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Tag: Takashi Toritani

[12/15/2014] Rumors: Takashi Toritani, Alejandro Segovia, Shunsuke Watanabe

by on Dec.16, 2014 @ 2:41 am, under NPB
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Takashi Toritani is expected to give the Hanshin Tigers his final decision during their next meeting. He is said to be talking to the Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres. Both teams might be willing to sign him to an MLB contract, but neither will likely go more than a year with a team option. Source: Sanspo 12/15/2014

The Tigers could have someone check on talent in Venezuela some time in January. They are also interested in Shunsuke Watanabe (38). He is currently playing for Leones del Caracas. He wants to make it back to the Majors, but could be open to returning to Japan if he gets no offers. Source: Sports Hochi 12/15/2014, MLB.com Player Page

Yoshio Itoi (33) met with Orix officials for salary negotiations on Monday and agreed to a 100 million yen raise. He is slated to make an estimated 350 million yen, plus incentives, in 2015. He was also selected to become the next team captain. Itoi is still interested in the Majors, but is currently more concerned about winning a championship with Orix. Source: Sports Hochi 12/15/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/15/2014

The media learned that the Rakuten Eagles are planning to sign Alejandro Segovia (24) to an Ikusei contract. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/15/2014

Hiroshima's Kenta Maeda (26) apparently told fans at a dinner event on Sunday that pitching in the Majors and winning a championship with the Carp were both his goals. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/15/2014

[12/13/2014] Rumors: Takashi Toritani, Kyuji Fujikawa, Yuhei

by on Dec.14, 2014 @ 12:54 am, under NPB
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The media learned Takashi Toritani (33) met the Hanshin Tigers for a second time this off-season on the 11th. The organization again asked that he remain. Toritani told the Tigers he planned to make a decision once all MLB offers were on the table. When asked by reporters if he was going to make a decision before the end of the year, he said he was not sure. He could meet with Hanshin again early next week. Source: Daily Sports 12/13/2014, Sanspo 12/13/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/13/2014


Takahiro Mahara (33) turned down a multi-year deal and incentives from the Orix Buffaloes because he does not think they are necessary. "I want to play for this team. I've never signed [a multi-year deal]. I have no interest in incentives. I take each year as a new challenge," said Mahara. When asked about the international FA option he is slated to earn next year, he replied, "I'm not thinking about that at all." Source: Sports Hochi 12/13/2014, Daily Sports 12/13/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/13/2014

Kenta Maeda (26) could meet team officials for preliminary salary negotiations on the 16th. If talks go smoothly, the Hiroshima Carp might be able to sign Maeda to an agreement before the end of the year. There is a chance the actually signing could take place next year if talks break down or there are scheduling conflicts. Source: Sports Hochi 12/13/2014, Sponichi 12/13/2014

The Chunichi Dragons signed Takahiro Kawasaki (21) to an Ikusei contract worth an estimated 4.4 million yen. His uniform number will change from 51 to 201. Source: official announcement, Nikkan Sports 12/13/2014

Yuhei (30) is slated to meet the Yakult Swallows on the 16th to resume salary negotiations. It will be his second meeting with team officials this off-season. He placed their initial offer on hold, but is planning to sign on Tuesday. Source: Sponichi 12/13/2014, Daily Sports 12/13/2014


Kyuji Fujikawa (34) and the Texas Rangers are close to finalizing a one-year contract with an option. The deal is pending a physical. Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson Tweet 12/13/2014, MLB.com's TR Sullivan Tweet 12/13/2014

[12/12/2014] Rumors: Takashi Toritani, Kensuke Tanaka

by on Dec.13, 2014 @ 1:31 am, under NPB
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Scott Boras told reporters that there was always a chance Takashi Toritani (33) could return to the Hanshin Tigers next year. The agent also indicated a decision will most likely be made before the end of the year. Source: Sanspo 12/12/2014, Sanspo 12/12/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/12/2014

Kensuke Tanaka (33) was hoping to return to the United States next year, but did not receive any offers. A number of NPB teams have shown interest, but the infielder is expected to choose the Nippon Ham Fighters. Source: Nikkan Soprts 12/12/2014

The Seibu Lions could find themselves in a position where they might be interested in Yokohama senryokugai Norihiro Nakamura (41). Source: ZakZak 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


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

[12/3/2014] Free Agents: Chihiro Kaneko, Takashi Toritani

by on Dec.04, 2014 @ 12:24 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

Takashi Toritani

  • The Hanshin Tigers are planning to meet Toritani again some time after the 14th. Source: Sanspo 12/3/2014

[11/27/2014] Free Agents: Takashi Toritani, Chihiro Kaneko

by on Nov.28, 2014 @ 3:45 am, under NPB
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Takashi Toritani

  • Toritani is letting his agent handle everything in the United States while he focuses on his training and conditioning. He wants to do what he can to make sure he is ready to play a full MLB season. Source: Daily Sports 11/27/2014

Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Orix Buffaloes want Kaneko to focus on his right elbow for the time being. Negotiations will likely be put on hold for the time being (until he is ready). Source: Sponichi 11/26/2014
  • The Hanshin Tigers are interested in Kaneko, but are not ready to make an offer because they feel they still need more information. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014, Sports Hochi 11/26/2014, Daily Sports 11/26/2014 ... The Tigers want to give Kaneko space as he works out a plan for his right elbow. They are also curious to see how things turn out. Source: Sanspo 11/27/2014 ... The Tigers are planning to hold another meeting on Kaneko early next week. They will not be able to put an offer together until they know what kind of condition Kaneko is in after he goes under the knife, assuming he goes through with the procedure. Source: Daily Sports 11/27/2014 ... Kaneko's agent reached out to the Tigers to assure them that there should be more than enough time for Kaneko to have surgery, go through rehab, and be ready for opening day next year. Source: Sponichi 11/27/2014
  • Yokohama Bay Stars general manager Shigeru Takada told reporters he found out about Kaneko's elbow before he made the announcement. He does not appear to be too concerned about the possibility of surgery. Source: Sanspo 11/27/2014 ... Takada on posting players: "We are not fully against it. As an organization, it isn't a definitive no." Source: Sponichi 11/27/2014
  • Softbank Hawks' chairman Sadaharu Oh indicated on Tuesday that the Hawks will pass on Kaneko if he is hoping to be posted after one year (or wants that option). Source: Sports Hochi 11/26/2014


The Yakult Swallows officially signed Yoshihisa Naruse (29) to a three-year deal worth an estimated 600 million yen on Tuesday. He was assigned the number seventeen. The Swallows will introduce him during a press conference on December 9. Yakult is still looking for a pitcher on the overseas market. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/25/2014

[11/25/2014] Free Agents: Takashi Toritani, Chihiro Kaneko

by on Nov.26, 2014 @ 11:48 am, under NPB
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Takashi Toritani

  • Toritani spoke to reproters on Monday and said he did not think he would be able to make a decision shortly before or after the winter meetings next month. Toritani will most likely wait until he has as many offers on the table as possible before choosing which team to sign with. The Hanshin Tigers could meet with Toritani again some time after the winter meetings. Source: Daily Sports 11/25/2014

Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Hanshin Tigers held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss Kaneko. They will most likely get involved, now that they know he does not want to be posted this off-season. Source: Daily Sports 11/25/2014
  • The Tigers, as a general rule, do not post players. They would never agree to posting Kaneko after a year, but could consider the possibility after two or three years. Source: Sanspo 11/25/2014
  • The Tigers could offer a two-year deal out of consider for Kaneko's desire to play in the Majors. The yearly salary could be somewhere around 500 million. They could also offer the uniform number eighteen. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/25/2014
  • At least five NPB teams (Hanshin, Chunichi, Softbank, Rakuten, and Yokohama) are interested interested in Kaneko. Of these teams, Rakuten and Chunichi could be okay with posting Kaneko after a year. Source: Sports Hochi 11/25/2014
  • Yokohama could also be okay with posting Kaneko after a uear. Source: Sanspo 11/25/2014
  • The Orix Buffaloes might be willing post Kaneko if he can help the team win a championship. However, the Buffaloes have a no posting rule. Source: Sanspo 11/25/2014
  • The Eagles could offer Kaneko a multi-year deal. They are not planning to include posting as part of their package. Source: Sponichi 11/25/2014
  • The Yomiuri Giants could be interested, but only if Kaneko does not plan on going to the Majors until he earns his international FA option (in other words, no posting). Source: Sanspo 11/25/2014

[11/23/2014] Free Agents: Chihiro Kaneko, Takashi Toritani, Eiichi Koyano, Ryoji Aikawa

by on Nov.24, 2014 @ 5:51 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

  • Orix Buffaloes' official Ryuzo Setoyama told reporters on Sunday that he spoke to Kaneko's agent on the 21st.
  • The Buffaloes were told Kaneko still felt strongly about the team and wanted to win a championship with them, but was also curious about his options. There was no mention of posting.
  • The Yokohama Bay Stars are interested in Kaneko and could be open to posting him after a year.

Source: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Sanspo 11/23/2014, Daily Sports 11/23/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/23/2014

Takashi Toritani

  • The Hanshin Tigers are planning to give Toritani some space to consider their offer. If they meet with him again, it will most likely be after he hears from MLB teams.
  • Sponichi asked 100 Hanshin fans if they wanted Toritani to stay or leave. Ninety-one wanted him to remain. Six wanted him to go to the Majors. Three did not care either way.

Source: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Sponichi 11/23/2014

Eiichi Koyano

  • Koyano could hold a press conference to announce his decision on the 26th.
  • Koyano has reportedly contacted the Seibu Lions to turn down their offer.
  • Part of the reason why Koyano turned Seibu down may have had to do with not wanting to play at Seibu Dome, where temperatures can fluctuate.
  • Koyano may have also been offered a three-year deal worth over 300 million yen by the Orix Buffaloes. Seibu's offer may have been two years at about 200 million yen.

Sources: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/23/2014, Sponichi 11/23/2014

Ryoji Aikawa

  • The Yakult Swallows could try to snag a veteran outfielder from the Yomiuri Giants as compensation for losing Aikawa. Yakult could have their eye on players like Yoshinobu Takahashi, Yano Kenji, or Tetsuya Matsumoto.

Source: Sanspo 11/23/2014, Sponichi 11/23/2014

[11/22/2014] Free Agents: Takashi Toritani, Chihiro Kaneko, Eiichi Koyano, Keiji Obiki

by on Nov.23, 2014 @ 4:39 am, under NPB
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Takashi Toritani

  • The media learned on Friday that Yutaka Wada already spoke to Tortani and asked him to stay. Their meeting took place after the Nippon Series.

Source: Sanspo 11/22/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/22/2014

Chihiro Kaneko

  • Softbank Hawks' president and acting owner Yoshimitsu Goto does not personally believe it is necessary to negotiate terms with Kaneko that include posting options. The Hawks have never posted a player of their own and would probably rather avoid setting a precedent.
  • The Hanshin Tigers are also not planning to include any special terms for posting, certainly nothing after just one or two years. The Tigers have made it a point not to post players, with one exception: Kei Igawa.
  • The Tigers could go up to four years on a offer to Kaneko.
  • The Chunichi Dragons might be willing to post Kaneko after one year. They once posted Akinori Otsuka a year after they obtained him in a money trade with Kintetsu.
  • The Orix Buffaloes would like to meet Kaneko for negotiations before the end of the year.
  • Kaneko and team official Ryuzo Setoyama could meet on the 24th. Both are slated to be at Kyocera Dome for fan appreciation day.
  • Kaneko could submit a request to be posted some time after the winter meetings in December.

Source: Sanspo 11/22/2014, Sanspo 11/22/2014, ZakZak 11/22/2014, Daily Sports 11/22/2014, Sponichi 11/22/2014, Sports Hochi 11/22/2014, Sports Hochi 11/22/2014, Sports Hochi 11/22/2014

Eiichi Koyano

  • The Orix Buffaloes may be the front runners to land Koyano. Their offer was apparently better than the two-year, 200 million yen offer the Seibu Lions made.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/22/2014

Keiji Obiki

  • Obiki will most likely end up selecting the number 2 because he wanted to respect the seriousness that comes from wearing the number 1.
  • Obiki's press conference with the Yakult Swallows will most likely take place some time in early December.

Source: Sanspo 11/22/2014

[11/21/2014] Free Agents: Takashi Toritani, Chihiro Kaneko, Yoshihisa Naruse, Eiichi Koyano

by on Nov.22, 2014 @ 5:02 am, under NPB
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Takashi Toritani

  • Toritani may still be wavering about leaving the Hanshin Tigers for the Majors.

Source: Sanspo 11/21/2014

Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Orix Buffaloes are not planning to rush their negotiations with Kaneko. They might wait to see what kind of offers he gets from other clubs.
  • Arn Tellem may have asked other NPB teams to submit offers on Kaneko.
  • Orix team official Ryuzo Setoyama on posting Kaneko: "We are currently not accepting it. He has not told us about wanting to be posted [during negotiations up to now]. We've told him we want him to stay with Orix and help us next season."

Source: Sanspo 11/21/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/21/2014

Yoshihisa Naruse

  • Naruse could announce his intention to sign with Yakult on Sunday, the day after Lotte's fan appreciation day.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/21/2014

Eiichi Koyano

  • Koyano grew up in Edogawa, Tokyo. He once got lost at Seibu Stadium when he was a child. His wife and daughter live in Tokyo. He told reporters he was used to living apart from his family in Hokkaido, but with offers from three teams on the table (Seibu, Orix, Hippon Ham), there is a good chance will pick Seibu.

Sources: ZakZak 11/21/2014