NPB Bullet Points: Nichibei Special

» 15 September 2009 » In nichibei, npb »

Another Japanese only edition, this time focusing on US-Japan player movment:

  • It doesn’t look like Wei-Yin Chen is going anywhere any time soon, according to Chunichi Dragons president Junnosuke Nishikawa. “He can’t move unless he’s willing to break our agreement. We don’t have those conditions (to allow him out after the season) in our contract,” said Nishikawa. Commenting on a possible move to the majors, Nishikawa said, “even if that’s out there, that’s only if the team grants him to be posted.” Of course, there’s no indication that Chen even wants to leave, only that MLB scouts are watching him.
  • Hanshin is sending ni-gun reliever Ken Nishimura to the Arizona Fall League this year. He’ll join five or six other NPB prospects, including Norihito Kaneto of the Giants.
  • Yokohama has made Tom Mastny its first foreign dismissal of the season. Mastny went 1-5 with a 5.69 era in 15 games for Yokohama this year. “We gave him a chance and he didn’t produce results,” said the Yokohama front office. The BayStars are doing some general housecleaning and interim manager Tamio Tashiro, 28-year veteran Kimiyasu
  • Kudoh, and comparatively young infielder Toshihisa Nishi have all been shown the door.
  • Speaking of Nishi, he’s reportedly open to a move to the US minor leagues if the right offer in Japan doesn’t materialize. Nishi explored a move to the Majors after filing for free agency back in 2004, but obviously that didn’t work out. As I recall the Pirates were rumored to be interested back then.Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tags: , , , , ,

Trackback URL

  1. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 5:49 am Permalink

    This 77-year-old president is getting too old. Here is a Hochi article.
    None of what he is saying makes any sense. If he wants to lock them up, he has offer multi-year contracts they can’t refuse.

  2. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 6:19 am Permalink

    Everyone’s young compared to Kudo.

    I hope he catches on with someone as he’s the last NPB player older than me…

  3. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 7:33 am Permalink

    Yeah, that comment about Tony Blanco indicates a loss of touch with reality.

  4. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 8:30 am Permalink

    Ha, crazy old man, Chen’s a free agent at the end of the season just like Blanco!

  5. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 9:10 am Permalink

    Probably. But I can’t really find any info on it one way or another.

    The best I can find is stuff like this, that says his contract was “renewed” last year:

    So I don’t really know what control Chunichi has over his rights. I’ll reserve comment until I find something more concrete.

  6. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 3:58 pm Permalink


    In the MLB, young Latin players are signed as FAs. But aren’t they usually cheap, just like other American, Canadian, and Puerto Rican draftees, until they reach at least the arbitration stage? They are not immediately granted free agency after initinal, say, 2 or 3 years, are they, even though they are signed as FAs (misnomer?)? Felix Hernandez comes to my mind. People will get crazy once he becomes a FA. But what binds these Latin players? What kind of agreement is this, do you know?

    It’s not that I am saying that the NPB has the same agreement, but Chen can be seen as a young Latin player in the MLB.

  7. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 4:16 pm Permalink

    My understanding is that international free agents are bound by the same service time requirements as players who entered MLB via the draft. Even the NPB veterans that are in their 30’s when they join MLB clubs are bound by service time and arbitration, unless they negotiate out of it like Hideki Matsui did. Takashi Saito, for example, was headed to arbitration last year when the Dodgers non-tendered him.

    I really don’t have any idea how the situation is handled in NPB, so I can’t rule out the possibility that Chunichi still controls Chen’s rights in some form. Keep in mind that Hiroshima signed guys like Alfonso Soriano, Ramon Ramirez, Timo Perez and Alejandro Quesada as international free agents. With the exception of Soriano, the Carp posted all of them to MLB teams (Perez unsuccessfully), and Soriano pulled a retirement stunt to get out of Hiroshima. So that suggests that for those players, the Carp held some kind of service time rights.

    So I don’t know what Chen’s deal is like. I’ve read that he’s on a single-year (tannen) contract, but I think it’s plausible that the Dragons could hold his rights for a longer period of time, without him being explicitly under contract.

  8. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 4:35 pm Permalink

    Tashiro’s just going back to being the Shonan Sea Rex manager, though, right? More like being shown the trapdoor in his case…

  9. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 4:36 pm Permalink

    Did he accept that demotion?

  10. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 7:44 pm Permalink


    I asked around and this is the breakdown. I don’t guarantee the correctness of the following.

    In the past, the service time requirements fundamentally applied equally to Japanese and foreign players. But no foreign players wanted to stay in Japan for 8 or 9 years, so they included a special clause in their contract a la Hideki Matsui in your example. Then Hideo Nomo came along. He went to the MLB via “voluntary retirement.” This hole was closed after Nomo. Then Soriano came along. After the Yankees paid money to the Carp for his rights, the MLB demanded foreign players be FAs if no new contract is signed after a certain date to facilitate the cases like Soriano. What it facilitated the most is the increased number of foreign FAs within the NPB. I don’t know exactly how this rule is defined because Ramirez in your example was posted in 2003, way after the Soriano incident, indicating the Carp still had rights to him. This is where we stand right now.

    What complicates the case of Chen is that he is the only foreign member of the Players’ Association. The NPB and the Association don’t negotiate on an individual basis (i.e. collective bargaining), for example, about service time. Being a member is in direct conflict with the “Soriano rule” if you will. This is a gray area about which the agreement between the NPB and MLB says nothing.

    Here are possible scenarios. Chen withdraws from the Association. The Dragons post Chen. The MLB shoves the “Soriano rule” down Nishikawa’s throat in order to refuse to pay posting money disregarding the agreement about service time between the NPB and Players’ Association.

    Hope this comment will be a nice addition to the Nichibei special edition of NPB bullet points.

  11. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 9:14 pm Permalink

    Interesting information, thanks for digging it up. I thought the story was that Soriano used the “retirement loophole” like Nomo did though.

    The other scenario is that Chen hangs out in Nagoya for a while longer. If I’m to read the between the lines, I’d say that Chen’s apparently voluntary participation in the NPB union suggests a commitment to playing in Japan.

  12. Patrick
    15/09/2009 at 9:30 pm Permalink

    I thought the story was that Soriano used the “retirement loophole” like Nomo did though.

    That’s what happened in actuality. He was just hanging out in Dominica. I am sure the Yankees were surprised that the Carp still had the rights. But money was no problem to the Yankees.

    I’d say that Chen’s apparently voluntary participation in the NPB union suggests a commitment to playing in Japan.

    Another way to say it is that it is what Kaku and Taihoh advised. Watch Kaku’s comment about the Japanese language.

    In other news, Taihoh recovered (at least got out of the hospital) from leukemia.