NPB Trade: Ichiba for Miyade

» 25 March 2009 » In npb »

Rakuten has finally given up on pitcher Yasuhiro Ichiba, trading the former top prospect to Yakult for outfielder Ryuji Miyade. Ichiba was once a hot commodity; multiple teams (Hanshin, Yomiuri, Yokohama if I remember correctly) paid him under the table prior to the 2004 with the hopes of signing him. That was back when top college and industrial league players could choose which team to sign with prior to being drafted. Ichiba eventually choose to sign with the expansion Rakuten franchise, a team that did not yet exist when all the scandalous payments were going down.

This trade reminds me of the deal that brought Hayato Terahara to to Yokohama. Terahara was also a former top prospect who didn’t pan out with the team that drafted him (SoftBank), so they moved him for a hitter, Hitoshi Tamura. Terahara has blossomed into a star in Yokohama, while Tamura hasn’t accomplished much for the Hawks. The big difference is that Tamura was a much better player than Miyade is now.

It’s hard not to like this trade for Yakult — they get a 26 year-old former top prospect who may still have some upside left, and only give up a 31 year-old fourth outfielder who apparently didn’t fit into their plans. Rakuten gets a guy who should be able to fill a bench role, but it’s safe to say that when the team drafted Ichiba they were hoping for more.

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  1. Patrick
    25/03/2009 at 5:45 pm Permalink

    Thank you, Patrick. That was a much more thorough response than I was expecting.

  2. Patrick
    25/03/2009 at 5:57 pm Permalink

    I’m glad you liked it. Was going to do it anyway; just decided to do the Iwakuma thing first.

  3. Patrick
    26/03/2009 at 6:30 am Permalink

    Rakuten’s obviously got some secret plans to convert Miyade back into a pitcher.

    No, I dunno. Maybe they’re just going for the amusement value if they can manage to get Miyade and Uchimura to stand next to each other for an advertisement. I always liked Miyade a ton though and hope he’ll get more of a chance to play with Rakuten.

  4. Patrick
    Jeff B
    26/03/2009 at 10:35 am Permalink

    Rakuten seems to be doing the things that US clubs do. Building with veterans. They already took old man Nakamura. So adding Miyade is not terrible. They are one of the teams that really can experiment because no one has super high expectation from them yet. I think that this year might be a year that they can get 4th or dare i say 3rd. Hawks are on the decline, Chiba showed that they are on the fence. Orix is a hit or miss. So that just leaves Hokkaido and Seibu as definite on top. Dont flame me but just saying it could be a good year for them.

  5. Patrick
    26/03/2009 at 6:45 pm Permalink

    Here’s what I wrote about Rakuten earlier in the year:

    I’m going to do my pre-season predictions over the next couple days, but I’ll let it slip that I think Rakuten will content for a playoff spot.