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[12/16/2014] Rumors: Chihiro Kaneko, Matt Murton, Kenta Maeda

by on Dec.17, 2014 @ 1:27 am, under NPB
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CBS Sports' Jon Heyman is reporting that Kyuji Fujikawa's (34) one-year deal with the Texas Rangers is for one million US dollars plus bonuses. Source: Jon Heyman Tweet 12/15/2014 ... The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Stefan Stevens also tweeted that the one million is guaranteed and includes a club option. Source: Stefan Stevens Tweet 12/16/2014

The Chunichi Dragons spoke to the Baseball Federation of Cuba in early December and were recommended two pitchers. The Dragons declined but are still considering possibilities. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/16/2014

The media learned on Monday that the Hanshin Tigers may have reached out to Chihiro Kaneko's agent earlier this month and offered a multi-year deal that may have been for about three years. Source: Sports Hochi 12/16/2014, Sanspo 12/16/2014 ... According to Nikkan Sports, the Tigers could offer up to three years at about 1.5 million yen. Kaneko is planning to narrow down his option to two or three teams and could make a decision before the end of the year. Hanshin might also be okay with posting him after two years. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/16/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/16/2014

The Tigers announced that they reached an agreement with Matt Murton (33) for the 2015 season. The two sides agreed on a one-year deal worth an estimated 3.9 million US dollars. Source: Sponichi 12/16/2014, Daily Sports 12/16/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/16/2014

Kenta Maeda (26) is planning to let the Hiroshima Carp know that he is still strongly interested in playing in the Majors when he meets team officials during preliminary salary negotiations. Source: Daily Sports 12/16/2014

Toru Hosokawa (34) finished off the final year of a four-year contract this season. He met the Softbank Hawks on Tuesday for contract negotiations and agreed to a new two-year deal. His salary next season will be an estimated 100 million yen (up thirty-six million yen). Source: Nikkan Sports 12/16/2014

The Rakuten Eagles are planning to add Darrell Rasner (33) to their staff as a US-based scout. An announcement is expected in the next few days. Source: Sponichi 12/16/2014

[12/16/2014] Chiba Lotte Marines, Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Dec.16, 2014 @ 11:43 pm, under NPB
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Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Lotte has decided to take advantage of third round draft pick Kandai Terashima's good looks by putting his face on flags and face towels. The items will be available during the first sale of the year on January 4. The Marines decided to sell Terashima merchandise after receiving requests from female fans. He will be the first member of Lotte's 2014 draft class to get his own merchandise. Source: Sponichi 12/16/2014, Daily Sports 12/16/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Kimiyasu Kudo is planning to hold study sessions for all coaches during spring camp next year. Topics could include injuries and rehab. Kudo wants coaches to understand proper training methods and rehab procedures because he does not believe trainers should be the only ones to have that information. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/16/2014
  • Shota Takeda wants to push his weight up to 100 kilograms. Source: Daily Sports 12/16/2014

Orix Buffaloes

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Shohei Otani has been throwing baseballs from the wind-up since the start of the off-season. He threw about 100 while playing catch and roughly twenty while throwing into a net during workouts on Monday. Source: Sanspo 12/16/2014
  • Mitsuo Yoshikawa is planning to start a three-day fast on the 17th. Source: Sports Hochi 12/16/2014

[12/15/2014] Yomiuri, Hanshin, Yakult, Rakuten, Lotte, Softbank

by on Dec.16, 2014 @ 2:36 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • The Giants returned to Japan on Monday from their championship trip to Hawaii. Soure: Nikkan Sports 12/15/2014
  • Tomoyuki Sugano will spend the next few weeks training in Arizona and Hawaii. He left for Arizona after the team's championship trip ended on the 14th and will spend some time there before returning to Hawaii with his family to bring in the new year. He will remain in Hawaii after his family leaves to continue his off-season workouts. He is not expected to return to Japan until some time in late January. Source: Chunichi Sports 12/15/2014, Sanpso 12/15/2014 ... The webbing of Sugano's new glove is apparently a mashup of the Batman and Superman logos. Source: Sanpso 12/15/2014

Hanshin Tigers

Yakult Swallows

  • The Hiroyasu Tanaka Cup Committee won naming rights to Otsukagaoka Chuo Park Baseball Stadium. The city of Kashiwa, Chiba agreed to a five-year deal worth 150,000 yen a year, effective from April 2015. The stadium will most likely be renamed to the Hiroyasu Tanaka Stadium during the duration of the agreement. An official announcement will be made in February. Source: Sanspo 12/15/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/15/2014

Rakuten Eagles

  • First round draft pick Tomohiro Anraku has been tentatively assigned to Ichi-gun spring camp next year. The Eagles do not want to rush him, but do want to give him a chance to work out with other Ichi-gun players. Soruce: Sanspo 12/15/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Tadahiro Ogino would like to keep his registered name as Tada Ogino since that is what he has used since he joined the NPB. He plans to file a request with the team in the new year. Source: Sanpso 12/15/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Kenta Imamiya will be switching to an eighty-six centimeter bat next season (about a centimeter longer than what he used this year). He decided to make the change after trying Ryosuke Kikuchi's (Hiroshima) bat during the Suzuki Japan All-Star Series. Source: Daily Sports 12/15/2014

[12/14/2014] Yomiuri, Hanshin, Chunichi, Yokohama, Yakult, Rakuten, Softbank

by on Dec.15, 2014 @ 2:43 am, under NPB
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Central League

Yomiuri Giants

  • First round draft pick Kazuma Okamoto has a shot at making Ichi-gun spring camp. Source: Sponichi 12/14/2014, Daily Sports 12/14/2014 ... Second round draft pick Chiaki Tone, third round draft pick Hayato Takagi, and fourth round draft pick Daiki Tanaka could be assigned to Ichi-gun spring camp as well. Source: Sports Hochi 12/14/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka (right elbow) should be okay to hold his pre-season Toin workouts in January. He will also most likely head to Ichi-gun spring camp because of the warmer weather in Okinawa. Source: Daily Sports 12/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014
  • Kosuke Fukudome does not think there is a better center fielder in the NPB than Yamato and would like to see him stay put, instead of move to short. Source: Daily Sports 12/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014
  • Tomoyuki Kubota is slated to join the staff as a batting practice pitcher next season. Source: Sanpso 12/14/2014
  • The Tigers announced on Sunday that they finalized terms for the 2015 season with Randy Messenger (33). Messenger will be in the second year of a two-year deal next year. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014, Daily Sports 12/14/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • The Dragons have not made official announcements about Raul Valdes and Ricardo Nanita because they are still in the process of finalizing terms with them. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Hisanori Takahashi's registered name this season was Hisanori. He is thinking about submitting a request to change it Hisa Takahashi next year. He was registered as Hisa Takahashi during the ten years he was with the Yomiuri Giants. Source: Sponichi 12/14/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Mitsuru Manaka has plans for a five-man rotation with a spot for a sixth man as needed. Yasuhiro Ogawa, Masanori Ishikawa, and Yoshihisa Naruse will most likely take the first three spots in the rotation. They could be followed by Taichi Ishiyama and Toshihiro Sugiura. The last spot could come down to pitchers like Ryosuke Yagi, Takeaki Tokuyama, Yoshinori Sato, and Shohei Tateyama. Source: Sponichi 12/14/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014

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Pacific League

Rakuten Eagles

Softbank Hawks

  • Kenichi Nakata has been messing around with a shuto for the last few years. He has not thrown it during games, but is thinking about using the pitch next season if it is good enough. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014
  • The Hawks returned to Japan on Sunday from their championship trip to Hawaii. About 200 fans greeted them at Fukuoka Airport. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/14/2014

[12/12/2014] Seibu Lions, Softbank Hawks

by on Dec.13, 2014 @ 1:24 am, under NPB
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Seibu Lions

  • First round draft pick Kona Takahashi's full name will be registered with the NPB. His name will appear as K. Takahashi on his uniform. It could have been Ko Takahashi to avoid identification problems with Tomomi Takahashi, but it will be his full name because the team likes Kona and Kona wants people to know him by his full name. Source: Sports Hochi 12/12/2014, Sponichi 12/12/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Yuki Yoshimura told reporters on Wednesday (Thursday Japan time) that he suffered a fracture in his left ring finger when he slid head-first into first base during Game 5 of the Nippon Series. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/12/2014
  • Takeshi Hosoyamada's mother died of a subarachnoid hemorrhage at a hospital in Yokohama at 6:24pm on the 10th. She was fifty-six. Source: Sponichi 12/12/2014
  • The media learned Yuito Mori (22) is planning to file marriage papers on December 28 with a woman he went to high school with. The two already have a place together in Fukuoka. Source: Daily Sports 12/12/2014

[12/11/2014] Rumors: Takashi Toritani, Munenori Kawasaki, Rick VandenHurk

by on Dec.12, 2014 @ 2:48 am, under NPB
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Scott Boras is discussing Takashi Toritani with a number of MLB teams as a second baseman. There is also interest in his ability to play third and short. Source: Sanspo 12/11/2014, Sponichi 12/11/2014 ... The Hanshin Tigers could meet with Toritani for a second time this off-season on the 15th. Yutaka Wada could take part in the negotiations. Source: Sanspo 12/11/2014

The Yakult Swallows sent their list of protected players to both Lotte (Yoshihisa Naruse) and Nippon Ham (Keiji Obiki) on Tuesday. The lists are reportedly different. Nippon Ham will have to wait for Lotte to make their selection since they finished higher in the standings. Source: Sports Hochi 12/11/2014

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Five to six MLB teams showed interest in Munenori Kawasaki. He narrowed down things down and is currently discussing a possible minor league deal with two teams. He is expected to finalize a deal before the end of the year. Source: Sanspo 12/11/2014, Sponichi 12/11/2014

Slightly old news: Tetsuya Yamaguchi (31) agreed to a salary worth 320 million yen next year with the Yomiuri Giants on November 25. There was no raise, but Yamaguchi likely signed a contract worth over one billion yen over a maximum three years (includes option years). Source: Sports Hochi 11/26/2014

The Softbank Hawks and Rick VandenHurk (29) have reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth about 400 million yen. The Hawks are expected to make an announcement after the contract is signed and finalized. Source: Daily Sports 12/11/2014

[12/10/2014] Rumors: Rick VandenHurk, Kyuji Fujikawa, Yulieski Gourriel

by on Dec.11, 2014 @ 2:50 am, under NPB
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The Chiba Lotte Marines received Yakult's list of protected players on the 9th. Lotte has until January 6, but will try to reach a decision before the end of the year. They are planning to select a player as part of their compensation for losing Yoshihisa Naruse. Source: Sports Hochi 12/10/2014

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Kyuji Fujikawa will most likely play in the United States next year. A source close to the situation told reporters that the pitcher did not have to consider returning to Japan because there was enough MLB interest. Source: Daily Sports 12/10/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014

The Softbank Hawks have reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with Rick VandenHurk (29). An announcement is expected within the next couple of days. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014

Yoshihisa Hirano (30) signed a three-year deal worth 900 million yen. At 300 million a year, he became the highest paid pitcher in franchise history. Hirano likes Orix and feels strongly about winning a championship with them and never considered playing for another team this year. He is slated to earn his international FA option after next season. He is planning to stay with Orix over the next three years, but was unwilling to commit to the organization for the rest of his career when asked by reporters on Tuesday. Source: Daily Sports 12/10/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014, Sports Hochi 12/10/2014, Sponichi 12/10/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars may have offered Yulieski Gourriel (30) a one-year deal worth about 350 million yen, in addition to a two-year deal worth as much as 700 million yen. A representative is currently in Cuba handling negotiations. Source: Sports Hochi 12/10/2014

The Yakult Swallows may have offered Yuhei (30) fifty-eight million for 2015 (a raise of about forty-five million). The outfielder placed the offer on hold because he was expecting more. Since this was his first full season at Ichi-gun, he had his management company rate his season. There was a gap between what Yakult offered and what his management company estimated. The Swallows sweetened their deal during the meeting, but have no plans to add to it. Source: Sports Hochi 12/10/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014

Ryosuke Hirata (26) met Chunichi Dragons' officials on Wednesday for about ninety minutes and agreed to a deal worth an estimated forty-seven million yen in 2015 (twelve million raise). The amount remained unchanged since the first round of negotiations, but time and a better understanding of the team's rating system was enough to get Hirata to sign. Source: Sports Hochi 12/10/2014, Daily Sports 12/10/2014, Sponichi 12/10/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014

Atori Ota (25) agreed to a deal worth an estimated 9.5 million yen (a salary cut of three million) on Wednesday. It was Ota's second meeting with Yokohama Bay Star officials. It was the same offer he received during his first meeting. Source: Sponichi 12/10/2014

[12/10/2014] Rakuten Eagles, Seibu Lions, Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Dec.11, 2014 @ 2:18 am, under NPB
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Rakuten Eagles

  • Shintaro Masuda gained about seven kilograms last winter and is working to make sure that does not happen again this winter. He has managed to keep his weight at eighty-five kilograms so far. Source: Sponichi 12/10/2014
  • The media learned on Tuesday that Takaaki Yokoyama had a tonsillectomy. He has already been discharged from the hospital. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014

Seibu Lions

  • Hotaka Yamakawa will have a chance to work out with Norichika Aoki in Okinawa in January. Yamakawa is trying to get his weight down to 100 kilograms. He has so far dropped six kilograms and has three more to go. Source: Sponichi 12/10/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • The media learned on Wednesday that former manager Koji Akiyama's wife, Chiaki Akiyama, died on Tuesday at the age of fifty-five. Chiaki had been battling an undisclosed illness since 2011. Akiyama was planning to attend the team's championship trip to Hawaii, but canceled to be with his wife. Source: Daily Sports 12/10/2014, Sponichi 12/10/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014

Orix Buffaloes

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Mitsuo Yoshikawa is planning to fast for three to four days before the end of the year. It will be his first attempt. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014
  • Shohei Otani is hoping to get more playing time next year. Source: Sanspo 12/10/2014

[12/8/2014] Chiba Lotte Marines, Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes

by on Dec.09, 2014 @ 1:24 am, under NPB
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Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Ayumu Ishikawa is working on a new sinker that is about ten kilometers slower than the sinker he currently throws. This will give him a curve at around 110km/h, a sinker at 120, and a sinker and slider at 130. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/7/2014, Sponichi 12/7/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Players and staff left for their championship trip to Hawaii out of Fukuoka Airport on Monday. They are slated to return on the 14th. Source: Sports Hochi 12/8/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/8/2014
  • The Hawks announced that they hired Yusaku Iriki (42) as a San-gun pitching coach. He was assigned the number 99. Source: official announcement
  • The Hawks hired Kenta Hagiwara (34) as their new scout in charge of Latin America. Hagiwara was an interpreter with Nippon Ham before working with teams that played winter ball in places like the Dominican Republic and Venzuela. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/7/2014, official announcement

Orix Buffaloes

  • Orix (Hankyu) has played 9,919 games. Assuming no rain outs, they should reach 10,000 on July 10 against Rakuten at kobo Stadium. Source: Sponichi 12/8/2014
  • The Buffaloes are estimating Hiroyuki Nakajima will help increase the female fan base by 500 to 1,000 per game next season. The organization is planning to increase and improve women's bathrooms at Kyocera Dome to account for the potential increase. Source: Sports Hochi 12/8/2014

[12/6/2014] Seibu Lions, Softbank Hawks, Orix Buffaloes, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Dec.07, 2014 @ 12:19 am, under NPB
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Seibu Lions

  • Ryohei Fujiwara (28) filed marriage papers with a thirty-four-year-old woman from Saitama on Saturday. A ceremony is scheduled for the 13th. Source: Sponichi 12/6/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • The city of Oita named Seiichi Uchikawa its first official sports ambassador. It is a three-year post. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2014
  • Takeshi Hosoyamada (28) filed marriage papers with a twenty-eight-year-old woman from Fukuoka on the 2nd. They held a ceremony in Yokohama on Saturday. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2014, Sponichi 12/6/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • The Buffaloes had seven scouts this season. They will be working with nine next year -- they added Etsuji Taniguchi and Kazuhiro Uemura. Source: Daily Sports 12/6/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Sho Nakata has spent about three million yen on prizes he has handed out to players that meet their season goals. He recently purchased a luxury sports car for about thirty-three million yen and later realized the low clearance of the vehicle was not suited to Sapporo weather. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2014