NPB Bullet Points: Late Contracts, New Uniforms

» 30 January 2011 » In npb »

We interrupt our series of 2011 offseason reviews to bring you a bullet list of news items from around NPB. All links in Japanese.

  • Beom-Ho Lee has left the Softbank Hawks and will join the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization. Lee hit .205 in 132 at-bats last year, and was well-down the Hawks’ depth chart for this season. He had said that he would go back to Korea if he couldn’t stick at third base, so I give him credit for sticking to his words.
  • In other Hawks news, Hitoshi Tamura finally signed for 2011, agreeing to a one-year deal that will pay a JPY 180m salary. Softbank had offered a multi-year deal but he wanted a one-year deal, saying that he can perform better.
  • Hiroyuki Nakajima was another late signing, agreeing to a JPY 280m salary for 2011. He’ll gun for MLB again next offseason.
  • Craig Brazell has arrived in Japan, and from the looks of things he came straight from the golf course.
  • The Nippon Ham Fighters have unveiled their new uniforms
  • Wladimir Balentien brought his PlayStation 3 to camp, with the idea that he could get to know his teammates over a couple of auto racing games during the spring. He impressed the author of the linked Sponichi article by arriving in Okinawa early and working out on consecutive days.
  • Hideaki Wakui had his salary dispute with Seibu settled in a rare NPB arbitration case, reports Naoko Toyakoshi of Nikkan Sports. Wakui will see his salary rise to JPY 253m, a little short of the JPY 270m he had requested.
  • Meanwhile, Hanshin ace Yasutomo Kubo has yet to renew for 2011 and could wind up paying his own way to camp.
  • Rakuten items: Kazuo Matsui and Akinori Iwamura modeled their Eagles uniforms at K-Sta; later new manager Senichi Hoshino led his team to a pre-camp shrine visit on a snowy day in Sendai; Byung-Hyun Kim was also introduced in the snow.

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  1. Patrick
    30/01/2011 at 11:36 pm Permalink

    Since Beom-ho’s old team is the Hanhwa Eagles, I think it’ll be correct in the strict sense to say “join” the Kia Tigers instead of “re-join”. And speaking of Lee, I thought he had a 2 year contract… So, what happens to his second year salary? If Softbank decided to just pay it themselves and let Lee go back home, they are way, way cool indeed.

    Nippon Ham’s new jerseys…. can’t say that’s an improvement…

  2. Patrick
    30/01/2011 at 11:42 pm Permalink

    Yeah, you’re right about Lee & Hanhwa. I forgot about that, and I have fixed it. I’m assuming he’s walking away from his 2011 NPB salary, or a large portion of it, which is why I give him credit for staying true to his words.

  3. Patrick
    30/01/2011 at 11:51 pm Permalink

    Here’s a little more on Lee:

    He had been negotiating with Hanhwa but talks broke down. The article implies that he’ll actually be on the hook for a breach of contract penalty to Softbank, but I would hope they waive that.

  4. Patrick
    31/01/2011 at 1:49 am Permalink


    I thought Lee’d stay and have another go but if Softbank doesn’t have to pay him and Lee gets 3rd base at Kia, perhaps that’s the best turnout for everybody.