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[12/17/2014] Rumors: Chihiro Kaneko, Norihiro Nakamura

by on Dec.18, 2014 @ 4:48 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Orix Buffaloes' last offer may have been three years at 1.5 million yen.
  • In addition to Orix, Hanshin, Chunichi, Yokohama, and Rakuten are all said to be interested.
  • The Hanshin Tigers held internal discussions on Tuesday and are closer to finalizing terms for their offer. They will most likely put together a competitive three-year contract, but the sky will not be the limit. They may also be willing to post Kaneko after two years. They may be ready to submit their offer soon.
  • The Buffaloes know that Kaneko likes to think things through and is the type of person that needs to be convinced before making a decision. They would like to know what he wants before the end of the year, but realize things could spill into 2015.

Source: Sanspo 12/17/2014, Sanspo 12/17/2014, Daily Sports 12/17/2014, Sports Hochi 12/17/2014, Sports Hochi 12/17/2014, Sponichi 12/17/2014, Sponichi 12/17/2014

Kaneko updated his blog again.

To my fans,

Thank you for all the comments.

I read all of them.

I wanted to talk about free agency, something everyone is curious about.

I was once asked, "Aren't you supposed to exercise your FA option when you know there is another team you want to play for?"

I have never imagined playing for another team or signing a contract with another team during the season while playing as a member of the Buffaloes.

After I exercised my option, I received offers from other teams and listened to each one with fresh ears.

It's not just about my evaluation. Teams are telling me about things like how they break down data, their plans for team development, and what the team owner is thinking. Some teams have told me about their ties with the community.

This is a first for me. It has been very exciting and informative.

This is something I was able to experience because I exercised my FA option.

I focused on my performance during the season and then listened to offers for the first time after exercising my FA option. It made me realize again, just how important this is for me.

That is why I am still thinking, still struggling.

I am not trying to get teams to increase their offers and I'm not trying to figure out the right time to sell...

I am thinking hard again today because I want to give everyone good news!

Oh, things are going well with my right elbow. It's no longer really causing me problems in my day-to-day activities.


Seibu's Takumi Kuriyama was offered a two-year contract, but instead signed a one-year deal. Source: ZakZak 12/17/2014

The Tigers exercised a club option with Matt Murton. At about 450 million yen (based on the current conversion rate of one dollar = 116 yen), he will be the second highest paid player in franchise history, behind Tomoaki Kanemoto's 550 million yen in 2009. Source: Daily Sports 12/17/2014, Sponichi 12/17/2014

Norihiro Nakamura (41) received an "offer" from Gunma Diamond Pegasus (BC League) senior director Alex Ramirez. Nakamura is still waiting for an offer from the NPB. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/17/2014

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[11/5/2014] 2014 Golden Spirit Award: Takumi Kuriyama

by on Nov.05, 2014 @ 11:45 pm, under NPB
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The 16th Golden Spirit Award will go to Seibu's Takumi Kuriyama (31).

Kuriyama has been inviting Tokorozawa children with intellectual disabilities to games at Seibu Dome since 2006. He helped raise over eight million yen for Tohoku Earthquake victims over four season through Just Giving Japan. And he reached out to children with cancer in August this year -- he invited them to games at Seibu Dome with their families (a total 240 people). He also helped establish the Lions Child Foundation when he was Seibu's player chairman in 2012.

Golden Spirit Award selection committee = Katsuhiko Kumazaki, Shigeo Nagashima, Kazuo Sayama, Ritsuko Nagao, Masaaki Hirao, and Tadashi Hayakawa.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/6/2014, Sports Hochi 11/5/2014, Sports Hochi Golden Spirit Award

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[10/27/2014] Rumors: Chihiro Kaneko (Orix), Yoshihisa Naruse (Lotte)

by on Oct.28, 2014 @ 3:00 am, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Yamai worked out at Nagoya Stadium on Monday and told reporters he had nothing new to say regarding his domestic FA option. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/27/2014

Seibu Lions

  • Takumi Kuriyama has reportedly decided not to exercise his FA option and will remain with the Lions. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/27/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • Officials met Yoshihisa Naruse on Monday to continue negotiations on a new contract. No major progress was made. If Naruse decides to exercise his option, Lotte will most likely take their offer off the table. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/27/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Chihiro Kaneko spoke to reporters at Hotto Motto Field Kobe on Monday and said asking the team to post him to the Majors was a possibility. He also said he was going to consider any and all options available to him. "I have always liked the atmosphere at American stadiums. I'll think about it once the [Suzuki All-Star Series] ends," said Kaneko. Source: Daily Sports 10/27/2014, Sponichi 10/27/2014 ... The Boston Red Sox are among MLB teams with interest in Kaneko. Source: Boston Glove 10/25/2014 via Sanspo 10/27/2014
  • Yoshihisa Hirano spoke to reporters on Monday and indicated that he met Orix for contract negotiations, was treated with sincerity, and felt needed. He also said there was a chance he might not exercise his option. Source: Sports Hochi 10/27/2014
  • Takahiro Mahara was unable to provide an update about his FA option when reporters approached him for comment on Monday. Source: Sports Hochi 10/27/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Naoki Miyanishi is slated to meet team officials for contract negotiations after the Nippon Series. Source: Sponichi 10/27/2014
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[3/9/2014] Injury Updates: Mauro Gomez (HAN), Keizo Kawashima (YAK)

by on Mar.10, 2014 @ 4:13 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Mauro Gomez (right knee) took live outdoor batting practice at Naruohama on Sunday.  He swung the bat thirty-eight times and hit five over the fence.  Assistant Batting Coach Thomas O'Malley was the batting practice pitcher.  Gomez will play in a batting practice scrimmage on Monday.  Source: Nikkan Sports 3/9/2014 ... The Tigers are planning to have Gomez play in some Ni-gun games before calling him up to Ichi-gun.  Source: Sanspo 3/9/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • Keizo Kawashima played in a Ni-gun practice game against Surugadai University on Saturday and hurt his left thumb while sliding into third base in the 6th inning.  He will be examined since he may have suffered a fracture.  Kawashima started spring at Ni-gun camp because of discomfort in his right shoulder and elbow.  He was feeling better and was expected to join the Ichi-gun team within the next few days.  Source: Sanspo 3/9/2014
  • Akihisa Nishida was taken out of Saturday's game against Hiroshima after he took a foul ball off his groin area while playing defense in the 2nd inning.  He was taken to the hospital.  No problems were found.  Source: Sanpso 3/9/2014

Seibu Lions

  • Takumi Kuriyama (left thigh) is expected to rejoin the Ichi-gun team during a three-game series against Nippon Ham that begins on the 11th at Sapporo Dome.  Source: Daily Sports 3/9/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Yoshio Itoi (right side) could play sometime during a three-game exhibition series against Hanshin that begins on the 21st.  Source: Tokyo Sports 3/9/2014
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[3/5/2014] Injury Updates: Mauro Gomez (HAN), Takuya Asao (CHU), Takeya Nakamura (SEI)

by on Mar.06, 2014 @ 2:22 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

Yoshiyuki Kamei fractured his right index finger during fielding practice on February 26.  The Giants announced on Wednesday that he had reparative surgery at a hospital in Tokyo.

Source: Sanpso 3/5/2014, Sponichi 3/5/2014


Tetsuya Yamaguchi (left shoulder inflammation) threw sixty-seven pitches in the bullpen on Wednesday. He told reporters he felt fine.

Nobutaka Imamura (left shoulder tightness) threw 102 pitches in the bullpen on Wednesday.  He is scheduled to toss batting practice later this week.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/5/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/5/2014

Hanshin Tigers

Shinji Komiyama took an HBP off the base off his right pinky during a Kyoiku League game against Softbank on Tuesday.  He was taken to the hospital for an evaluation after the game.  He appears to be okay.

Source: Sanspo 3/5/2014


Mauro Gomez had his right knee examined on Wednesday.  No problems were discovered.  He will slowly begin to make his way back to regular workouts.

Source: Sanpso 3/5/2014, Sports Hochi 3/5/2014

Hiroshima Carp

Ryuhei Matsuyama has been working out at Ni-gun after hurting his left hamstring on February 2.  He rejoined general workouts on February 26 and hit a home run during a practice game against the Kochi Fighting Dogs (Island League) on March 3.

Source: Daily Sports 3/5/2014

Chunichi Dragons

Takuya Asao is still having problems with his right elbow.  He ended practices early on Wednesday and went to a hospital for an evaluation.  He might not be ready for the start of regular season.

Asao tossed batting practice on March 2, but ended the session after throwing just twelve pitches.

Source: Sanspo 3/5/2014, Sports Hochi 3/5/2014, Sponichi 3/5/2014, Nikkan Sports 3/5/2014

Yakult Swallows

Shohei Tateyama (right elbow discomfort) still hopes to play in a game this month.  He started a practice game against Lotte on February 25 and had to stop after throwing just twelve pitches.  He has resumed throwing since then -- he threw thirty pitches in the bullpen on March 3.  He told reporters he will try to pitch in a game environment if his does not have any problems during his bullpen session on Thursday.

Source: Sanspo 3/5/2014

Seibu Lions

Takeya Nakamura (left side) and Takumi Kuriyama (left inner thigh) are not traveling with the team.

Nakamura hurt his left side during batting practice on February 18.  He was originally supposed to resume hitting after about a week, but is still taking things slow (Tuesday was the fourteenth consecutive day he went without swinging a bat).  He told reporters he would be fine if he could play in at least five games before the start of the season (worst case scenario).

Kuriyama complained of pain in his left thigh during a practice game against Hanshin on March 2.  He did not take batting practice on Tuesday.

Kuriyama might be able to play during a three-game road series against Nippon Ham that begins on the 11th.  Nakamura could be ready some time after the Nippon Ham series.

Source: Sanspo 3/5/2014, Daily Sports 3/5/2014, Sponichi 3/5/2014

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[9/29/2013] Injury Updates: Nakane (YAK), Nakata (HAM), Kuriyama, German (SEI), Brazell (LOT), Itoi (ORI)

by on Sep.30, 2013 @ 1:55 am, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

Doala (left middle finger fracture) rode a tricycle around the Nagoya Dome field on Sunday with signs that indicated he was getting better and planned to turn a back-flip during the last home game of the season.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/29/2013

Yakult Swallows

The media learned on Saturday that twenty-four-year-old pitcher Yuji Nakane had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on the 25th.  He will require about a year for a full recovery.  The Swallows are expected to sign Nakane to an Ikusei contract after the season.

Source: Sanspo 9/29/2013

Nippon Ham Fighters

Sho Nakata (left pinky) took indoor batting practice today for the first time since his injury.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/29/2013

Seibu Lions

Takumi Kuriyama took an HBP off his head in the 6th inning of Sunday's game against the Chiba Lotte Marines.  Kuriyama left the field for treatment and was able to return to play out the rest of the game.

Lotte's Wil Ledezma was tossed for throwing the dangerous pitch.  He is the eleventh pitcher to get tossed for throwing a dangerous pitch this season (eighth in the PL).

Source: Sponichi 9/29/2013


Esteban German was pulled from Sunday's game against the Chiba Lotte Marines on defense in the 4th inning because of discomfort in his neck.

A team spokesperson told the media German was pulled as a precaution because he felt discomfort in his neck while swinging the bat.  He is considered day-to-day.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/29/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

Craig Brazell tweaked his left ankle during his at bat in the 3rd inning of Sunday's game against the Seibu Lions.  He remained in the game but was replaced by a pinch-runner in the 6th because the ankle was feeling worse.  Brazell told reporters that he should be ok to play on Monday.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/29/2013

Orix Buffaloes

Yoshio Itoi was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the 7th inning of Saturday's game against Nippon Ham because he was not feeling well -- his eyes were giving him problems and he had a headache.  The problems went away with some rest and oxygen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/29/2013

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[9/25/2013] Injury Updates: Nakata (HAM), Kuriyama, Kikuchi (SEI), Imae, Iguchi, Kakunaka (LOT)

by on Sep.25, 2013 @ 11:47 pm, under NPB
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Nippon Ham Fighters

Sho Nakata (left pinky finger) resumed batting practice today -- he took soft-toss batting practice with both hands.

The coaches will monitor Nakata's progress by having him travel with the team on their next road trip.

Source: Sponichi 9/25/2013

Seibu Lions

Takumi Kuriyama took an HBP off his head in the 1st inning of tonight's game against the Rakuten Eagles (Jim Heuser was on the mound).  He was taken to a hospital in Tokorozawa, Saitama and diagnosed with a bruise.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/25/2013


Yusei Kikuchi (left shoulder) is scheduled to start a Ni-gun game against Yakult on the 26th.  If he is feeling fine after the outing, he could make it back to the active roster some time on or after October 1.

Source: Sanspo 9/25/2013

 Chiba Lotte Marines

From tonight's game against the Nippon Ham Fighters: Toshiaki Imae felt discomfort in his left calf while running the bases in the 1st inning and was replaced by a pinch-runner after hitting a single to right in the 4th; Tadahito Iguchi took an HBP off the side of his left knee in the 4th and was removed from defense in the 5th; Katsuya Kakunaka was pulled in the bottom of the 6th after his back pains grew worse.

Tsutomu Ito told reporters Kakunaka's back was not good and that he might be taken off the active roster depending on how he felt on Thursday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/25/2013

FA Options: Toshiaki Imae (Lotte), Takumi Kuriyama (Seibu)

by on Apr.25, 2013 @ 8:06 pm, under NPB
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Toshiaki Imae (Lotte) earned his international FA option today with nine years of service time on the active roster.

"It is the middle of the season.  I just need to do my job right now.  For the team," said Imae.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/25/2013


Takumi Kuriyama (Seibu) earned his domestic FA option with eight years of service time on the active roster.

"I feel nothing special about it.  [I have a contract] so it is not like I can exercise the option after this season," said Kuriyama.

Kuriyama signed a two-year deal before the start of the current season.

Source: Sponichi 4/25/2013

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Seibu Lions: Kuriyama gets a two-year deal; Wakui turns down a two-year deal

by on Dec.05, 2012 @ 11:48 pm, under NPB
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The Seibu Lions signed Takumi Kuriyama to a two-year deal today.  His salary for 2013 will be 200 million yen (no change over this past season) plus incentives.  Source: Daily Sports 12/5/2012

Nikkan Sports is reporting that the two-year deal is worth a total 400 million yen.  Source: Nikkan Sports 12/5/2012

They also reportedly offered Hideaki Wakui a two-year deal worth around 500 million yen, but he turned it down and signed a one-year deal worth an estimated 220 million yen (up ten million yen) because he did not want any guarantees.  Source: Daily Sports 12/5/2012, Sponichi 12/5/2012

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Injury Updates 8/21/2012: Uchikawa (SOF), Kuriyama (SEI), Asamura (SEI), Teppei (RAK), Jojima (HAN), Eldred (HIR)

by on Aug.21, 2012 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

Seiichi Uchikawa was left out of the starting line-up tonight because of the jammed right ring finger he suffered during Sunday's game against the Orix Buffaloes.  The Hawks will continue to monitor Uchikawa and will make decisions on his status as needed.  He was able to take batting and fielding practice before the game.  Source: Nikkan Sports 8/21/2012, Sponichi 8/21/2012

Seibu Lions

Takumi Kuriyama took an HBP off his left arm in the 8th inning of today's game against the Softbank Hawks (Masahiro Morifuku was on the mound).  He was promptly replaced by a pinch-runner and taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a left ulna fracture.  No word on how long he will be out.  This effectively ends his streak of playing in every inning of every game at 390.  Source: Sponichi 8/21/2012


Hideto Asamura took an HBP off his head in the 9th inning of today's game against the Softbank Hawks (Akihiro Yanase was on the mound) and was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a contusion on the left side of his head.  Source: Jiji 8/21/2012

Rakuten Eagles

Teppei took a Hisashi Kawata line drive off his left middle finger (and left shoulder) while sitting in the dugout in the bottom of the 2nd.  Teppei was replaced by Aoi Enomoto and taken to the hospital where X-Rays came back negative for broken bones.  He did lose a nail and was diagnosed with a contusion.

Teppei later spoke to reporters and told them he should be ok for tomorrow.

Source: Daily Sports 8/21/2012, Nikkan Sports 8/21/2012, Sports Hochi 8/21/2012

Hashin Tigers

Kenji Jojima played in a Ni-gun rehab game against Chunichi today (started at first and batted fifth) but left the game after hurting his left knee.  No word out how serious the injury was.  Source: Sanspo 8/21/2012

Hiroshima Carp

Brad Eldred was not in the starting line-up today because his right elbow is giving him problems.  The Carp will continue to monitor his elbow and make decisions on his status as needed -- it is possible he may miss an extended amount of time.  Source: Sanspo 8/21/2012