Archive > December 2009

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-12-20

» 20 December 2009 » In Uncategorized » Comments Off on Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-12-20

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Sorting Through the Igarashi News

» 16 December 2009 » In mlb prospects » 9 Comments

Update, Wednesday night: Igarashi has indeed signed with the Mets.

Yesterday, I passed along (via Twitter) a Sponichi report saying that the Red Sox were in the lead for Ryota Igarashi with a two-year deal worth $2-3m. This ran counter to the NY Times report from earlier in the day saying that Igarashi was near a deal with the Mets.

Twitter, being limited to 140 characters per post, doesn’t allow for much detail, so here’s some context from the Sponichi article:

  • Igarashi spent a day training with Daisuke Matsuzaka in Arizona. Sponichi doesn’t mention this, but I’ve read elsewhere that they had planned to train together for two days.
  • Igarashi got to ask Matsuzaka quite a bit about Boston’s camp and training programs. Said Igarashi: “the things we talked about were interesting, and I enjoyed it. I only know a little bit, but it’s totally different [from Japan]. It reduced my stress.”
  • Sponichi also points out that “diving into a new environment on a team that already has three Japanese pitchers, Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, Junichi Tazawa is an appealing point.” This is a quote from the article, not Igarashi.
  • This might be a function of the limitations of Twitter, but the term I translated as “Red Sox in the lead” comes across more directly as “Red Sox one step ahead”.

And a couple of other things to consider…

These are just my observations based on what’s been in the media — I don’t have my own sources on this one. As an observer, I could see this going either way. Both Boston and New York are appealing destinations, every team needs bullpen depth, and the dollar figures being reported are peanuts to either team.

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Multiple Offers for Igarashi

» 14 December 2009 » In mlb prospects » 8 Comments

Ryota Igarashi has departed to Arizona for offseason training. On his way out, he let it slip that he had received an offer from a team he wanted to play for, but didn’t say which team it was. Nikkan Sports speculates that he’s received at least four offers already. Nikkan Sports also says that he wants to close in MLB, which I hadn’t read before.

Igarashi appears to be getting healthy amount of interest, and he’s arguably most attractive free agent reliever still remaining unsigned (he’ll come cheaper than, say, Fernando Rodney). Last week I ran down his current suitors, and haven’t seen anything since to suggest we need to add to this list.

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Colby Lewis to Make MLB Return

» 14 December 2009 » In mlb prospects, nichibei » 9 Comments

Nikkan Sports and others are reporting that Hiroshima Carp ace Colby Lewis has turned down the team’s offer and will return to MLB for 2010. Lewis cited family health problems as his decision to leave the Carp.

Lewis leaves big shoes for Hiroshima to fill. He stepped in to the ace role that Hiroki Kuroda vacated, and in some ways outperformed the current Dodger. In 54 NPB games, Lewis went 26-17 with a 2.83 era, and led the Central League in strikeouts in each of the last two seasons. More impressive was his command of the strike zone, which was not his strength at the MLB level. In Japan, Lewis only walked 46 over 354.1 innings pitched. Somewhat weirdly however, he did hit 14 batters in 2009.

Lewis looks like an interesting back-rotation MLB starter to me, and could be very effective if his command makes the trip back. Please see our data site to get a feel for his arsenal.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-12-13

» 13 December 2009 » In Uncategorized » Comments Off on Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-12-13

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Hanshin Notes: Murton, Brazell, Fossum

» 12 December 2009 » In npb » Comments Off on Hanshin Notes: Murton, Brazell, Fossum

A couple of Hanshin Tigers foreign player items of note in the news today:

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Source: Rasner, Linden to Return to Rakuten

» 12 December 2009 » In npb » 1 Comment

According to a reliable source, Darrell Rasner has re-signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. I heard about this earlier in the offseason, but apparently now the deal has been signed. Rasner gets a one-year deal with an option.

The Eagles are also set to re-sign Todd Linden.

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Yakult Going After De La Cruz

» 11 December 2009 » In npb » 2 Comments

When I read on then other day that the Padres had released Eulogio De La Cruz, I thought to myself “I wonder if an NPB team will go after him.” Turns out the Yakult Swallows are doing exactly that. Sanspo says that the Swallows are “going to acquire” De La Cruz, with an official announcement coming next week.

De La Cruz looked good against the Giants this year (I had De La Cruz mixed up with Edward Mujica), De La Cruz certainly fits the profile of hard throwing relievers that NPB teams seem to be targeting this offseason. You’d think that Yakult would be looking for him to step in to the shoes of the departing Ryota Igarasahi, but according to Sanspo they expect him to start.

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Chunichi Signs Four out of The Dominican

» 11 December 2009 » In npb » Comments Off on Chunichi Signs Four out of The Dominican

Chunichi found a gem last year in the previously unheralded Tony Blanco, and is looking for more of the same. The Dragons have been scouting the Dominican this offseason, and came up with four signings:

  • Dionys Cesar
  • Edward Valdez
  • Candido Jesus (ikusei player)
  • Joaquin Santamaria (ikusei player)

All four players have played for MLB affiliated ball and you can easily look up their stats on

Of these four, Cesar is the interesting one. A 15 year minor league veteran, Cesar has never reached the majors, and has spent the last several seasons in the Mexican League. He’s coming off a phenomenal season in Mexico, having hit .380 with 58 walks and only 36 strikeouts. Chunichi sees him as a utility guy who will play in the infield and outfield, taking over for the retired Tomas de la Rosa.

Chunichi has a growing interest in Dominican baseball. In addition to signing all these players, the Dragons employ former NPB slugger Domingo Martinez as a scout, and having been sending players to take part in the Dominican Winter League. I wonder if they’ll eventually set a full-time academy there, like the Carp have.

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Updates: Takahashi, Igarashi

» 11 December 2009 » In mlb prospects » 2 Comments

The respective markets for Ryota Igarashi and Hisanori Takahashi seem to be heating up.

First on Igarashi… I’ve seen Arn Tellem quoted in a couple of places as saying “discussions are progressing. It looks like we’ll have a decision sooner than I thought.” Here’s the breakdown:

  • Sports Hochi says the countdown is running toward a move to the Mets, and that Omar Minaya is getting his intelligence on Igarashi from none other than Bobby Valentine.
  • An earlier Hochi report said that Igarashi’s camp negotiated with the Orioles on the 9th, who would pair him up in the bullpen with Koji Uehara. Hochi also named the Padres and Diamondbacks as interested.
  • Sponichi throws the Yankees in the mix, saying that he could backfill for Brian Bruney or, in the event he is traded, Joba Chamberlain. This feels the most speculative of the rumors we have so far, but Sponichi does quote the projected line on Igarashi’s contract is two years, $2-3m. It wasn’t clear if that $2-3m is annual or cumulative, but either way, two years at $1-3m seems like a reasonable range.

Takahashi is getting less ink but things do seems to be starting to move for him.

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