokota, "There may have been a misunderstanding about his status. Figaro was a player that was a part our plans next season."
Jun Nakamura, head of the Buffaloes international group, added, "I do not think the Brewers meant any harm, but they never approached us about him."
Source: Nikkan Sports 12/20/2012
Sponichi has posted the following comments taken during Norichika Aoki's press conference on Friday:
Negotiations [with the Milwaukee Brewers] came down to the wire...
The wait made me feel anxious. It felt long. I was really worried about whether or not we would have a deal. I got a call about five minutes [before the deadline].
There are some that say the terms were a bit low...
The amount may have gone down, but my desire to [play in the Majors] has not changed. Getting to the start line is important. I see this as getting my foot in the door.
You were assigned the number seven...
I see it as a number that players with speed wear.
What kind of player do you want to be?
I want to think about what the team needs and then try to fill those needs. That will also tie into more playing time. I feel that if I think about what I can do to help the team, it will allow me to become a unique player.
Will you ever return to play in Japan?
I feel I will not be able to well if I think about the future. I want to put 120% effort into the things that are in front of me right now.
[Yu] Darvish will also be heading to the Majors...
We will be in different leagues, so we may not have a lot of opportunities, but it would be nice if we could face each other some day.
UPDATE @ 2:05pm - Nikkan Sports has a slightly different set of comments from the press conference.
What are you thoughts right now?
I feel like I have finally made it to the start line.
What about your uniform number?
It is the number seven. I imagine players with speed wearing it. This will be the first time I have worn this number.
What kind of player do you want to be?
I want to become a unique player. The type you can not find anywhere else. I am a player with out and set shape.
Will you have a press conference?
I returned because my agent said I did not need one. I brought along a suit to wear, but it got wrinkled over the two weeks I waited.
Are you studying up on Milwaukee?
Beer, right? Munich, Sapporo, Milwaukee. Do they have all you can drink Miller beer at Miller Park? There is also Harley Davidson and Lake Michigan.
Have you spoken to Takashi Saito?
I hear it is a nice place to live. I also heard the fans are friendly and the stands are always full.
Norichika Aoki returned to the Japan on Thursday and said to reporters, "I am relieved to have finally made it to the starting line. My stay in the US felt long." Aoki is scheduled to hold a press conference in Tokyo today.
And the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt provides this update on Aoki's contract (via Nikkan Sports):
I don't know the details of the many incentives included in the deal, but the contract that Japanese OF Norichika Aoki signed with the Brewers this week guarantees salaries of $1 million in 2012 and $1.25 million in 2013.
That's probably less than most folks figured, but the more Aoki plays, the more he'll make with the incentives. There's also the matter that the Brewers paid a $2.5 million posting bid with the Yakult Swallows merely for the rights to negotiate with Aoki.
There's also an option and buyout for 2014, but I don't know what those figures are yet.
The Milwaukee Brewers announced that they signed Norichika Aoki to a two-year deal with a club option for 2014. From an official press release:
The Milwaukee Brewers today signed outfielder Norichika Aoki to a two-year contract with a club option for 2014. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Melvin.
Aoki will be introduced to the media at a date and time to be determined.
UPDATE @ 9:39am - Sponichi mentions that the deal could be for around US$1M - 1.5M a year. A separate Sponichi report notes that Nez Balelo may have convinced the Brewers to bid for Aoki by telling them that he was a quality player that would not be expecting a lot of money.
MLB.com's Adam McCalvy has the following update on Norichika Aoki:
There have been varied reports about Aoki's salary last season, but the Brewers' understanding is that he earned less than $3 million. If the club moves forward with negotiations, Melvin would much prefer a one-year deal to see how Aoki's skills translate to the Major Leagues.
Aoki would no doubt prefer a multi-year deal for making the move to the U.S., a common request for players shifting their careers from Japan. As of the start of this offseason, all eight of the players who were posted and signed with Major League teams since the current system was implemented in 1998 received multi-year contracts (though three others inked Minor League deals). The most recent position player is shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who drew a bid from the Twins that topped $5 million and agreed to a three-year, $9 million contract.
Amongst the people that attended the workouts: Brewers GM Doug Melvin, Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio, manager Ron Roenicke, bench coach Jerry Narron, batting coach Johnny Narron, director of pro scouting Zack Minasian, and special assistant Dick Groch. Nez Balelo, an interpreter, and two other people accompanied Aoki.
Nikkan Sports, Sponichi mention that the workouts started at around 10:30am and included playing catch, long toss at about 90 meters, fielding in center with throws to third, and BP (32 swings with two shots going over the fence).
Aoki will continue his training in Los Angeles until about mid-January, leaving open the possibility a negotiation might be reached while he is still in the US.
The Brewers have until 1/17 @ 5pm (or 1/18 at 7am) to finalize a deal with Aoki.
Norichika Aoki will have a chance to ask Takashi Saito some questions about what it is like playing for the Milwaukee Brewers this week when the two go out to eat -- they belong to the same management company and were already scheduled to meet.
Sponichi has the following comments from Yakult Swallows' managing director Junsei Atarashi:
On why they announced the name of the winning bidder:
Instead of having the information leak out to the US media, we wanted it to come out of Japan. We also wanted to let everyone know as soon as possible.
On Aoki heading to the US:
As a player representing Yakult, I would like to see him excel [in the US]. I would like to see him give back to pro yakyu if he ever decides to return to Japan.
The Brewers won the bidding. Your impressions.
I am happy that such a wonderful team placed a bid on me. They won their division and they seem like a strong team.
What about to the club that decided to post you?
I am really grateful to them.
Have you gotten closer to realizing your dreams?
I am relieved that things are beginning to take shape. But I still have not signed a contract, so while I am happy, I still do not feel at ease. My agent will be taking care of negotiations so I can focus on practicing and getting myself prepared.
What are your plans moving forward?
I have not really thought about anything, including flying out to the US. I think I will continue my practices in Tokyo for the rest of the year.
I hear [spring training] is shorter in the Majors with more exhibition games. I want to be close to being fully prepared by the start of [spring training]. ... If there are things I find useful, I plan to add them to my training.
Nikkan Sports is reporting that the Yakult Swallows announced that the Milwaukee Brewers won bidding on Norichika Aoki.
UPDATE @ 10:06am - It apparently took the Swallows about an hour to make their decision to accept the bid amount -- they received the bid amount at 7:33am and had the decision by about 8:33am. The team also wanted to announce the name of the winning team, but did not because they could not receive confirmation.
UPDATE @ 11:01am - Aoki's comment on the Brewers, via Nikkan Sports: "I am honored that such a wonderful team placed a bid on me. I will leave the negotiations up to my agent as I focus my attention on practices in preparation [for the upcoming season]."
UPDATE @ 4:19pm - It seems the Swallows were not entirely happy with the bid amount (I think they felt he was worth more than Hiroyuki Nakajima), but accepted it because they wanted to do right by Aoki.
According to Nikkan Sports, Takashi Saito is leaning towards signing a 1-year deal worth up to US$3M (or about 240M yen) with the Milwaukee Brewers. If the two sides can work out a number of minor issues, a deal could be reached before the end of the year.
A number of teams are rumored to be pursuing Saito, including the New York Yankees.