NPB Bullet Points (2008/11/09)
The Japan Series has just ended, but the off-season is already in full swing. Here are some highlights for today.
- Kenshin Kawakami is having a hard time making up his mind whether he wants to move to MLB or another team in Japan. My money would be on MLB, but it’s worth noting that after becoming a free agent, Hiroki Kuroda signed a 4-year deal with an opt-out clause that allowed him to move to MLB, which he later exercised.
- Hiroshima Carp owner Hajime Matsuda has pitcher Ken Takahashi that there will be a place for him with the Carp after he retires. The 39 year-old Takahashi is eligible for free agency and eyeing a move to the majors. He’s coming off a solid year and could be a bullpen lefty for someone.
- Yakult is looking to bring in Twins AAA reliever Ricky Barrett. Barrett has never made it to the show and is a minor league free agent.
- More Yakult news: Brazilian instruction draft pick Rafael Fernandez commented on his selection: “I was encouraged to ‘stay in Japan and do my best’. I want to perform well for my friends”.
- Mark Kelly earned an invite to Orix’s autumn training camp.
- Chiba Lotte worked out Marlins AAA infielder Chase Lambin for a spot on next year’s team, and is also bringing in Gary Burnham of Taiwan’s La New Bears for a try out.
- No rest for the weary: Yu Darvish has already begun training for next year.
- News from Taiwan: Yokohama is working out China Trust Whales lefty Yu-Chieh Shen. La New also played an exhibition series against the Yomiuri Giants farm team. Game 2 featured the Giants’ shockingly young Taiwanese farmhands.
- Tommy Lasorda is being awarded the Order of the Rising Sun for his contributions to Japanese baseball.