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[12/9/2014] Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars, Yakult Swallows

by on Dec.10, 2014 @ 2:04 am, under NPB
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Chunichi Dragons

  • Katsuki Matayoshi was able to work on a slower slider while playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic this off-season. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/9/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Kiyoshi Nakahata is thinking about giving Yasutomo Kubo the opening day start next year. Kubo believes the team would be better served if a younger pitcher got the assignment. Source: Sports Hochi 12/9/2014

Yakult Swallows

[12/8/2014] Rumors: Rakuten Eagles, Norihiro Nakamura

by on Dec.09, 2014 @ 2:49 am, under NPB
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Chihiro Kaneko

  • The Rakuten Eagles are planning to offer the uniform number 19 to Kaneko. The number was worn by former manager Katsuya Nomura between 2006 and 2009 and left out of the active rotation since. They could also offer him three or more years. Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014
  • Rakuten executive Hiroshi Abei was planning to attend the winter meetings in San Diego, but decided to cancel to make Kaneko his top priority. Others officials, like team president Yozo Tachibana, left for the United States on Monday. Source: Sports Hochi 12/8/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/8/2014

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Munenori Kawasaki (37) hinted on Sunday that he was twenty-eighty sure of where he wanted to play next year (he did not spec. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/8/2014

Norihiro Nakamura (41) is still waiting for an offer from an NPB team. Source: Daily Sports 12/7/2014 ... Nakamura is planning to wait it out through to the end of spring camp. Source: Sports Hochi 12/8/2014

If the Yokohama Bay Stars are unable to re-sign Yulieski Gourriel (30), they could turn their attention to finding a closer. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/7/2014

Takahiro Okada (26) met the Orix Buffaloes for salary negotiations on Monday and held off on agreeing to their offer because he was unsatisfied with it. He will have his representative handle all future negotiations. Source: Daily Sports 12/8/2014 ... According to Sanspo, Okada was offered seventy-eight million yen (twenty-three million yen raise). Source: Sanspo 12/8/2014

Former Yakult Swallow Hiroki Sanada joined the Fukushima Hopes (BC League) as a player/coach. Source: official announcement

Former Yakult Swallow Chris Narveson (32) signed a minor league contract with the Marlins. Source: Sun-Sentinel 12/7/2014 via Nikkan Sports 12/8/2014

Freddy Garcia (38) wants to play in Japan. Source: Jon Morosi Twitter 12/7/2014 via Nikkan Sports 12/8/2014

[12/6/2014] Alfredo Despaigne, Yulieski Gourriel, Hideki Okajima

by on Dec.07, 2014 @ 12:44 am, under NPB
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The Chiba Lotte Marines could offer Alfredo Despaigne (28) a one-year deal over 300 million yen. Other teams were said to be interested in Despaigne, but Yomiuri will most ikely focus their attention on Yulieski Gurriel and Orix may no longer have the need. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2014 ... Lotte could offer a two-year deal worth 800 million yen. At 400 million yen a year, he would become the highest paid player in franchise history (the current high of 300 million yen was set by Julio Franco in 1995). Source: Sports Hochi 12/6/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars are close to finalizing a deal with Hideki Okajima (38). An announcement could be made within the next few days. Source: Sports Hochi 12/6/2014

A Bay Stars representative could be heading to Cuba to discuss Yulieski Gourriel (30). Yokohama could offer Gourriel a one-year deal worth 300 million yen. Source: Sanspo 12/6/2014

Masanori Hayashi signed a three-year deal with the Bay Stars. He agreed to a fifteen million yen raise and will make an estimated forty-one million yen next year. Source: Daily Sports 12/6/2014

Tsuyoshi Nishioka (30) finished off a two-year deal and finalized a new one-year deal on Friday. "I got hurt this year and didn't have the kind of season I wanted even after returning. I signed a two-year contract, but only managed to help in one. I want to hear about how Nishioka helped the team by pulling everyone together," said Nishioka. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2014 ... Nishioka also said, "I want to stick to the middle infield, I want focus on second and short. I'm still young. It's difficult to change positions and then go back again later. I went with a one-year deal because I feel strongly about this... My preference for positions is important." Source: Daily Sports 12/6/2014

Ryosuke Hirata (26) was offered forty-seven million yen during contract negotiations on November 22 (twelve million yen raise). He appeared on Tokai TV's Dora HOT Plus on Saturday and said he informed the organization that he was hoping to hit sixty-five million yen in 2015 (difference of eighteen million yen). He is slated to meet with the Dragons again next week. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2014

The Orix Buffaloes will most likely end up spending about 3.5 billion yen on five contracts this off-season: Eiichi Koyano, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Tony Blanco, Bryan Bullington, and Chihiro Kaneko. Source: Sponichi 12/6/2014

Orix senryokugai Shinji Takahashi (36) is slated to join the Shinano Granserows Baseball Club (BC League) as a player/hitting coach. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2014

[12/5/2014] Rumors: Hideki Okajima, Tony Blanco, Bryan Bullington

by on Dec.06, 2014 @ 6:49 am, under NPB
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The Yokohama Bay Stars could know more about where Yulieski Gourriel (30) is going to play next year within the next ten days or so. Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014

The Bay Stars are interested in Hideki Okajima (38). Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/5/2014

The Orix Buffaloes are close to finalizing contracts with Tony Blanco (34) and Bryan Bullington (34). An announcement could be made shortly. Source: Sports Hochi 12/5/2014, Daily Sports 12/5/2014

The Softbank Hawks could be close to finalizing a two-year deal worth an estimated 400 million yen with Rick VandenHurk (29). An announcement could be made some time next week. Source: Sponichi 12/5/2014

It is uncertain when Kenta Maeda (26) will meet with the Hiroshima Carp to discuss his terms for 2015. Maeda has a full schedule and may not have time to meet team officials until after the new year. Source: Sports Hochi 12/5/2014

The Yakult Swallows held a press conference for Keiji Obiki on Friday. He was assigned the uniform number 2. He agreed to a three-year deal worth an estimated 300 million yen. Source: official announcement, Daily Sports 12/5/2014

Yohei Oshima met with Chunichi Dragons official again on Friday and was offered the same deal he received during his first meeting. He turned it down and said he wanted ninety million. During his press conference, he told reporters that while he felt negotiations were more open, he also felt he was not going to get any more than seventy-four million yen (initial offer). A third meeting will most likely take place before the end of the year, but neither side appears willing to budge. Source: Sports Hochi 12/5/2014, Daily Sports 12/5/2014, Sponichi 12/5/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/5/2014 ... Oshima (and Ryosuke Hirata) have the support of the JPBPA. Source: Sponichi 12/4/2014

Kenji Akashi met with Softbank Hawks' officials on Friday to negotiate terms for the 2015 season. He held off on agreeing to a forty-five million yen contract (fifteen million raise) because he wanted more time to think. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/5/2014

Munenori Kawasaki (33) has reportedly decided to spend at least one more year playing in the United States. Source: Sanspo 12/5/2014

Shugo Fujii (37) visited the Yokohama Bay Stars to thank them for their support over the last three years and to let tell them he decided to retire. He is planning to take on a job as a batting practice pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants. Source: Daily Sports 12/5/2014

Yakult senryokugai Takehiko Oshimoto (32) has decided to retire. He attended the first twelve-team tryout on November 9 and received an offer from a team in Taiwan, but none from the NPB. Source: Sports Hochi 12/5/2014

[12/4/2014] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Dec.05, 2014 @ 5:22 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Shunichi Murata is planning to use a bat that weighs about 920 grams next year, down from the 950 he used this season. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/4/2014 ... Murata became the first Giant to win Golden Gloves at third base in two consecutive seasons (2013, 2014) since Tatsunori Hara in 1987 and 1988. Source: Sanspo 12/4/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • The Tigers are thinking about going with a harder mound at Koshien next year. They are planning to ask pitchers for feedback after having them test harder mounds during spring camp. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/4/2014
  • The village of Ginoza is spending about 500 million yen to renovate the facilities at Ginoza Stadium. The parking lot, infield stands, outfield stands, and the padding for the outfield wall are being upgraded/replaced. The price tag also includes the scoreboard that was added in the spring. Source: Sanspo 12/4/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

[12/3/2014] Rumors: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Brad Eldred, Hiroyuki Nakajima

by on Dec.04, 2014 @ 12:31 am, under NPB
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Daisuke Matsuzaka (34) returned to Japan on Wednesday. The Softbank Hawks are expected to hold a press conference to introduce Matsuzaka as their newest addition as early as the 5th. Source: Sponichi 12/3/2014

The Hiroshima Carp re-signed Brad Eldred (34) to a new one-year deal worth an estimated 915,000 US dollars plus incentives (up from 500,000 US dollars this season). Source: Sanspo 12/2/2014, Sponichi 12/2/2014

The Orix Buffaloes are not planning to pursue Hiroyuki Nakajima (32). They are interested in Tony Blanco (34) and Bryan Bullington (34). Source: Daily Sports 12/2/2014 ... Sports Hochi is reporting that the Buffaloes shifted their attention to Nakajima after they learned Munenori Kawasaki (33) still wants to play in the Majors. They could be preparing a four-year package worth an estimated 1.5 billion yen. Source: Sports Hochi 12/3/2014

The Hanshin Tigers told reporters they opted not to improve their offer to Nakajima when recently contacted by his agent. They do not plan on changing their offer at this point in time. Source: Sanspo 12/3/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/3/2014

The Tigers could visit Cuba in January next year to check on talent. They are looking for a fifth foreign player as insurance. They are also checking players in the Dominican Republic. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/3/2014

The Rakuten Eagles could offer Takahiro Norimoto a three-year deal worth over 300 million during contract negotiations on Wednesday. Source: Daily Sports 12/3/2014 ... Norimoto agreed to a salary of 120 million yen, up sixty million from this season. He became the fifth player in NPB history to reach 100 million yen in his third season. Source: Daily Sports 12/3/2014, Sports Hochi 12/3/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars officially announced on Tuesday that they were parting ways with Tony Blanco (34). Source: official announcement

The Yakult Swallows are not planning to sign Chris Narveson (32) to a contract for the 2015 season. They already signed Tony Barnette (31) and Orlando Roman (36) to one-year contracts. Chris Carpenter (28) is still a question mark. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/3/2014

The Chiba Lotte Marines announced that they came to terms with Chunichi senryokugai Kento Yachi (26). He was assigned the number fifty-eight. The two sides agreed to a contact worth an estimated five million yen. Source: official announcement, Sponichi 12/3/2014

[12/3/2014] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Dec.04, 2014 @ 12:24 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Seiji Kobayashi wants to push his weight to eighty kilograms this off-season. He played at seventy-four kilograms this year. Source: Sanspo 12/3/2014
  • Tomoyuki Sugano left Japan out of Haneda Airport for the United States on Tuesday. He will be spending some time training in Arizona. Source: Daily Sports 12/2/2014
  • The Giants are planning to go back to having "Tokyo" across the front chest area of their road uniforms next year. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/2/2014

Hanshin Tigers

Chunichi Dragons

  • The Dragons worked with three advance scouts this season. They plan to add two more next season and assign one Central League team to each. Source: Daily Sports 12/3/2014
  • Naomichi Donoue's uniform number will change from 1 to 63. Donoue's brother wore the number 63 until he was senryokugai'ed this year. Source: Sanspo 12/2/2014 ... Donoue selected the number. The number 1 will most likely go to third round draft pick Shota Tomonaga. Source: Daily Sports 12/2/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • The Bay Stars announced that Shoichi Ino was involved in a minor car accident. The incident took place at around 14:50 on Tuesday in Chiba. Ino was not paying enough attention to a traffic light and crashed into a car in front of his. There were no major injuries. Authorities were contacted and insurance information was exchanged. Source: Daily Sports 12/3/2014, Daily Sports 12/3/2014
  • Takehiro Ishikawa's captaincy will end after three years. Ishikawa told reporters on Monday he would like to see either Yoshitomo Tsutsugo or Takayuki Kajitani to step in after him. Source: Sanspo 12/2/2014
  • Yuki Kuniyoshi (23) filed marriage papers with twenty-three-year-old talento Sachi Kiriyama earlier this year March 14. Source: Sponichi 12/2/2014, Sports Hochi 12/2/2014

[12/1/2014] Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Chunichi Dragons, Yokohama Bay Stars

by on Dec.02, 2014 @ 12:23 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Yoshinobu Takahashi is hoping to join Haruyasu Nakajima (1949), Sadaharu Oh (1980), and Hiromitsu Ochiai (1994-1996) as the only players in franchise history to make the opening day lineup during or after the season they turned forty. Takahashi will turn forty on April 3 next year. Source: Sponichi 12/1/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Shoya Yamamoto, Kazuo Ito, and Takumi Akiyama will be moving out of the team dormitory and into their own places this off-season. Source: Sponichi 12/1/2014
  • Yuta Iwasada will be signing with Dome Corporation, Under Armour's representative in Japan. He will have a chance to train at the same gym Yu Darvish uses during the off-season. Source: Sanspo 12/1/2014
  • The Tigers are planning to focus their attention on infielders and catchers for the next draft. Source: Daily Sports 12/1/2014
  • Former Tigers' head coach Masahiro Kuroda joined Sanspo as a baseball analyst. Source: Sanspo 12/1/2014

Chunichi Dragons

Yokohama Bay Stars

  • Yoshitomo Tsutsugo left Japan on Sunday out of Narita Airport to train in the United States. He will be working out in Los Angeles for about three weeks. Source: Sponichi 12/1/2014
  • Shoichi Ino will have a tonsillectomy on December 10. Source: Nikkan Soprts 12/1/2014

General

  • Carp Joshi (referring to female Carp fans) and Legend (referring to over forty athletes Noriaki Kasai, Isao Aoki, and Masahiro Yamamoto) made U-CANs top ten Buzz Words/Phrases in 2014. Source: official announcement

[11/29/2014] Yomiuri, Hanshin, Hiroshima, Chunichi, Yokohama, Yakult

by on Nov.30, 2014 @ 9:13 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Yoshinobu Takahashi and former Giant Koji Uehara held a baseball clinic and talk session in Ishinomaki, Miyagi for about 150 youths on Saturday. Source: Sanspo 11/30/2014

Hanshin Tigers

  • Mauro Gomez is planning to play winter ball. The Tigers could ask him to keep an eye out on players he thinks might find success in Japan. Source: Sports Hochi 11/29/2014, Sanspo 11/29/2014
  • Yutaka Wada is thinking about giving Tsuyoshi Nishioka a look in the outfield next year. Source: Daily Sports 11/29/2014, Sponichi 11/29/2014
  • Pitchers struggled at Mazda Stadium this year. The Tigers are planning to have some of the mounds at Okinawa spring camp rebuilt with the same materials used at Mazda Stadium. Source: Sanspo 11/29/2014
  • The Tigers Old Timers organization recognized Tomoyuki Kubota's accomplishments during his active career by presenting him with a special achievement award on Saturday. Source: Sanspo 11/30/2014

Hiroshima Carp

  • The Carp could give Deunte Heath a look in the closer role next year. They could also go with four set-up men. Source: Sponichi 11/29/2014

Chunichi Dragons

  • Daisuke Sobue (27) filed marriage papers with a twenty-seven-year-old woman from Toyohashi, Aichi on August 10. They are not planning to hold a ceremony. Source: Nikkan Sports 11/29/2014
  • Shuhei Takahashi's uniform number will change from nine to three next year. Source: Daily Sports 11/29/2014

Yokohama Bay Stars

Yakult Swallows

  • Yuhei will spend some time training at the Weider Training Lab in Tokyo this winter. Source: Sponichi 11/30/2014

[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