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[11/21/2014] Ryoji Aikawa formally turns down Yakult, to sign with Yomiuri

by on Nov.21, 2014 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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Ryoji Aikawa (38) met with the Yakult Swallows on Friday to formally turn down their offer and to let them know that he was planning to sign with the Yomiuri Giants.

Aikawa first met the Yomiuri Giants on the 13th. He did not receive an offer, but was told he would have a chance to compete for the everyday job at catcher. He met the Giants again on the 16th and was most likely offered a one-year contract worth an estimated sixty million yen and the uniform number 23.

The Giants are also said to have reached a deal with Tatsuhiko Kinjo (38). The Yokohama Bay Stars announced that Kinjo will not be participating in fan appreciation day and posted the following statement from the veteran:

To the fans,

I was able to play for the Yokohama Bay Stars for sixteen years because you supported me by cheering for me while I was on the field. There were good times and bad times. Regardless of how things were going, your cheering never changed. Your warm cheering gave me strength.

I am very sorry, but I will not be able to properly say goodbye to you as I leave this team. I will never forget the appreciation I have for you and will pursue my baseball career to the fullest.

Thank you very much for the sixteen years.

Yomiuri is expected to hold a press conference for both players in early December.

Sources: Sponichi 11/21/2014, Daily Sports 11/21/2014, Daily Sports 11/21/2014, Daily Sports 11/21/2014, official announcement (Kinjo)

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[11/16/2014] Free Agents: Chihiro Kaneko, Takashi Toritani, Eiichi Koyano, Keiji Obiki, Ryoji Aikawa, Tatsuhiko Kinjo

by on Nov.17, 2014 @ 11:02 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

  • Orix Buffaloes president Hiroaki Nishina is prepared to get involved in negotiations if the front offices feels his presence will help.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/16/2014

Takashi Toritani

  • The Hanshin Tigers could resume talks with Toritani on Monday. They will most likely meet over a meal.
  • Negotiations with domestic teams will most likely not involve Scott Boras.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/16/2014, Sanspo 11/17/2014

Eiichi Koyano

  • Koyano is planning to meet multiple teams.
  • Seibu and Orix are said to be interested.
  • The Lions could be willing to give Koyano the everyday job at third.
  • Orix could offer Koyano a two-year deal worth 200 million yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/16/2014, Sponichi 11/17/2014, Sponichi 11/17/2014

Keiji Obiki

  • The Rakuten Eagles met Obiki on Sunday at a hotel in Tokyo.
  • The meeting took place over dinner. It started around 6:00pm and ended over two hours later.
  • Rakuten may have offered Obiki a four-year deal worth 400 million yen.
  • Obiki met the Orix Buffaloes in Tokyo on Saturday.
  • Orix may have offered Obiki a three-year deal worth 300 million yen (same as the Yakult Swallows). They could have also offered a three-year deal at 400 million yen.
  • "I appreciate all the offers and wish I had three bodies so I could agree to each. I need a little more time to think and will try to reach a decision in two to three days," said Obiki.
  • The Swallows are not expected to make a follow-up offer.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/16/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/16/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/17/2014, Sports Hochi 11/16/2014, Sports Hochi 11/16/2014, Sports Hochi 11/16/2014, Sponichi 11/16/2014, Sponichi 11/17/2014, Sponichi 11/17/2014, Daily Sports 11/17/2014, Daily Sports 11/17/2014

Ryoji Aikawa

  • Aikawa could finalize his decision after his next meeting with the Giants.

Source: Sponichi 11/17/2014

Tatsuhiko Kinjo

  • Kinjo's meeting with the Yomiuri Giants on Saturday lasted about forty-five minutes.
  • Kinjo agreed in principal to a one-year deal with the Giants. Details will be worked out during their next meeting.
  • The Giants could give Kinjo the number thirty-three.

Source: Daily Sports 11/16/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/16/2014

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[11/16/2014] Free Agents: Chihiro Kaneko, Yoshihisa Naruse, Tatsuhiko Kinjo, Ryoji Aikawa

by on Nov.16, 2014 @ 3:52 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Phillies are interested in Kaneko.
  • An unnamed person with connections to an AL West team: He's probably a fourth starter. ... Fewer teams will be involved if the posting fee reaches twenty million. Around ten million would be reasonable. ... Considering Kaneko's age, a three-year deal seems appropriate. But at three years, a twenty million posting fee is too high.
  • The Hanshin Tigers will only move on Kaneko if he wants to stay in Japan.
  • The Chunichi Dragons will likely hold off on reaching out to Kaneko until after team rep Kazuo Nishiyama returns from his trip to the Dominican Republic.

Sources: Daily Sports 11/15/2014, Sponichi 11/15/2014, Sponichi 11/15/2014, Sanspo 11/15/2014, Sanspo 11/15/2014

Yoshihisa Naruse

  • Naruse is planning to wait to make his decision until after Lotte's fan appreciation day on the 22nd. He feels it would be in poor taste to attend the event as a member of another team.

Sources: Sponichi 11/15/2014

Tatsuhiko Kinjo

  • Kinjo met with Yomiuri for about an hour on Saturday.
  • The two sides have reportedly agreed to basic terms on a one-year deal.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/15/2014, Sponichi 11/15/2014

Ryoji Aikawa

  • Tatsunori Hara told reporters on Friday he heard talks with Aikawa went well and that his addition would help both the team and upcoming catcher Seiji Kobyashi.

Sources: Daily Sports 11/15/2014

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[11/13/2014] Free Agents: Chihiro Kaneko, Takashi Toritani

by on Nov.14, 2014 @ 2:38 am, under NPB
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Takashi Toritani

  • Toritani has signed with Scott Boras. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014
  • A number of MLB teams could be interested, including the Nationals, Red Sox, Astros, Royals, and Blue Jays. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014

Chihiro Kaneko

  • Team official Ryuzo Setoyama is expected to meet team owner Yoshihiko Miyauchi on the 18thi to talk about Kaneko. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014
  • The Red Sox had five scouts, including international scouting director Eddie Romero, check on Kaneko during the season. Other teams that could also be interested: Rangers, Cubs, and Diamondbacks. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/13/2014
  • The Chunichi Dragons could be mulling over the idea of offering Kaneko a one-year deal that would be worth an estimated 200 million yen (no change from this season) plus a signing bonus and the chance to be posted any time after the 2015 season. Source: Sports Hochi 11/13/2014

The Yomiuri Giants are scheduled to meet Yakult's Ryoji Aikawa (38) on Thursday (11/13) and Yokohama's Tatsuhiko Kinjo (38) on Saturday (11/15). Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014 ... The Giants are expected to offer Aikawa a one-year deal. Source: Sanspo 11/13/2014 ... Yomiuri met Aikawa at a hotel in Tokyo on Thursday. There are currently no plans for Aikawa to return to the negotiating table with Yakult. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014 ... Aikawa's meeting with the Giants lasted about an hour. No specific contract terms were discussed. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014

The Yakult Swallows will most likely offer Yoshihisa Naruse (29) a three-year deal worth about 600 million yen, along with the number seventeen, and Keiji Obiki (30) a three-year deal around 300 million yen. Naruse is expected to sign with the Swallows. Obiki will most likely talk to other teams, like Rakuten and Orix, before making a decision. Source: Sanspo 11/13/2014 ... Yakult met Obiki in the AM and Naruse in the PM. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014 ... Negotiations with Obiki lasted about forty minutes. He was most likely offered a multi-year deal worth more than seventy million yen a year. He may have also been offered the uniform number one. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014 ... Negotiations with Naruse lasted about thirty minutes. He was offered a three-year deal and the number seventeen. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014... Naruse and Obiki were both offered three-year deals. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014 ... Obiki is expected to meet with Rakuten and Orix. Source: Sponichi 11/13/2014

The Seibu Lions could inform Eiichi Koyano (34) of their interest in him on the 17th. Source: Daily Sports 11/13/2014

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[11/4/2014] Rumors: Hanshin Tigers, Yokohama Bay Stars, Rakuten Eagles, Chiba Lotte Marines, Softbank Hawks

by on Nov.05, 2014 @ 3:54 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Matt Murton (33) told reporters he should be able to return to Japan next year. Source: Sporst Hochi 11/4/2014, Sponichi 11/4/2014
  • If Takashi Toritani (33) decides to leave, the Tigers could look at players like Munenori Kawasaki (33), Keiji Obiki (30), and Hiroyuki Nakajima (32) to replace him. Source: Sports Hochi 11/4/2014
  • The Tigers could offer Nakajima up to four years at over one billion yen. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/4/2014
  • The Red Sox and Blue Jays were the only two MLB teams that had scouts checking on Toritani during the Nippon Series. Source: Sanspo 11/4/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Tatsuhiko Kinjo (38) filed paperwork to exercise his FA option on Tuesday. Source: Daily Sports 11/4/2014
  • Masanori Hayashi decided not to exercise his FA option after his six-year-old daughter asked him not to. It also probably helped that he got a three-year deal worth an estimated forty-one million yen next season (up fifteen million from this year). Source: Sports Hochi 11/4/2014

Rakuten Eagles

  • The Eagles are interested in Keiji Obiki (30). They feel he could be their everyday shortstop if they move Kazuo Matsui to the outfield on a permanent basis. Source: Sponichi 11/4/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

Softbank Hawks

  • The Hawks could offer Daisuke Matsuzaka a contract that runs three or more years. Source: Sponichi 11/4/2014

===

Hiroyuki Nakajima = Seibu, Hanshin, Orix, Lotte, Yokohama. Source: Sponichi 11/4/2014

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[11/3/2014] Rumors: Hanshin Tigers, Yokohama Bay Stars, Yakult Swallows

by on Nov.04, 2014 @ 12:44 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • The Tigers could offer Hiroyuki Nakajima (32) a three year deal worth about one billion yen plus incentives. Source: Sanspo 11/3/2014
  • Takashi Toritani (33) could be planning a trip to the United States soon. If timed properly, he might also be able to speak to some MLB teams while he is there. He is expected to file his international FA option before leaving. Source: Sanspo 11/3/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Masanori Hayashi (31) has decided not to exercise his FA option. He likely agreed to a three-year deal. Source: Sponichi 11/3/2014
  • Hitoshi Tamura (37) is not planning to exercise his FA option. Source: Sponichi 11/3/2014
  • Tatsuhiko Kinjo (38) has decided to exercise his FA option. He is expected to file the necessary paperwork on Tuesday. Source: Daily Sports 11/3/2014, Sponichi 11/3/2014 ... When team officials met Kinjo in September, they asked him if he was going to retire and offered a coaching position. Kiyoshi Nakahata was expecting Kinjo to return next season as an active player and did not find out about the team's offer until after the veteran reached out to him for advice. Nakahata and the front office continue to have problems communicating. Source: Sponichi 11/3/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • The Swallows are interested in Keiji Obiki (30). They like his glove and his leadership abilities. They are also looking for a shortstop. Source: Sponichi 11/3/2014
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[10/14/2014] Rumors: Yoshihisa Naruse (Lotte), Hitoshi Tamura (Yokohama)

by on Oct.15, 2014 @ 3:02 am, under NPB
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Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Hitoshi Tamura re-earned his FA option in August. He already spoke to the Bay Stars earlier this month and told them he was not planning to exercise the option. Tatsuhiko Kinjo also re-earned his option and will likely stay put. Masanori Hayashi is considering his options. Source: Sports Hochi 10/14/2014, Sponichi 10/14/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

Softbank Hawks

  • The Hawks could offer former Rakuten coaches Yoshinori Sato and Yasutomo Suzuki jobs on their coaching staff. Source: Daily Sports 10/14/2014
  • Atsuya Furuta and Kimiyasu Kudo could be among managerial candidates under consideration. Source: Sponichi 10/14/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Chihiro Kaneko and Yoshihisa Hirano refrained from making any sort of real comment on their FA options after Tuesday's loss. Takahiro Mahara and Tomotaka Sakaguchi also have options and have yet to make decisions on what to do with them. The Buffaloes are plannning to ask all four to return next year. Source: Sponichi 10/14/2014

[8/29/2014] Yokohama Bay Stars: Kinjo Tatsuhiko earns second FA option

by on Aug.29, 2014 @ 6:38 pm, under NPB
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Veteran outfielder Kinjo Tatsuhiko (38) earned his second FA option today.  He told reporters there was nothing for him to think about right now, other than helping the team win.  He also said he did not want to forget all the help and support he received over the years to get him to where he is today.

Tatsuhiko has spent his entire career in the Yokohama organization.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/29/2014

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Yokohama Bay Stars: Tatsuhiko Kinjo out with leg strain

by on Sep.27, 2011 @ 8:49 am, under NPB
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Tatsuhiko Kinjo was diagnosed with a biceps femoris muscle strain in his left leg after he hurt it while running the bases in the 1st inning of Sunday's game against the Hiroshima Carp.  He'll require 4-6 weeks for a full recovery (2-3 weeks before he can begin running again).  A return before the end of the regular season seems unlikely at this point.

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