Trade Deadline Passes
Compared to the many moves and much rumbling near the MLB trade deadline, the deadline in NPB ended quietly. There was a total of one trade during the 2009 season which was Taiyo Fujita being traded from Hanshin to Seibu for Keisuke Mizuta, a minor move where both teams filled supporting roles.
The numbers after the trade…
- Taiyo Fujita (Seibu Lions) – 2.0 innings, ER, K (two games): 4.50ERA
- Keisuke Mizuta (Hanshin Tigers)- Strikeout in one-at-bat
As you can see from the numbers both players have made minimal impact with their new teams. Rather than teams looking to add the last piece for a championship run near the deadline in the MLB, it’s more of two teams allowing their player to join a team with more possibilities. More teams look to add a suketto as seven foreign players were added by teams since the 2009 season started. However they tend to give chances to players that have already experienced the NPB culture as they feel comfortable adding an experienced player during mid-season where time for adjustment is limited.
Some players added during in-season…
- Craig Brazell to the Hanshin Tigers (38 games: .302 (45-149), 8HR, 27RBI, 14R, 2BB, 39K)
- Jose Ortiz joing the Softbank Hawks (61 games: .298 (68-256), 14HR, 48RBI, 37R, 21BB, 40K)
- Hiroshima Notes: Dohmann Out, Phillips In? (23 games: .239 (21-96), 5HR, 13RBI, 6R, 6BB, 14K)
- NPB Notes: Mench, McClain (61 games: .243 (52-238), 10HR, 28RBI, 23R, 22B, 60K)
- Rakuten Introduces Linden, Re-introduces Fukumori (20 games: .313 (26-83), 5HR, 12RBI, 11R, 7BB, 31K)
- Foreign Player Additions: Randolph, Soriano (neither have not pitched yet)
The number of teams might limit the number of trades in the NPB (12 compared to MLB’s 30), but a culture of trading players are relatively new and there has been limited number of “blockbuster” trades in the league. The one that comes up to mind is a swap between Hayato Terahara for Hitoshi Tamura, a trade between a former first-round draft pick and a home run king.
The trade deadline is a big event for everybody involved in the MLB and headlines evolve daily with rumors and potential deals. It creates stories and news that people talk about around the water coolers and peoples’ interest increases during the period of time. It should not be a bad thing for the NPB if people start engaging talks about the game and trades becoming more of a common business. However the difference in the culture of the games allows the transactions after the season starts to be limited and with only 12 teams and six of them facing each other about 20 times a season, it’s extremely difficult for teams deal players that might hurt them in the future.