NPB Bullet Points: Foreign Players
A few notes on NPB’s sukketo-tachi, all in Japanese.
- Retired Cuban slugger Omar Linares, who spent the last few years of his career in Japan with Chunichi, is returning to Japan as a coach for Cuba’s entry in this year’s World University Baseball Championship.
- Hanshin is saying they’re going to keep both Craig Brazell (30 HR) and Matt Murton (.351 AVG) for 2011. Brazell will be a free agent and figures to get a hefty raise from the $800k he’s earning, while Murton, according to the linked article, has a second year on his contract which is structured as a buyout. I’ve seen this referred to in other articles as an option, which I guess is functionally similar. Either way, the team gets to choose whether to keep him in 2011, though a buyout suggests there is a payment attached if they don’t. That would seem to make it even more of a no-brainer.
- Speaking of Murton, he and Kenji Johjima visited the Osaka University Children’s Hospital on their off-day Monday.
- Brett Harper is off to a torrid start in Japan — 10 for his first 21 with 3 HR. Here’s a pic of him connecting off Kenta Maeda on the 13th.
- Orix has placed new signee Francisco Caraballo on it’s regular roster, and passed on signing Hyang-Nam Choi.