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[4/2/2015] Yokohama Bay Stars terminate contract with Yulieski Gurriel

by on Apr.02, 2015 @ 7:13 pm, under NPB
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Yokohama general manager Shigeru Takada told reporters today that the organization terminated its contract with Yulieski Gurriel because they were not sure when he was going to arrive. Gurriel was supposed come to Japan on March 24, but hurt his right hamstring while playing in Cuba and refused to leave his country while hurt.

The Bay Stars sent a representative to Cuba on March 28 to see if they could work something out. They hoped to get Gurriel to board a flight on March 30, but could not reach him directly. The team representative finally got in touch with the thirty-year-old infielder when he visited him at his home on April 2.

"We weren't sure when he was going to come. He said wanted to play for Yokohama, but kept saying after he got better. We contacted [him] and said we were going to terminate the contract. The Cuban government also accepted [our decision]," said Takada.

The Bay Stars still have a two-year contract with Lourdes Gourriel Jr. They filed paperwork to place him on the restricted list.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/2/2015, Sponichi 4/2/2015, Sanspo 4/2/2015, Daily Sports 4/2/2015

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[2/2/2015] Yokohama Bay Stars announce agreement with Yulieski and Yunielkis Gourriel

by on Feb.02, 2015 @ 2:13 pm, under NPB
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The Yokohama Bay Stars announced today that they reached agreements with Yulieski Gourriel (30) and Yunielkis Gourriel (21). Yulieski will keep the uniform number 10. Yunielkis was assigned the number 91.

The Bay Stars also announced that Yoslan Herrera the uniform number 53.

Source: official announcement, official announcement

[UPDATE 2/3 @ 3:54pm]

According to Nikkan Sports, Yulieski agreed to a one-year deal worth an estimated 350 million yen. Yunielkis, aka Lourdes, agreed to a two-year deal worth thirty-five million yen a year.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/3/2015

[UPDATE 2/4 @ 2:46am]

Sponichi reports the Yulieski deal to be worth an estimated 500 million yen (350 million yen plus signing bonus) and the Yunielkis two-year deal to be worth a total estimated fifty million yen.

Source: Sponichi 2/3/2015

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[12/25/2015] Kenta Maeda, Go Kamamoto, Yulieski Gourriel

by on Dec.26, 2014 @ 3:23 am, under NPB
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Hiroshima's Kenta Maeda agreed to a 2015 salary of 300 million on Wednesday. He will turn twenty-seven next year. He became the youngest pitcher in Central League history to reach 300 million yen. The previous record of twenty-nine years was set by Koji Uehara in 2004 and Kyuji Fujikawa in 2009. The NPB record of twenty-four was set by Yu Darvish in 2010 and Masahiro Tanaka in 2012. Source: Sponichi 12/25/2014 ... Maeda told reporters during his contract press conference on Wednesday that he felt closer to reaching his dreams of pitching in the Majors. "I don't really see it as a dream, I think I am close to making it happen. I still want to go as soon as possible. It would be nice if I can go after the 2015 season. I feel I am closer than when I first brought it up," said Maeda. Source: Sponichi 12/25/2014

The Softbank Hawks re-signed Go Kamamoto (21) to an Ikusei contract. His uniform number will remain 122. Source: Sports Hochi 12/25/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars expect to finalize their contract (officially) with Yulieski Gourriel (30) some time in January. Source: Sports Hochi 12/25/2014

The Hanshin Tigers are planning to check on talent in Cuba. Team official Eiichi Takano is slated to make a trip in January. Source: Sanspo 12/25/2014

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[12/15/2014] Yokohama Bay Stars may be close to finalizing deals with Yulieski and Yunielkis Gourriel

by on Dec.15, 2014 @ 3:27 pm, under NPB
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The Yokohama Bay Stars may be close to finalizing an agreement with Yulieski Gourriel (30) for the 2015 season. "Discussions are going well. The biggest thing in our favor is his desire to return to our team," said general manager Shigeru Takada. Daily Sports is reporting a possible one-year deal, Sports Hochi and Sponichi a two-year deal worth as much as 700 million yen, and Nikkan Sports a one-year deal worth 500 million yen. Yokohama likely also offered the job at third base next year.

The Yomiuri Giants were also interested in Gourriel, but may have backed out when they learned he would not be able to attend spring camp from the first day.

The Bay Stars are also said to be working on a two-year deal with Yunielkis Gourriel (21).

Source: Chunichi Sports 12/15/2014, Tokyo Sports 12/15/2014, Daily Sports 12/15/2014, Daily Sports 12/15/2014, Sports Hochi 12/15/2014, Sponichi 12/15/2014

[UPDATE 12/16 @ 6:42pm]

The agreement with Gourriel will most likely be a one-year deal worth an estimated 500 million yen. He is expected to join the team in March after the season in Cuba ends. He is also slated to participate in the Pan American games in July and will miss close to a month. Source: Sponichi 12/16/2014 ... The Bay Stars wanted to sign Gourriel to a multi-year contract, but had to settle for a one-year deal. Allowing him to miss spring camp and a part of the season for the Pan American games was reportedly part of the agreement. Source: Sports Hochi 12/16/2014 ... The one-year deal might be worth 300 million plus incentives. It may have also been less than what the Yomiuri Giants offered. Source: Daily Sports 12/16/2014 ... The one year deal might be worth a base 300 million that could max out to 500 million after bonuses and incentives. Yunielkis Gourriel's two-year deal could be worth an estimated fifty million yen. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/16/2014

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[12/10/2014] Rumors: Rick VandenHurk, Kyuji Fujikawa, Yulieski Gourriel

by on Dec.11, 2014 @ 2:50 am, under NPB
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The Chiba Lotte Marines received Yakult's list of protected players on the 9th. Lotte has until January 6, but will try to reach a decision before the end of the year. They are planning to select a player as part of their compensation for losing Yoshihisa Naruse. Source: Sports Hochi 12/10/2014

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Kyuji Fujikawa will most likely play in the United States next year. A source close to the situation told reporters that the pitcher did not have to consider returning to Japan because there was enough MLB interest. Source: Daily Sports 12/10/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014

The Softbank Hawks have reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with Rick VandenHurk (29). An announcement is expected within the next couple of days. Source: Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014

Yoshihisa Hirano (30) signed a three-year deal worth 900 million yen. At 300 million a year, he became the highest paid pitcher in franchise history. Hirano likes Orix and feels strongly about winning a championship with them and never considered playing for another team this year. He is slated to earn his international FA option after next season. He is planning to stay with Orix over the next three years, but was unwilling to commit to the organization for the rest of his career when asked by reporters on Tuesday. Source: Daily Sports 12/10/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014, Sports Hochi 12/10/2014, Sponichi 12/10/2014

The Yokohama Bay Stars may have offered Yulieski Gourriel (30) a one-year deal worth about 350 million yen, in addition to a two-year deal worth as much as 700 million yen. A representative is currently in Cuba handling negotiations. Source: Sports Hochi 12/10/2014

The Yakult Swallows may have offered Yuhei (30) fifty-eight million for 2015 (a raise of about forty-five million). The outfielder placed the offer on hold because he was expecting more. Since this was his first full season at Ichi-gun, he had his management company rate his season. There was a gap between what Yakult offered and what his management company estimated. The Swallows sweetened their deal during the meeting, but have no plans to add to it. Source: Sports Hochi 12/10/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014

Ryosuke Hirata (26) met Chunichi Dragons' officials on Wednesday for about ninety minutes and agreed to a deal worth an estimated forty-seven million yen in 2015 (twelve million raise). The amount remained unchanged since the first round of negotiations, but time and a better understanding of the team's rating system was enough to get Hirata to sign. Source: Sports Hochi 12/10/2014, Daily Sports 12/10/2014, Sponichi 12/10/2014, Nikkan Sports 12/10/2014

Atori Ota (25) agreed to a deal worth an estimated 9.5 million yen (a salary cut of three million) on Wednesday. It was Ota's second meeting with Yokohama Bay Star officials. It was the same offer he received during his first meeting. Source: Sponichi 12/10/2014

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[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

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[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

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[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

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[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