Tag Archive > Hisahi Iwakuma

Iwakuma Update

» 06 November 2010 » In mlb prospects » 1 Comment

So I’ve already tweeted, the bidding portion of Hisashi Iwakuma’s posting process has come to a conclusion. All that’s been reported so far is that more than one team submitted a bid, but the rumor is that the Mariners put in $13m.

Rakuten has until the 11th to decide whether or not to accept the bid, but I doubt it will take them that long to announce their decision. My guess is that they had already decided how much they are willing to accept, and will make an announcement within a day or two of the Japan Series ending. Early on in this process Rakuten had suggested they wouldn’t accept a bid that was too low. Nikkan Sports had speculated that Rakuten would want 1.5bn yen, which I mistakenly tweeted as Rakuten hoping for $16-17m. Lazy Twitter reporting at its finest; this was Nikkan Sports’ own speculation, and 1.5bn yen is actually about $18.5m at today’s rate.

I’ve been following Ken Rosenthal’s updates on Iwakuma, and he has the Mariners, Rangers and A’s in on the bidding.Seattle’s involvement has been widely reported, and the Rangers’ bid comes as no surprise to me. Texas employs Pacific scout Jim Colborn, and has been in on most of the big pitchers to come out of Japan, including Daisuke Matsuzaka, Junichi Tazawa, and Yusei Kikuchi (though Kikuchi ultimately stayed home). Oakland makes sense as they have Ben Sheets and Eric Chavez coming off the books, and Iwakuma would do well in the Colliseum. And although this isn’t exactly corroborated information, I’ll add that Iwakuma’s agent Don Nomura tweeted that he dreamed that the Diamondbacks on November 4th.

For everything else on Iwakuma, I’ll refer back to my FanGraphs post on him from last month.

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NPB Bullet Points: Brazell Becomes a Dad, KBO Offers for Bobby

» 26 August 2009 » In kbo, npb » 8 Comments

Japanese Stories:

  • Craig Brazell commemorated the birth of his son, Trot, with two home runs in Hanshin’s 9-3 win over Yokohama. Congratulations to the Brazell family!
  • Lotte reportedly has some interest in bringing Julio Zuleta back to Japan. Why? Good question — he wasn’t effective his last few years in Japan, and he got himself released from his Mexican League team early in the season. Lotte team management says he would have to pass a tryout get a contract.
  • Chris Aguila is headed back to the States at the end of the month and is almost certainly done with SoftBank. He only managed to hit .095 and hasn’t played at ichi-gun since May.
  • Yomiuri is considering sending pitcher Norihito Kaneto among others to the Arizona Fall League this year. The team sent a couple of guys to play in the Dominican last winter.
  • “Shaggy” Shugo Fujii has qualified for domestic free agency.
  • It was a “draw”: Hisahi Iwakuma threw 149 pitches over 10 innings on August 25, but Hideaki Wakui threw 162 over nine. Neither pitcher figured in the decision, which Seibu took in a walk-off in the 11th. The winning Lions stormed the field, Taketoshi Gotoh wearing a mask that is supposed to resemble Barrack Obama.
  • Javelin thrower Yukifumi Murakami is reportedly getting a little attention from NPB teams as a pitcher. He supposedly hit 152 kmph (95mph) on the gun in college but maxed out at 142 kmph (87mph) in a recent speed gun competition.

English Stories:

  • Gen passes along a Sponichi report saying that Bobby Valentine is getting offers to manage in Korea.
  • You know those ESPN commercials that make Buster Olney look like an undercover operative or something? It took me two or three times to figure out what he’s supposed to be saying on the phone in Japanese. It’s “Ichiro! My favorite outfielder!” (“Ichiro! Boku no sukina gaiyashu!”).
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