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[2/2/2014] Yokohama Bay Stars News and Notes

by on Feb.03, 2014 @ 2:32 am, under NPB
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Bullpen Sessions / Batting Practice

February 2

  • Daisuke Miura - eighty pitches; second session in as many days; had people stand in the batter's box during the session
  • Kazuki Mishima - 125 pitches
  • Shoichi Ino - 116 pitches
  • Yasutomo Kubo - fifty-one pitches; all fastballs

Source: Sanspo 2/2/2014Nikkan Sports 2/2/2014, Daily Sports 2/2/2014

February 1

  • Kazuki Mishima - eighty-two pitches

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/2/2014

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Daisuke Miura and Kiyoshi Nakahata canceled their morning walk on Sunday because of the rain.

Source: Sports Hochi 2/2/2014

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Nakahata spent about twenty minutes hitting 130 baseballs to Tony Blanco, Aarom Baldiris, Hitoshi Tamura, and Tatsuhiko Kinjo during workouts on Saturday.  He started off telling the foreign players to avoid diving after balls, but after a while, things started heating up (so much that he forgot he had surgery on his neck on January 8) and he shouted fielding drills would not end until he started seeing nice plays.

FYI: Nakahata was asked not to hit grounders during spring camp because the front office and training staff was concerned about injuries.

Source: Sanspo 2/2/2014, Sponichi 2/2/2014, Nikkan Sports 2/2/2014

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Yasutomo Kubo is planning to work on his breaking pitches when he faces live hitters, not during bullpen sessions.

Source: Daily Sports 2/2/2014

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Takayuki Kajitani is planning to take live batting practice during the second block of spring camp.  He is currently able to swing the bat at full strength against pitching machines.

Source: Sanspo 2/2/2014

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[1/6/2014] Hanshin Tigers select Kazunari Tsuruoka as compensation

by on Jan.06, 2014 @ 2:02 pm, under NPB
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The Hanshin Tigers announced today that they selected veteran catcher Kazunari Tsuruoka (36) as part of their compensation package for losing Yasutomo Kubo to the Yokohama Bay Stars via free agency.

"We first thought about pitching, but we could not find any that were better than what we currently have.  Tsuruoka is an every-day player.  We now have three around the same age.  Hopefully they will provide each other with motivation to do better," General Manager Katsuhiro Nakamura said.

Source: Sponichi 1/6/2014, Nikkan Sports 1/6/2014, Daily Sports 1/6/2014, official announcement (Yokohama), official announcement (Hanshin)

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[12/2/2013] Yasutomo Kubo agrees to two-year deal with Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Dec.02, 2013 @ 2:16 pm, under NPB
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The Yokohama Bay Stars announced that they agreed to terms with Yasutomo Kubo (33).  According to Sponichi, Kubo signed a two-year deal worth an estimated 300 million yen (includes incentives).

Source: Sponichi 12/2/2013, Daily Sports 12/2/2013, official announcement

UPDATE 12/3 @ 6:48pm -

The Bay Stars held a press conference at their team office in Yokohama earlier today to introduce Kubo to the media.

Source: Daily Sports 12/3/2013

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[12/1/2013] Nyjer Morgan, Aarom Baldiris, Alex Ramirez, Rakuten Eagles, Yomiuri Giants

by on Dec.01, 2013 @ 11:58 pm, under NPB
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Yokohama Bay Stars

The Bay Stars will leave the lines of communication open with Nyjer Morgan (33), but will also look into pitchers that might be available on the overseas market.  Pitching is a top priority.

Source: Daily Sports 12/1/2013

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Yokohama is looking into Aarom Baldiris.

Source: Sponichi 12/1/2013

Hanshin Tigers

The Tigers will meet Seung Hwan Oh at a hotel in Seoul on the 4th to finalize their contract with him.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/1/2013

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GM Katsuhiro Nakamura told reporters negotiations with Yasutomo Kubo were final and that there were no plans to meet again.

Source: Sanspo 12/1/2013

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants will most likely lose two players as compensation for signing Kan Otake and Yasuyuki Kataoka.  The Carp have already expressed an interest in pursing a player plus money as compensation for losing Otake.  The Lions will most likely select a player plus money since they will not gain a lot by selecting only money and they know the Yomiuri system is stacked.

Source: ZakZak 12/1/2013

Softbank Hawks

Shinya Tsuruoka will most likely be assigned the number eight.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/1/2013

Seibu Lions

The Lions are reportedly interested in Alex Ramirez.  They feel he still has enough left in the tank to succeed as a DH or a right-handed bat off the bench.  They also feel he can help players out with hitting advice.  His positive attitude and popularity among fans are big pluses.

Source: Sponichi 12/1/2013

Rakuten Eagles

The Eagles have included Andruw Jones and Casey McGehee on their list of reserved players.

Darrell Rasner, Jim Heuser, Kenny Ray, and Brandon Duckworth were left off the list.

Source: Sponichi 12/1/2013

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[11/30/2013] Aarom Baldiris, Nyjer Morgan, Yasutomo Kubo, Takayuki Kishi

by on Dec.01, 2013 @ 4:14 am, under NPB
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Orix Buffaloes

The Buffaloes have not given up on Aarom Baldiris (30) and plan to keep the lines of communication open.  The front office would also like a chance to talk to Baldiris directly, and not through his agent.

Source: Daily Sports 11/30/2013

Baldiris was not on the team's reserved list and will become a free agent in December.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/30/2013

According to Tokyo Sports: the Buffaloes were feeling a little down on Baldiris' defense at third and were mulling over the idea of moving him to first; Baldiris might be using the Yokohama Bay Stars as a way to get more money out of Orix;  Hiroshi Moriwaki likes Esteban German; some in the organization might be thinking that German is above Baldiris.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/30/2013

Softbank Hawks

One of the reasons why Kenichi Nakata selected the Hawks over the other teams was because he was worried about his mother living in along in Kitakyushu (his father passed away in 2007).

Source: Sports Hochi 11/30/2013

Seibu Lions

The Lions will most likely offer Takayuki Kishi (28) a three-year extension.  Kishi is set to earn his domestic FA option next season.

Between 1993 and 2012, eighty-nine players have moved to different teams through free agency (includes players that left the country).  Seibu lost eleven players to free agency, most among the NPB teams.  Orix has lost nine and Nippon Ham and Softbank have lost eight each.  Lotte has lost the fewest with five (Kintetsu and Rakuten have lost three each, but Kintetsu is no longer an active team and Rakuten has not been around that long).

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/30/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

The Bay Stars did not include Nyjer Morgan (33) on their list of reserved players since they have not yet been able to agree to terms with him.  He will become a free agent in December.  The Bay Stars will continue to keep the lines of communication open.

Source: Sponichi 11/30/2013

This could explain the rumors that Yokohama is interested in Aarom Baldiris.

Hanshin Tigers

GM Katsuhiro Nakamura could meet with Yasutomo Kubo (33) again early next week.  They have no intention of increasing their offer financially, but could make concessions in other areas.

Source: Daily Sports 11/30/2013

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[11/28/2013] Esteban German, Aarom Baldiris, Masanori Ishikawa, Yomiuri Giants

by on Nov.29, 2013 @ 1:14 am, under NPB
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Orix Buffaloes

The media learned on Wednesday that the Buffaloes are looking into Esteban German (35).

Source: Daily Sports 11/28/2013

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The Buffaloes plan to extend negotiations with Aarom Baldiris into December.  Team official Ryuzo Setoyama is also scheduled to meet scouts in the US in early December.

Source: Daily Sports 11/28/2013

Baldiris made an estimated fifty million yen this season.  Orix may have offered him a two-year deal worth an estimated 200 million yen.  The front office is currently waiting to hear back from his agent.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/28/2013

According to Sponichi and Nikkan Sports, Baldiris' agent may have asked for close to double the amount Orix offered: two years at around 400 million yen.

Source: Sponichi 11/28/2013, Nikkan Sports 11/28/2013

Yakult Swallows

Masanori Ishikawa was in the final year of a four-year deal.  He will most likely sign a three-year contract extension with a variable salary.  His salary for 2014 could be an estimated 160 million yen, down forty million yen from this season.

Source: Sanspo 11/28/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

GM Shigeru Takada feels Yasutomo Kubo might not make a decision on where he wants to play until some time in December.

Source: Sanspo 11/28/2013

Yomiuri Giants

Yasuyuki Kataoka may seem like a redundant acquisition after the Hirokazu Ibata signing, but the Giants do have a reason for trying to secure both players.  In Kataoka, they see a player that can provide some stability at second base.  With Ibata, they see someone that might be able to help provide some depth at short behind Hayato Sakamoto while also providing other younger infielders with advice and support.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/28/2013

Sanspo notes that Ibata will fill three roles: right-handed bat off the bench, utility infielder, and back-up for Sakamoto at short.

Source: Sanspo 11/28/2013

Kataoka's parents want to see their son playing for the Yomiuri Giants.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/28/2013

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The Giants will most likely offer Jose Lopez and Scott Mathieson contracts for the 2014 season.  They are undecided on John Bowker and Dennis Houlton.  They are keeping an eye on Jason Standridge.

Source: Sanspo 11/28/2013

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[11/23/2013] Hirokazu Ibata, Yasutomo Kubo

by on Nov.24, 2013 @ 2:55 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

The Giants may have wanted Hirokazu Ibata for three reasons: 1) he can play both second and short, 2) he will not cost a lot, and 3) he might be able to help Hayato Sakamoto.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/23/2013

According to Nikkan Sports, the Giants may have offered Ibata a salary of forty-five million yen plus incentives.  He has also reportedly passed his physical.

The move to Tokyo should also be beneficial for Ibata.  His wife is expecting their second child and is planning to deliver in Tokyo.  They have also been looking into private elementary schools in Tokyo for their son.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/23/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

GM Shigeru Takada may not be particularly happy with how much information Kiyoshi Nakahata gave out to the media after speaking to Yasutomo Kubo over the phone the other day.  Takada has been trying to keep details about negotiations with players quiet.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/23/2013

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[11/23/2013] FA Rumors: Kubo, Otake, Wakui

by on Nov.23, 2013 @ 7:13 am, under NPB
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Chiba Lotte Marines

If Hideaki Wakui signs with the Marines, Tsutumo Ito wants a chance to catch him during spring camp.

Source: Daily Sports 11/22/2013

Ito told reporters on Thursday that he spoke to Wakui over the phone.

The Marines and Wakui could meet for a second time some time early next week.

Source: Sanspo 11/22/2013

There is a good chance the Marines will offer the number sixteen, if they can get Yuhei Nakaushiro to trade it in for something else.

Source: Sponichi 11/23/2013

Yomiuri Giants

According to Sponichi, the Giants are close to reaching an agreement with Kan Otake and could make any announcement about a deal some time early next week.

Source: Sponichi 11/23/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

Kiyoshi Nakahata told reporters on Friday, after the team's press conference to introduce the 2013 draft class, that he just got off the phone with Yasutomo Kubo.  The call lasted only a few minutes, but it was enough time for Nakahata to say everything he wanted, like how the team had the best shot at winning if he signed with them, or how he wanted him to be the first pitcher to record double-digit wins under his reign.

The Bay Stars are still discussing terms with Kubo's agent.

Source: Daily Sports 11/22/2013, Sponichi 11/23/2013

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[11/20/2013] FA Rumors: Kataoka, Kubo, Nakata, Tsuruoka, Wakui

by on Nov.21, 2013 @ 1:47 am, under NPB
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Softbank Hawks

Shinya Tsuruoka told reporters after his meeting with the Hawks on Tuesday that he was prepared to live away from his family in Sapporo for one year, but ultimately hoped they would follow.

The Hawks may have offered the free agent a four-year deal worth 400 million yen plus incentives.

Source: Daily Sports 11/20/2013

Or a four-year deal worth 500 milllion yen plus incentives.

Tsuruoka recalled watching a Hawks game in Fukuoka when he was a junior high school student and said he was happy to receive an offer from the team.  He also attended a tryout with the Hawks when he played for the Industrial League Mitsubishi Juko Yokohama team.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/20/2013

Or a three-year deal worth a total 300 million yen.

Source: Sanspo 11/20/2013

"I know [Kyushu] but my wife is from Sapporo.  They were concerned about my family and asked if I might be worried about moving.  For now, I will live away from my family for a year.  Hopefully, they will move at some point," Tsuruoka said during a press conference after negotiations with Softbank on Tuesday.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/20/2013

Tsuruoka's wife is pregnant with the couple's third child.  She is due to deliver in January next year.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/20/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

If things go well, Hideaki Wakui and the Marines could arrive at an agreement during their next meeting.  Contract specifics were not discussed during the first meeting on Tuesday, but Lotte could offer the free agent a two-year deal worth 440 million yen plus incentives when the two sides meet again.

Source: Daily Sports 11/20/2013

Three officials met Wakui on Tuesday: Iekuni Nakamura (president), Nobuhira Hayashi (director), and Naoki Matsumoto (baseball operations).

Source: Sponichi 11/20/2013

The meeting took place around lunch time, but it was not conducted over lunch, just a cup of coffee that cost about 1,000 yen and some water.

Source: Sanspo 11/20/2013

ZakZak wonders if the addition of Wakui this year will lead to the departure of Yoshihisa Naruse next year (Naruse is slated to earn his domestic FA option in 2014).

Source: ZakZak 11/20/2013

Orix Buffaloes

The Buffaloes may have offered Yasuyuki Kataoka a four-year deal worth over 500 million yen.

Source: Daily Sports 11/20/2013

Or a three-year deal worth 500 million yen.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/20/2013

Or a three-year deal worth over 500 million yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/20/2013

Team director Ryuzo Setoyama told reporters on Wednesday that they offered Kataoka a multi-year deal and told him they wanted to make him their every day second baseman.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/20/2013

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants spoke to Ryota Katsuki about the number seventeen and received the ok sign to give it Kan Otake.  Yomiuri could offer Otake a three-year deal worth a maximum 500 million yen (includes signing bonus and incentives).

Otake may have received a four-year deal worth one billion yen from Softbank and a three-year deal worth 600 million yen from Rakuten.

Source: Sponichi 11/20/2013

Team officials met Otake at a hotel in Hiroshima on Wednesday.  They may have offered the free agent a three-year deal worth over 500 million yen.  The meeting lasted about ninety minutes.

Source: Daily Sports 11/20/2013

Tatsunori Hara spoke to Otake over the phone during the meeting.

Source: Sponichi 11/20/203

Yakult Swallows

The Swallows met Kenichi Nakata in Nagoya on Wednesday and told him they wanted him to become the next pitcher to wear the number seventeen, a number the Swallows feel is their "ace" number.  Nakata also had a chance to speak to Junji Ogawa over the phone.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/20/2013

The meeting took place at a Chinese food restaurant.  There were eight dishes.  The price per person was about 12,000 yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/20/2013

The Swallows may have offered Nakata a four-year deal worth 500 million yen (includes incentives).

Source: Sanspo 11/20/2013

Hanshin Tigers

The media learned on Tuesday that Yutaka Wada had called Kenichi Nakata on the phone before Hanshin officials met him in Nagoya on the 17th.  The call only lasted a few minutes, but Wada made sure Nakata knew just how much he was needed.

Source: Daily Sports 11/20/2013

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The Tigers may have offered Yasutomo Kubo a two-year deal with a 2014 salary of 120 million yen.  Kubo made an estimated 120 million yen this year.  Hanshin originally planned to cut his salary, but "sweetened" their offer by keeping it at the same level as this year.

Source: Daily Sports 11/20/203

Or they offered a two-year deal worth 250 million yen, which could be up from a two-year 200 million yen deal they proposed before Kubo decided to exercise his FA option.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/20/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

The Bay Stars plan to keep negotiations with Yasutomo Kubo private.

Source: Daily Sports 11/20/2013

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[11/19/2013] FA Rumors: Kataoka, Kubo, Nakata, Otake, Tsuruoka, Wakui

by on Nov.20, 2013 @ 2:29 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

The Giants announced that they will meet Kan Otake in Hiroshima on the 20th.

Yomiuri is looking for a fourth pitcher to follow Tetsuya Utsumi, Tomoyuki Sugano, and Toshiya Sugiuchi in the starting rotation.  Daily Sports believes Yomiuri could become Otake's first choice because he wants to play closer to his home town in Saitama.

Source: Daily Sports 11/19/2013Daily Sports 11/19/2013

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The Giants may back off Kenichi Nakata since they feel there is a good chance he will end up with Softbank.  For the time being, they will most likely focus all their efforts on Otake.

Source: Sponichi 11/19/2013

Yakult Swallows

The Swallows are scheduled to meet Kenichi Nakata in Nagoya on the 20th.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/19/2013

Hanshin Tigers

Kenichi Nakata spoke to Daily Sports on Monday and said that he had a difficult time sleeping after meeting the Tigers on Sunday because he was so excited about what they told him.  The Tigers offered the free agent the number eighteen and what may have been a four-year deal worth 500 million yen.  They also told him that they wanted his help in taking down the Yomiuri Giants.

Nakata also said he was having a difficult time trying to figure out where he wanted to play because the Hawks offered a solid deal as well.  He still has to meet with the Yakult Swallows before making a final decision.  He plans to use the rest of the month to sort through his options and hopes to make some sort of an announcement early next month.

Source: Daily Sports 11/19/2013

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Yasutomo Kubo met the Tigers at the team offices in Hyogo on Tuesday for about thirty minutes.  When speaking to reporters, Kubo admitted Hanshin sweetened their initial offer and that he felt wanted by the team.  He said he did not want to take too much time in making his decision because he knew teams had to make decisions on other players for the 2014 season.

GM Katsuhiro Nakamura was not really sure how to feel about negotiations.  He said he apologized to the free agent for trying to convert him to a closer this past season because he was not sure if it was a good decision.

Source: Daily Sports 11/19/2013, Daily Sports 11/19/2013

While Kubo would like to start, his biggest concern is whether or not he will be given the opportunity to pitch.  The Tigers were relieved to hear that he was not stuck on starting.

Source: Sanspo 11/19/2013

Yokohama Bay Stars

Kiyoshi Nakahata is more than willing to help the team recruit Yasutomo Kubo during negotiations.

Source: Daily Sports 11/19/2013

Softbank Hawks

Shinya Tsuruoka met the Hawks at a hotel in Sapporo on Tuesday.  Their meeting lasted about an hour.  The Hawks are considered to be the front-runners.

Source: Sanspo 11/19/2013

The Hawks may have offered Tsuruoka a four-year deal worth 500 million yen plus incentives.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/19/2013

Rakuten Eagles

The Eagles may have offered Kan Otake three years at 500 million yen.

Source: Daily Sports 11/19/2013

Or a three-year deal between 500 and 700 million yen.

Source: Sanspo 11/19/2013

Chiba Lotte Marines

Team officials met Hideaki Wakui at a hotel in Tokyo on Tuesday.  Specific terms were not discussed, but Lotte did tell Wakui they wanted to use him as a starting pitcher.  They also gave the free agent a message from Tsutomu Ito.

Source: Daily Sports 11/19/2013

The Marines could be preparing a base two-year deal worth a total 600 million yen.

Source: Sanspo 11/19/2013

Or a two-year deal worth 440 million yen plus incentives.  The Marines only see Wakui as a starter.

Source: Sponichi 11/19/2013

Orix Buffaloes

The Buffaloes met Yasuyuki Kataoka in Tokyo on Tuesday.  Talks between the two sides lasted about an hour and forty minutes.  Kataoka seemed pleased with how discussions went and said he needed more time to think.

Source: Sponichi 11/19/2013

Kataoka may have been offered a three-year deal worth over 500 million yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/19/2013

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Orix may have offered Katsuki Yamazaki a three-year deal worth 150 million yen.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/19/2013

The Buffaloes will likely meet Yamazaki again on the 25th.  If things go well, the organization might be able to make an announcement shortly thereafter.

Source: Sponichi 11/20/2013

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