More Acquisitions: Park, Leach

» 20 December 2010 » In nichibei, npb »

More acquisitions to report today…

  • Always-on readers passerby and DeGavph shared links showing the Orix has acquired pitcher Chan Ho Park. Park is the second Korean star Orix has added this offseason, the first being former Yomiuri Giant Seung-Yeop Lee.
  • Meanwhile, I heard from a source that Yokohama has signed lefthanded pitcher Brent Leach. Leach has five years experience in the Dodgers system, including 20.1 innings at the MLB level in 2009.

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  1. Patrick
    20/12/2010 at 2:27 pm Permalink

    Is there no one among the Buffalo fans alarmed that Orix is making moves more for the benefit of their “parent firm” the Orix Group, instead of actually go win some Series or league title (連盟首位)?

    For the past 4 seasons, the Orix has one of NPB’s best pitching staff, de-facto, if you look at their overall stuff and K/BB as a group. The last thing they need to worry about is pitching, but they’ve been adding quite some “suke-bito” as in foreign players the past couple of days, esp. washed-up, aged Korean players who past their prime. And of course, they love Takashiro who can bring back whatever insider’s trade he learned from the Hanhwa Eagles in KBO.

    Moreover, the ballclub got rid of a few coaches and relative personnel that built this pitching staff–scout Fujii, anyone? Way bigger an impact than Alderson’s new experiment, a.k.a. Collins. The Orix batting order is still relatively weak (some contact and power from the old Cabrera et al., but “B-class” on-base).

    Anyway, this is a bad direction for the club, IMHO.

  2. Patrick
    20/12/2010 at 5:19 pm Permalink

    I’d have to agree that Orix getting Lee and Park at the same time (pretty costly too I bet… I don’t exactly know how much they’re paying Park but it must be a lot) was mostly for marketing purposes. Maybe Orix is trying to win over Osaka fans starting with the many Koreans living there. But at the same time I’m also picking up uncomfty rumors that Orix group bought a Korean finance firm and plans to extend business there. Hmm….

    Well, at least Park still has some good stuff left so this is not all bad. Sadly Lee’s not even half the man he used to be when he was with Lotte. I wouldn’t expect too much from him.

    There may be one more Korean washed-up star contract coming. High possibilities Byung-hyun Kim may be signing with Rakuten.

  3. Patrick
    20/12/2010 at 5:51 pm Permalink

    It’s Orix. Japanese fans know well what kind of company it is. I pasted a link in the comment section of the last article about Orix’s recent move. Unfortunately, you have to be able to read Japanese well to understand.

  4. Patrick
    20/12/2010 at 6:03 pm Permalink

    I wonder what Hessman does now. Lee and Park will be there no matter what. Okada likes Baldiris and he earned his spot. Figaro naturally occupies the last spot.

  5. Patrick
    20/12/2010 at 10:48 pm Permalink

    Orix’s direction is worthy of a full post, but here are some thoughts:

    1. I mostly agree with passerby’s assessment of the foreign roster, although I don’t think they’ll necessarily hand Lee a job. I think he and Hessman will have to compete for the slot. Hessman also gives Orix some depth at 3B in case Baldiris runs into trouble. The guy that is really on the outside looking in is Francisco Caraballo, who hit surprisingly well after he signed last year.

    2. Orix’s starting pitching is pretty good — they have a legitimate ace (Kaneko), a good innings-eater (Kisanuki), an underrated #3 man (Kondo) and three talented injury question marks (Komatsu, Terahara, Hasegawa). Then there’s Park and Figaro, which brings me to my next point: the Buffaloes didn’t have a great late-innings relief presence last year, so I wonder if one of Park or Figaro could be destined for the bullpen.

    3. Orix’s lineup was actually pretty good relative to the league last year. They finished third in runs scored and second in home runs. There are some qualifiers though: they piled up runs in interleague games, and they got offense from some unexpected sources (Baldiris, Kitagawa, Caraballo; even Shogo Akada chipped in 8 HR). And of course, losing Cabrera doesn’t help. So the offense is okay.

    So overall I like what Orix is doing. But then again I thought they would stay competitive after Daijiro Ohishi took them to a second place finish a few years ago, but that fell apart right away. And I wish Tuffy Rhodes could have gotten a proper sendoff.

  6. Patrick
    20/12/2010 at 11:02 pm Permalink


    Maybe not great, but you have to mention Hirano and Kishida for relievers.

  7. Patrick
    20/12/2010 at 11:21 pm Permalink

    Yeah, Kishida’s good. Hirano put up really strong numbers last year but I must admit I don’t know much about him. Look at how his velocity increased after moving to the bullpen:

    Another guy I didn’t mention was Furukawa, who was a rookie last year. I actually thought he looked pretty good last year, and he could see more innings in 2011.

    Orix could still use some bullpen depth though.

  8. Patrick
    20/12/2010 at 11:49 pm Permalink


    May you post the link again?


    Very helpful tool, by the way. I enjoyed “reading” the velocity-to-time chart.

    Since you mentioned, I went back to BIS’s record. I must complain that a few links on the 2009 official stat page for the Pa-league was wrong (if you click 2008 it brings you to the Ce-league 2008).

    So yeah, last year the Orix on-base was behind Seibu by 7 points; two years ago, behind Rakuten by 1 point. “A-class.” They simply need a few bats as an insurance and perhaps bring them over the top.

    This condition, though, still makes a big part of my point earlier that the Orix ballclub, by letting go of those personnel, Fujii, among many others, who built an “A-class” team the last three years, might not turn ashes into a statue.

    I should feel glad. At least for the mid-term run, the Orix is less of a threat to the Marines.

  9. Patrick
    21/12/2010 at 1:20 am Permalink


    Here you go.

    I guess the purchase is complete now, not just a rumor as indicated by DeGavph.

  10. Patrick
    21/12/2010 at 2:20 am Permalink

    that’s a press release from Orix about them buying Pureun Mutual Bank of Korea.

    as for Chopper’s contract, Heyman of SI said it was about 1 million, but it’s more like 3 million dollars for one year. Guess Chopper wanted some coin and the chance to start again.

  11. Patrick
    21/12/2010 at 2:26 am Permalink

    oops…looks like 2.2 million for 1 year for Chopper.

  12. Patrick
    21/12/2010 at 4:48 am Permalink

    I checked out the contents of Chop’s contract and it seems that it’s 1.2 mil bucks and plus a 1mil option. That makes it max 2.2mil just like Dan said.

    Also there’s this clause that says Orix donates 10000yen per each inning Chop pitches to charity and supports little league baseball in Korea or something. Very “Chop” contract I must say…

    Moreover as Dan said he’s signed as a starter (no big surprise there, he’s always had this ‘thing’ for starting) so I don’t think he’ll be moving to the pen unless something comes up. I don’t know the contents of Figaro’s contract at the moment but the chances of him moving to the pen may be a lot higher than Chop.

  13. Patrick
    21/12/2010 at 7:58 am Permalink
  14. Patrick
    21/12/2010 at 9:44 am Permalink

    Thanks for the pic. Always liked those whiskers.

    Hmm.. that’s the Orix road jersey isn’t it? Maybe they used that one because the press conference took place “away” in Seoul?

  15. Patrick
    21/12/2010 at 11:15 am Permalink

    The road jersey has a big ORIX logo on the chest. That’s why.

  16. Patrick
    21/12/2010 at 4:52 pm Permalink


    Oh, I thought you said that j-cast news page has a discussion, or fan commenting what they thought of it… Can’t find it on there.



  17. Patrick
    22/12/2010 at 9:48 pm Permalink


    What little knowledge about high school baseball I have finally paid off. The uniform of Tokai University Sagami High School in Uganda!

    Looks like a very interesting documentary.

  18. Patrick
    22/12/2010 at 10:14 pm Permalink

    Wow, good find. And small world — I wrote a few articles for last year.