Archive > 01 December 2008

Hanshin Agrees to Terms with Kevin Mench

» 01 December 2008 » In nichibei, npb » 5 Comments

Looks like the Hanshin Tigers have agreed on a contract former Blue Jay Kevin Mench. Sanspo is reporting that it’s a one-year, $2m deal, which looks good for Hanshin with the yen strong against the dollar. The contract isn’t final, but it’s looking good at this point. 

Mench should take over rightfield from the disappointing Lew Ford and bat fifth or sixth for the Tigers.

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Braves and Twins Japan Notes

» 01 December 2008 » In mlb prospects, nichibei » 2 Comments

A couple of very minor but interesting notes on the Braves and Twins (but mostly Braves) to share today…

  • I wrote a little bit about Yoshinori Yamarin, a high school pitcher who went undrafted, back in October. This Sports Hochi article from Nov 11 says that the Twins had met with him and Braves were planning to. According to Hochi, Yamarin worked out for Lotte and others, and despite his strong desires to play professionally in Japan, went undrafted. He’s reportedly hit 92 mph on the gun as an 18 year-old, and might be an interesting project. This is the kind of guy that stands to lose the most from the Tazawa ban
  • Sofbank cut pitcher Kazuhiro Takeoka earlier in the week, which never would have caught my attention except the Sponichi article said that he “might return to the Braves“. I had never heard of him. Turns out that Takeoka played in the Braves system between 2000-2003, reaching AAA in ’02 and ’03. At 33 he’s not an MLB prospect, but an interesting organizational arm. He’s hoping to talk to the Braves and get a decision made by year’s end.

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Tazawa Shipping Up to Boston

» 01 December 2008 » In mlb prospects » 2 Comments

Update, Dec 1: Sanspo has a brief article on Tazawa’s departure to Boston. This is really non-news, but you can get a sense of the media attention he’s getting in these shots: 1, 2, 3

Nikkan Sports is reporting Junichi Tazawa is shipping up to Boston (before anyone asks, no. neither a Bostonian nor a Red Sox fan, do like the song though). Tazawa will take a physical negotiate the final terms of his contract with Boston. Nikkan Sports is calling it a 3 year, $4M contract, but that’s the third number I’ve seen reported for the Boston offer, so let’s not assume it’s correct yet. 

Nikkan Sports has a different set of numbers than had previously been reported for the contracts that had been offered to Tazawa:

  • Texas: 4 years, $7M
  • Atlanta: 4 years, $6M
  • Seattle: 3 years, $4.5M
There’s agreement in the media on the Texas offer, but some discrepancies with the others. I guess we’ll find out the real number when he signs.

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Hanshin to Re-Double Efforts to Land Kawakami

» 01 December 2008 » In mlb prospects, npb » Comments Off

Daily Sports is reporting that Hanshin is set to boost it’s efforts to acquire Kenshin Kawakami after failing to entice Daisuke Miura to leave Yokohama. The figure thrown out in this article is 4 years/ ¥2bn ($20m), but I don’t know how seriously I take that number.

Hanshin, if you’re listening, the time to act is now. As of this weekend, Kawakami didn’t have any offers in hand, and he’s unlikely to get much MLB until the frontline guys sign. Go in and offer him $6.5-7m/year and give him something to think about.

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Darvish Signs for 2009

» 01 December 2008 » In npb » 3 Comments

Yu Darvish has renewed his contract for ¥270m ($2.7m), a ¥70m ($700k) increase over 2008. Although Darvish was expected to hit the ¥300m ($3m) mark, he still set a record high for 5th-year players. “The team didn’t win and I didn’t earn any personal titles,” explained Darvish.

NPB players are under team control for a minimum of eight years, and pre-free agent players sign get multi-year contracts (not that I’ve heard of anyway). So each offseason players and teams negotiate salaries for the upcoming season. It’s a little like the arbitration process in MLB, but players’ salaries will decrease after a bad year, and there’s never a third party mediator involved. Players who hold out sometimes pay their own way to spring training.

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