[11/9/2017] Nippon Ham Fighters to add Michael Tonkin

The Nippon Ham Fighters have reportedly added twenty-seven-year-old Michael Tonkin to their pitching staff. The Pioneer Press’ Mike Berardino‏ tweeted that the pitcher agreed to a two-year contract worth 2.1 million US dollars plus 500,000 US dollars in incentives. The Fighters are planning to use Tonkin as a closer.

Source: Berardino‏ tweet, Daily Sports 11/8/2017Sponichi 11/9/2017, Sanspo 11/9/2017

[UPDATE 11/13 @ 4:21pm]

The Fighters officially announced today that they reached an agreement with Tonkin.

Source: Nippon Ham 11/13/2017

[UPDATE 11/14 @ 12:22am]

According to Japanese reports, Tonkin agreed to a two-year deal that will be worth an estimated 120 million yen next year.

Source: Sanpso 11/13/2017

Comment on "[11/9/2017] Nippon Ham Fighters to add Michael Tonkin"

  • Burly

    mlbtraderumors.com reports that the Twins received $500,000+ for Tonkin’s rights. Tonkin has MLB stuff and should be a star in Japan if he can adjust to NPB’s style of baseball and living in Japan.

    NPB teams are getting more and more sophisticated in identifying the marginal MLB pitchers who can succeed in Japan, but there is still a huge variable in terms of the individual player’s ability to adjust to a very different country and style of baseball played at a high level. KBO teams are now competing for the same starting pitchers and position players NPB used to get, because KBO teams can be more confident of the foreigners competing successfully than can NPB teams, due to the higher level of play in NPB.

    NPB teams are increasingly focusing on foreign relief pitchers, because KBO teams won’t sign them (KBO wants starters), the NPB salary structure highly values closers and top set-up men, and MLB is awash with relievers who are marginal in MLB but could be elite relievers in NPB. The three rich NPB teams, Yomiuri, Hanshin and SoftBank, all received a great deal of performance from their foreign relievers in 2017, and all the other teams in NPB must have taken notice.

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NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 143 88 51 4
Hanshin 143 78 61 4
Yokohama 143 73 65 5
Yomiuri 143 72 68 3
Chunichi 143 59 79 5
Yakult 143 45 96 2
Softbank 143 94 49 0
Seibu 143 79 61 3
Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
Nippon Ham 143 60 83 0
Lotte 143 54 87 2
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