NPB Bullet Points: Coming & Going

» 08 November 2011 » In mlb prospects, nichibei, npb »

Looks like we’re in for a busy offseason on the posting market. Here’s the latest.
  • Like last year, Seibu shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima will again ask his management to send him to MLB via the posting system this offseason. This year, Seibu is expected to grant his wish. Nikkan Sports keeps mentioning the Giants, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Orioles as possibly interested teams, but it’s not clear where that information is coming from.
  • Yakult Swallows centerfielder Norichika Aoki has also petitioned his team to post him, according to Toshiyuki Tachimatsu of the Mainichi News.
  • As of October 26, Chunichi lefty Wei-Yin Chen was 50/50 on moving to MLB, according to the Chunichi Shimbun.
  • Nikkan Sports reports that Hiroshima has an offer out to Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda commented: “I’m happy that they would evaluate my contributions like that. Naturally, I’m happy. A feeling that they really want to win came across. (Hiroshima’s competitiveness this season) has come to a frustrating place, to a place where they are one step away… I’m very happy I got an offer from the Carp.”
  • A number of NPB teams have interest in Kei Igawa, among them Rakuten and Orix, who are both managed by men who managed Igawa with the Hanshin Tigers.

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  1. Patrick
    Dan Koch
    08/11/2011 at 8:13 am Permalink

    Kuroda’s been solid all four years he’s spent in LA. Is there any particular reason he’s intent on hopping back to the NPB?

  2. Patrick
    O D
    08/11/2011 at 8:32 am Permalink

    it is a wild fancy of Hiroshima carp. When Kuroda left japan,i think he said he would come back carp certainly,so fans trust his comment.

  3. Patrick
    08/11/2011 at 10:39 am Permalink

    I don’t blame the Carp for wanting Kuroda back. Maeda + Kuroda + Bully + Fukui + Nomura is potentially a pretty good rotation.

  4. Patrick
    09/11/2011 at 9:42 am Permalink

    Igawa? PLEASE!!! You can have him! At least send us Yankees fans a dozen new baseballs or some good sushi so the contrqct isn’t a total loss!

  5. Patrick
    09/11/2011 at 10:38 am Permalink

    Why the hate for Igawa, and not the guys who signed off on paying him that much? I understand the frustration, but why make Igawa the whipping boy?

  6. Patrick
    Dan Koch
    09/11/2011 at 9:14 pm Permalink

    The Yankee’s handling of Igawa was bizarre, as best detailed by the NY Times:

    [NY Times] Kei Igawa: The Lost Yankee

    It seems that after his initial flop, the Yankees had zero interest in ever getting any value out of him. Even as he pitched decently in AAA and the Yankees rotation employed spot-starting mystery men like Dustin Moseley and Brian Gordon, they left Igawa down almost as a punitive measure.

    He’s still only 32, and his AAA record suggests that he could still be a contributor on an NPB club. I’d definitely be interested, especially since he’s likely hungry to contribute and may be willing to sign cheaply.

  7. Patrick
    10/11/2011 at 4:52 am Permalink

    Aoki posting is official. I expect a few teams to bite at the low end of posting fees, a few million dollars maybe.

    Funnily enough, I think his poor batting record with the new (MLB-like) ball this year, is a good representation of what to expect of him in the majors. Maybe the new ball made NPB to MLB translations of batting stats much easier (though pitching stat translations are now crazy).

  8. Patrick
    Dan Koch
    10/11/2011 at 8:12 am Permalink

    Posting a .290/.360/.360 line as a plus-fielding centerfielder would make Aoki similar to Nyjer Morgan in terms of value. Probably worth about $4-5 million a year to most teams (including the posting fee), although I’m not sure he’d get it given the uncertainty in the NPB-MLB translation.

    I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him back in a Swallows uniform next year.

  9. Patrick
    10/11/2011 at 9:21 am Permalink

    Hmmm… the guy that keeps popping into my head as a comp is Juan Pierre. Contact + speed + good range + weak arm.

    I think the Yankees were really watching Aoki a few years ago, but they have Brett Gardner so that’s not a fit.

    My prediction: he winds with the Rays, makes some adjustments and does pretty well.

  10. Patrick
    Dan Koch
    10/11/2011 at 9:49 am Permalink

    Pierre is a great comp — the skill set is definitely the same.

    I think Aoki would make sense for the Mariners or maybe the Astros. The cavernous Safeco outfield would fit his skills well, and Gutierrez can’t hit *at all*, so I could see him teaming up with Ichiro. The Astros also have a gaping wound at CF since they traded Bourn away, but they’re in the wrong part of the success cycle to be signing free agents, and the ownership situation is going to block any real action.

  11. Patrick
    10/11/2011 at 11:41 am Permalink

    Apparently Manny Ramirez had a tryout with the Hawks but his steroids stories will prevent him from signing :

  12. Patrick
    10/11/2011 at 11:49 am Permalink

    I would be surprised to see Aoki in Seattle
    Gutz is still has a couple years left on his contract and his hitting was improving prior to an injury late in the season.
    Would not be surprised if Gutierrez puts up better offensive numbers next year than Aoki, should he come to the MLB
    Would really like to see Seattle pick up Wei-Yin Chen or possibly Iwakuma

  13. Patrick
    10/11/2011 at 3:56 pm Permalink

    I think Seattle will get Kawasaki not but Aoki.

  14. Patrick
    10/11/2011 at 4:19 pm Permalink

    Will Nakajima stick at SS in MLB?
    The Mariners need an upgrade at 3B
    Based on his numbers with the new ball, his hitting skills may translate to the majors better than Aoki

  15. Patrick
    10/11/2011 at 4:29 pm Permalink

    > Will Nakajima stick at SS in MLB?

    No. He lost some mobility this year and I have concerns about his instincts at SS.

    > The Mariners need an upgrade at 3B

    I don’t know who the M’s have had there but Nakaji has a better shot at 3B than SS for me.

    > Based on his numbers with the new ball, his hitting skills may translate to the majors better than Aoki

    I think he’ll bring more line drive/gap power than Aoki.

  16. Patrick
    18/11/2011 at 3:27 am Permalink

    As a Giants fan i have to say im so unhappy about this all giants related atricles get emailed to me by google please giants this guy wasnt a great hitter in this lower talent league do not pull a Minnesota and sign another terrible weak hitting middle infielder