According to a report posted by Sponichi this morning, thirty-five-year-old Munenori Kawasaki is close to finalizing a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs that will be worth 900,000 US dollars if he makes the MLB roster. The agreement also apparently includes an invite to spring training.
Source: Sponichi 1/4/2017
[UPDATE 1/6 @ 11:42pm]
The Softbank Hawks are planning to continue keeping tabs on Kawasaki. They would like him to return to the organization when he is ready to come back to Japan.
Source: Nikkan Sports 1/6/2017One Comment
Forty-year-old Tomo Ohka is trying to make his back to the MLB. He was in Arizona on November 2 and threw about sixty pitches to four minor league baseball players in front of scouts from a number of MLB teams, including the Rays, Royals, and Orioles.
Ohka has been working on a knuckleball since he was released by Yokohama in 2011. He spent the last two years playing in the Baseball Challenge League.
Source: Sponichi 11/10/2016
The Orioles signed Ohka to a minor league contract on December 16.
Source: Nikkan Sports 12/16/20160 Comments
According to Sponichi, Munenori Kawasaki might be open to returning to the NPB next year. A number of NPB will most likely be interested, but the Softbank Hawks will probably have the upper hand. They have left his uniform number 52 open and might be willing to offer him a three-year deal worth about 1.2 billion yen.
Source: Sponichi 11/4/20160 Comments
Mizuno announced on June 17 that it was going to release a number of items to commemorate Ichiro Suzuki’s 4,257 NPB+MLB hits.
Source: Mizuno announcement (pdf)0 Comments