[8/30/2016] Hanshin Tigers could explore FA market this year

Sponichi is reporting that the Hanshin Tigers are interested in exploring the free agent market this year. They were relatively quiet last winter because new manager Tomoaki Kanemoto did not want the team to add any players that might block younger players in the organization.

When Kanemoto accepted the managerial job last October, he asked the front office for time to work with some of the internal talent. Now that he has had a chance to check player abilities in person, he may be ready to turn to outside options for the 2017.

The Tigers have already started checking the market in the United States, but signing new talent from the US can be risky. There is also a risk in the domestic market, since not every player wants to exercise their FA option. It can also be difficult to gauge a players interest. But the domestic market could also be very deep this year: Orix’s Yoshio Itoi, Chunichi’s Yohei Oshima and Nippon Ham’s Daikang Yoh all earned their domestic options this year and all might be open to using their options. They also fit into Kanemoto’s current style: using players with good overall mobility.

Source: Sponichi 8/30/2016

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 143 89 52 2
Yomiuri 143 71 69 3
Yokohama 143 69 71 3
Hanshin 143 64 76 3
Yakult 143 64 78 1
Chunichi 143 58 82 3
G W L T
Nippon Ham 143 87 53 3
Softbank 143 83 54 6
Lotte 143 72 68 3
Seibu 143 64 76 3
Rakuten 143 62 78 3
Orix 143 57 83 3