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[11/29/2014] Rumors: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Alfredo Despaigne, Tony Blanco

by on Nov.30, 2014 @ 9:17 am, under NPB
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Yokohama senryokugai Norihiro Nakamura (41) is still hoping to land a spot on an NPB team. He is giving himself until the end of the year. He is not interested in continuing his career by signing with an independent league team or going overseas. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/29/2014, Nikkan Sports 11/29/2014

Orix senryokugai players Ryuji Shoji and Hiroki Nishikawa are planning to pursue careers as police officers in Osaka. Source: Sponichi 11/30/2014

The Softbank Hawks are expected hold a press conference to introduce Daisuke Matsuzaka (34) on December 5. Source: Daily Sports 11/29/2014, Sponichi 11/29/2014

Only two of the nine foreign players the Rakuten Eagles had on the active roster this year will be returning next year: Rhiner Cruz and Zach Lutz. The other seven are Kevin Youkilis, John Bowker, Nick Evans, Travis Blackley, Loek Van Mil, Andruw Jones, and Brian Falkenborg. Source: Daily Sports 11/29/2014

The Orix Buffaloes reportedly left Wily Mo Pena (32), Joey Butler (28), and Dan Runzler (29) off their reserved list. Source: Sanspo 11/29/2014

The Chiba Lotte Marines kept Alfredo Despaigne (28) on their reserved list as a sign to show how much they want him to return next year. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/29/2014

The Eagles and Kazuo Matsui (39) agreed to a new two-year deal. Source: Daily Sports 11/29/2014

One of the reasons why the Yokohama Bay Stars decided not to exercise Tony Blanco's (34) option may have had something to do with his weight and three hamstring injuries this year. Source: Daily Sports 11/29/2014 ... The Orix Buffaloes could be the front runners to land Blanco. They could be preparing a two-year deal worth about 400 million yen. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/29/2014

[11/28/2014] Rumors: Norihiro Nakamura, Wily Mo Pena, Jose Lopez

by on Nov.29, 2014 @ 2:57 am, under NPB
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Yokohama senryokugai Norihiro Nakamura (41) has not given up on playing in 2015. Source: Daily Sports 11/28/2014 ... "I'm not really thinking about skipping a year so I will have to make a decision when the time comes. Right now, I just want to play baseball next year," said Nakamura. Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

The Hanshin Tigers could be in the market for two more foreign players (a pitcher and position). They are looking for insurance in case one or more of their main foreign players gets hurt or goes through a rough patch. Source: Daily Sports 11/28/2014

The Rakuten Eagles are planning to release Andruw Jones and Brian Falkenborg by leaving them off their reserved list because they are considering other options. If things do not pan out, they could try to re-sign one or both of the players. Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

The Eagles are interested in Wily Mo Pena (32) and could offer him a multi-year deal. Source: Sports Hochi 11/28/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars are planning to leave Tony Blanco and Enyelbert Soto off their reserved list. The Bay Stars hold options for the 2015 season, but are not expected to exercise them. Yokohama is interested in Jose Lopez. Source: Sponichi 11/28/2014

Chunichi senryokugai Sang-Hoon Song (21) is planning to play for the Shinba baseball club (Industrial League Club Team). Source: Nikkan Sports 11/28/2014

[11/27/2014] Rumors: Kam Mickolio, Wily Mo Pena, Yunielkis Gourriel

by on Nov.28, 2014 @ 3:39 am, under NPB
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The Rakuten Eagles are interested in Kam Mickolio (30). They may be moving away from re-signing Brian Falkenborg (36). Source: Sponichi 11/27/2014

The Seibu Lions have been checking the overseas market for a third baseman. They have so far narrowed their list down to five or six candidates. Source: Sanspo 11/27/2014

The Orix Buffaloes will most likely part ways with Wily Mo Pena (32). There was reportedly over a 100 million yen difference between what Orix was offering and what Pena wanted. The slugger was also said to be looking for a multi-year deal. The Rakuten Eagles are interested in Pena. The Buffaloes are looking into Tony Blanco (34) as a possible replacement. They could offer him a two-year deal worth about 400 million yen. Source: Sponichi 11/27/2014, Sports Hochi 11/27/2014

The Hanshin Tigers' quartet of foreign players, Randy Messenger (33), Seung-Hwan Oh (32), Matt Murton (33), and Mauro Gomez (30), should all be signed to contracts for the 2015 season by some time around December 10. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/27/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars general manager Shigeru Takada spoke to reporters on Wednesday and said that he was informed negotiations with Cuban players will begin after the 9th. Yokohama will most likely prepare about 300 million yen for Yulieski Gourriel (30). Source: Sanspo 11/27/2014

The Bay Stars are looking into Gourriel's brother, Yunielkis Gourriel (22). Source: Sports Hochi 11/27/2014

Yomiuri's Tomoyuki Sugano agreed to a forty-million yen raise on Wednesday. His salary for the 2015 season will be an estimated 110 million yen. He joined Yoshinobu Takahashi, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Micheal Nakamura as the only players in NPB history to reach 100 million yen in their third year. Source: Sanspo 11/27/2014

Kentaro Nishimura signed a two-year contract with the Giants on Wednesday. Source: Daily Sports 11/27/2014

The Softbank Hawks re-signed Shoji Yoshimoto (21) to an Ikusei contract. His uniform number will change from 33 to 121. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/27/2014

[11/26/2014] Rumors: Yulieski Gourriel, Wily Mo Pena, Andruw Jones

by on Nov.27, 2014 @ 1:27 am, under NPB
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The Softbank Hawks could hold a press conference for Daisuke Matsuzaka (34) in early December. Source: Daily Sports 11/25/2014

Hiroyuki Nakajima (32) has been narrowing down his options while conducting negotiations with teams. The Hanshin Tigers recently confirmed with Nakajima's agent that they were still in the hunt. The Tigers feel negotiations may be winding down. People close to the situation believe Nakajima could be ready to make a decision in early December. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014

The Tigers reportedly offered Mauro Gomez (30) a two-year deal. Source: Sports Hochi 11/26/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars will push hard to re-sign Yulieski Gourriel (30). The Yomiuri Giants are also interested. The Baseball Federation of Cuba could gather some time next month to discuss potential assignments for 2015. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014

The media learned on Tuesday that the Seibu Lions are not planning to offer Randy Williams a contract for the 2015 season. Source: Sponichi 11/25/2014

The Orix Buffaloes will most likely part ways with Wily Mo Pena (32). Source: Daily Sports 11/26/2014

If the Chiba Lotte Marines fail to re-sign Alfredo Despaigne (28), they could shift their attention to someone like Andruw Jones (37). Source: Sanspo 11/25/2014

Kota Suda (28) sat down with the Yokohama Bay Stars for contract negotiations on Tuesday. He held off on agreeing to a salary reduction because there were still some things he wanted to discuss. He will meet Yokohama again on December 10. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/25/2014

Yohei Oshima (29) could end up going through salary arbitration as the Chunichi Dragons do not appear interested in making an adjustment to their initial offer. He is slated to meet with officials again to continue negotiations. General manager Hiromitsu Ochiai is not planning to take part in the follow-up meetings. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014 ... Oshima and Ryosuke Hirata (26) are not planning to agree to their current offers and are willing to take things to salary arbitration. Team represenative Kazuo Nishiyama told reporters he was willing to meet players as many times as they wanted, but also indicated that they should not expect any changes to their offers. It may be part of the reason why Ochiai does not plan on attending follow-up meetings with players. Source: Daily Sports 11/26/2014

Keiji Oyama (34) met the Rakuten Eagles for salary negotiations on Wednesday. He placed their offer on hold because he could not agree to the amount of their proposed salary cut (three million yen). Source: Nikkan Sports 11/26/2014, Sports Hochi 11/26/2014

[11/23/2014] Rumors: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Andruw Jones, Wily Mo Pena

by on Nov.24, 2014 @ 5:45 am, under NPB
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The Softbank Hawks and Daisuke Matsuzaka (34) may be close to finalizing a four-year deal worth an estimated 1.6 billion yen (not including incentives). The Hawks are planning to offer Matsuzaka the number eighteen. Matsuzaka will most likely leave his family behind in Boston during the season. Source: Sanspo 11/23/2014 ... Matsuzaka may be close to finalizing a three-year deal worth at least 1.2 million yen (including incentives). A deal could be reached in early December. Source: Sponichi 11/23/2014 ... Matsuzaka may have decided to return to Japan because he wants to start. Source: Sports Hochi 11/23/2014

The Twins are interested in Wily Mo Pena (32), according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino. Source: Tweet 11/22/2014

The Rakuten Eagles are not sure what to do about Andruw Jones (37). Jones has hit fifty home runs in two years, but with a low batting average of .232. He would like to return next year, but the Eagles are looking at other options, like Pena and Tony Blanco. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/23/2014

Yokohama senryokugai Shugo Fujii (37) attended a batting practice pitcher tryout with the Yomiuri Giants on Saturday. He threw 122 pitches and faced a number of players, including Tomoya Inzen and Daisuke Nakai. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/23/2014 ... Fujii has also received a player contract offer from an independent league team. He is planning to make a decision about 2015 within the next few days. Source: Sponichi 11/23/2014

Yohei Oshima (29) could go through salary arbitration with the Chunichi Dragons. If he does, he will become the eighth player in NPB history to go to arbitration, first since Hideaki Wakui in 2010; and the second player in franchise history to go to arbitration, first since Hiromitsu Ochiai in 1991. Source: Sponichi 11/23/2014

[11/22/2014] Rumors: Hiroyuki Nakajima, Bryan Bullington, Yohei Oshima

by on Nov.23, 2014 @ 4:16 am, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers likely sweetened their package to Hiroyuki Nakajima (32) by adding a fourth year to their three-year offer and the uniform number six. Source: Sanspo 11/22/2014

The Yomiuri Giants are close to finalizing contracts with Miles Mikolas (26) and Aaron Poreda (28). The only thing remaining is a standard drug test. Source: Sanspo 11/22/2014

The Toyama Thunderbirds (BC League) are interested in Yokohama senryokugai Takuro Ito (21). Toyama will most likely make a move on Ito if he does not receive any offers from NPB teams. Source: Sports Hochi 11/22/2014

Shugo Fujii (37) has received some player contract offers (independent league and overseas leagues), but none from the NPB. He has also received an offer to become a batting practice pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants. Source: Sponichi 11/22/2014

The Seibu Lions are currently checking the overseas market for starting arms. Source: Sponichi 11/22/2014

The Softbank Hawks announced that they re-signed Daichiro Ito (21), Takeshi Hosoyamada (28), Naoki Shirane (21) and Koki Kanno (22) to Ikusei contracts. They also signed Yokohama senryokugai Yujo Kitagata (20) to an Ikusei contract. He was assigned the number 137. Source: official announcement, Nikkan Sports 11/22/2014, Sports Hochi 11/22/2014

The Orix Buffaloes may be close to finalizing a contract with Bryan Bullington (34). An announcement could be made once Hiroshima removes him from their reserved list. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/22/2014

Buffaloes' official Ryuzo Setoyama told reporters on Friday that they made a formal offer for Wily Mo Pena (32) about five days go. It was their first official offer. Source: Daily Sports 11/22/2014

Yohei Oshima was offered an estimated seventy-four million yen during contract negotiations with Chunichi on Saturday. He placed the offer on hold because he felt his performance this season was worth more than a 17.75 million yen raise, especially after he was penalized with a 56.25 million yen salary cut last year. Source: Sponichi 11/22/2014 ... Ryosuke Hirata also decided not to sign after he was offered a twelve million yen raise. He felt his performance warranted a bigger raise. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/22/2014

[10/26/2014] Rumors: Chihiro Kaneko, Masanori Hayashi

by on Oct.27, 2014 @ 2:59 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko:

  • Kaneko watched Game 3 of the World Series. He showed up at the stadium wearing a hat and black-rimmed glasses. He watched the pre-game ceremonies and stayed until the end. He did not speak to the media.
  • If Kaneko gets posted, there is a good chance his agent in the United States will be Arn Tellem.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/26/2014, Sponichi 10/26/2014

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Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Masanori Hayashi is still not sure what he wants to do with his FA option. He was offered what may have been a three-year deal during talks with the organization on the 20th. The Bay Stars are not planning to keep their offer on the table if Hayashi decides to exercise the option to test the waters. Source: Sponichi 10/26/2014

Rakuten Eagles

Seibu Lions

  • Ginjiro Sumitani was a commentator on Bunka Hoso's radio broadcast of the Nippon Series on Sunday. When commenting the series after the game, he said, "That atmosphere is amazing. It made me want to be on that field. I feel stronger about making sure the Nippon Series takes place at Seibu Dome next year." Source: Sanspo 10/26/2014

[10/20/2014] Free Agents and Rumors: Chun-Lin Kuo, Wily Mo Pena (Orix)

by on Oct.21, 2014 @ 10:06 am, under NPB
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Seibu Lions

Softbank Hawks

Orix Buffaloes

  • Chihiro Kaneko told reporters that he had not thought about his FA option yet. He was more concerned about representing Japan at the Suzuki MLB All-Star Series in November. Source: Sports Hochi 10/20/2014 ... The Buffaloes are willing to do their best to match whatever requests Kaneko might have. Source: Sports Hochi 10/21/2014
  • The Buffaloes are planning to offer Yoshitomo Tani a contract for the 2015 season. Tani is seventy-seven hits away from 2,000. The organization is ready to begin negotiations with Kaneko, Yoshihisa Hirano, Takahiro Mahara, and Tomotaka Sakaguchi. Source: Sports Hochi 10/20/2014 ... The Buffaloes are okay with the four players exercising their FA options before deciding to stay. They also plan to be as flexible as possible with regards to requests they might have. Source: Daily Sports 10/21/2014, Sponichi 10/21/2014
  • Team official Ryuzo Setoyama on how negotiations are going with Wily Mo Pena: "They're seeking a contract for a top-level foreign player, but Pena did not really perform to expectations beginning in September. I think negotiations will not go the way they'd like them to go." Source: Daily Sports 10/20/2014 ... Pena could be seeking a multi-year deal worth over 200 million yen a year. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/21/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Luis Mendoza and Michael Crotta will most likely return next year. Juan Miranda is a question mark. Source: Daily Sports 10/21/2014 ... Nippon Ham will reportedly part ways with Miranda and Anthony Carter. Mendoza is in the middle of a two-year deal and the Fighters hold an option on Crotta for the 2015 season. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/21/2014
  • Nippon Ham would like Naoki Miyanishi to stay and might be willing to go three years on a contract depending on negotiations. Source: Daily Sports 10/21/2014 ... Miyanishi thinks staying with the Fighters might be his best option, but is fifty-fifty on the decision. Source: Sponichi 10/21/2014
  • Kensuke Tanaka is on the radar. Source: Sponichi 10/21/2014

[10/19/2014] Rumors: Jose Lopez, Chris Seddon (Yomiuri), Daisuke Yamai (Chunichi)

by on Oct.20, 2014 @ 6:23 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Jose Lopez and Scott Mathieson left Japan on the 19th. Lopez is a question mark for next season. He is interested in returning. Mathieson will be in the second year of a two-year deal in 2015. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014
  • Leslie Anderson might require left elbow surgery during the winter. There is a good chance the Giants will ask him back. Frederich Cepeda will most likely return. The Giants are expected to part ways with Chris Seddon. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014
  • Yoshiyuki Kamei and Kentaro Nishimura both earned domestic FA options this year. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014
  • The Giants are planning to look into Chihiro Kaneko. Source: Daily Sports 10/19/2014 ... The Giants will be keeping an eye on Yulieski Gourriel and Alfredo Despaigne. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014 ... The Giants are not planning to offer Cepeda a contract for 2015 and are looking into Hiroyuki Nakajima. Source: Sanspo 10/19/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Ni-gun manager Katsuo Hirata could be reassigned to Ichi-gun head coach. Ni-gun chief/hitting coach Hideo Furuya could take over as Ni-gun manager. Ichi-gun general coach Haruki Yoshitake could join the front office. Source: Sanspo 10/19/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • Eishin Soyogi and Shogo Kimura earned their domestic FA options this year. They are expected to meet team officials on the 20th to discuss their options. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014
  • Kenta Maeda has not given up on his dream to play in the Majors and would like to head overseas sooner rather than later. This winter may not be in the cards. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Yamai on his FA option: "There was a time when I wanted to know what kind of interest other teams had in me, but not anymore. More than that, I learned that I have a really strong bond with this team (Chunichi)." Source: Sports Hochi 10/19/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Kiyoshi Nakahata would like to see Yulieski Gourriel return to the Bay Stars next season. Nakahata plans to work him harder if he does. "I treated him like a guest this year, things will be different next year. He doesn't really seem interested in defense. He doesn't like practicing, but he will have to if he does not want to become a distraction. I'll sit down and talk to him about it [if he comes back]." Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014

Yakult Swallows

  • The Swallows would like Hiroyasu Tanaka and Ryoji Aikawa to return in 2015. They are expected to begin negotiations with the two players soon. Source: Daily Sports 10/19/2014

Rakuten Eagles

Orix Buffaloes

  • The Buffaloes are putting together a list of foreign player candidates in case negotiations with Wily Mo Pena fall through. Kila Ka'aihue is one of the candidates on the list. There may be other players with NPB experience on the list. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014

[10/18/2014] Rumors: Daisuke Yamai (Chunichi), Wily Mo Pena (Orix), Kila Ka’aihue (Hiroshima)

by on Oct.19, 2014 @ 3:23 am, under NPB
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Hiroshima Carp

  • The media learned Kila Ka'aihue will not be returning to Hiroshima next year. There is a good chance Zach Phillips will be offered a contract. Bryan Bullington was offered a contract, but Kam Mickolio is still a question mark. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Yamai is expected to inform the Dragons of his decision when the two sides get together for their second meeting. He does not appear interested in testing the free agent market. Source: Sponichi 10/18/2014 ... Yamai has not made a decision yet and could still exercise his FA option. He hopes to finalize his plans during his second meeting. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014 ... According to a Sanspo report, Yamai may have been offered a multi-year deal worth over 100 million yen. Source: Sanspo 10/18/2014

Chiba Lotte Marines

  • The Marines have given Yoshihisa Naruse permission to skip fall practices and spend time away from the team to think about what he wants to do with his FA option. He could meet with team officials again early next week. Source: Sponichi 10/18/2014, Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014

Orix Buffaloes

  • Wily Mo Pena left Japan out of Osaka Airport on Saturday. Before leaving, he told reporters he was disappointed the Buffaloes finished in second and wanted to do more to help the team next year, if given the chance. He also said he was not looking for anything specific in his contract and would rather return to Orix next year if possible. Source: Sponichi 10/18/2014, Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014 ... Pena told reporters he still felt pain in his right pectoralis major and planned to have it examined on the Monday after he returned to the United States. Source: Daily Sports 10/18/2014 ... Pena is seeking a mult-year deal. Orix is thinking more along the lines of a one-year contract. Source: Sports Hochi 10/18/2014
  • The Buffaloes are interested in the KBO's Won-Kun Chang. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014