Archive > 16 December 2008

New Entrent in Kawakami Derby: Minnesota

» 16 December 2008 » In mlb, mlb prospects » 8 Comments

The race for Kenshin Kawakami is heating up — Sponichi is reporting that the Twins and Giants are getting into the chase. The market for Kawakami has predictably built up with the signings of CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, which frees up the Braves and Giants to get involved.

Dan Evans lists three reasons for Kawakami’s popularity:

  1. They’re open to talking to all 30 teams, without concern for the team’s home park or how strong they are.
  2. The acquiring team doesn’t have to worry about losing a draft pick for signing Kawakami.
  3. Kawakami hasn’t had any major breakdowns over the last few years.

I think point #2 needs to be changed — MLB teams pay compensation to each other for acquiring free agents; so do NPB teams. Some kind of rights transfer compensation seems appropriate for players moving from NPB to MLB as well.

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Chunichi Acquires Minor Leaguers

» 16 December 2008 » In npb » 2 Comments

Sanspo has reported that Chunichi signed two minor leaguers: infielder Tony Blanco and lefty pitcher Nelson Payano. Blanco, who has MLB experience with the Nationals, will earn $300k, while Payano will make $150k. Both players were in 2a last year, which is a little bit of a departure for Japan as NPB teams usually sign fringey MLB players. Chunichi had scouted the Domican Winter League with the intent of signing instructional players, but these guys appear to be headed for the regular roster.

This isn’t the first time the Dragons are making this type of low-risk on foreign born prospects. Maximo Nelson, who played in Nagoya in 2008, is an interesting case. He’d never pitched above rookie ball in America and spent 2007 playing in Israel, but did make a couple of appearances for the top team in ’08. I’m not sure if he’ll be back with the Dragons next year or not.

Another development case is Aarom Baldiris, whom Hanshin acquired out of 2a before last season. Baldiris got quite a few at-bats with the Tigers and they seemed to really like him. He’ll be back for ’09.

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