YAK

[12/25/2018] Yakult Swallows finalize contracts with Balentien, Buchanan, Huff, McGough, Suarez

The Yakult Swallows announced that they finalized salaries and contracts for five foreign players.

  • Wladimir Balentien – one-year contract at four million US dollars (up one million US dollars)
  • David Buchanan – second year of a two-year contract at 2.5 million US dollars (up 1.25 million US dollars)
  • David Huff – one-year contract at 650,000 US dollars (down 650,000 US dollars)
  • Scott McGough – one-year contract at 450,000 US dollars, uniform number 37
  • Albert Suarez – one-year contract at 500,000 US dollars, uniform number 70

(Salaries are estimates)

Source: Yakult 12/25/2018, Tokyo Sports 12/25/2018, Nikkan Sports 12/25/2018, Sponichi 12/25/2018, Sports Hochi 12/25/2018, Daily Sports 12/25/2018, Daily Sports 12/25/2018

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HAM

[12/25/2018] Kensuke Tanaka to retire after 2019 season

Thirty-seven-year-old Kensuke Tanaka spoke to the media today after meeting the Nippon Ham Fighters to finalize his contract for the 2019 season and announced his plan to retire after the season. He told reporters that he decided to make the announcement early because he wanted to make it easier on everyone. The Fighters asked him to reconsider because he might feel differently later on, but his mind was set: there was a growing gap between what he thought he could do and what he could actually do.

Source: Nippon Ham 12/25/2018, Nikkan Sports 12/25/2018, Daily Sports 12/25/2018

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SOF

[12/23/2018] Akira Nakamura signs four-year contract

Twenty-nine-year-old Akira Nakamura spoke to reporters after contract negotiations with the Softbank Hawks on December 22. Nakamura agreed to an estimated 240 million yen next year (up 80 million over this season). He also signed a four-year contract with a variable salary (his salary can not go below 240 million yen but can increase, without limit, based on performance), ahead of the domestic free agent option he is slated to earn some time next season.

Source: Sponichi 12/23/2018, Sponichi 12/22/2018, Sanspo 12/22/2018, Nikkan Sports 12/23/2018, Nikkan Sports 12/22/2018, Tokyo Sports 12/22/2018, Sports Hochi 12/22/2018

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HIR

[12/21/2018] Ryosuke Kikuchi would like to be posted

Twenty-eight-year-old Ryosuke Kikuchi agreed to an estimated salary of 240 million yen in 2019 (up 50 million yen from this season). During a press conference on December 21, Kikuchi told reporters that he informed the Hiroshima Carp that he wanted to play in the Majors and hoped to be posted before he earns his international free agent option.

Kikuchi is slated to earn his domestic free agent option next year. Assuming no injuries, he should be on track to earn his international free agent option two years after that (some time in 2021).

Source: ZakZak 12/21/2018,, Sports Hochi 12/21/2018, Daily Sports 12/21/2018, Sponichi 12/21/2018, Nikkan Sports 12/21/2018, Sanspo 12/21/2018

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YAK

[12/21/2018] Tomotaka Sakaguchi agrees to three-year contract

Thirty-four-year-old Tomotaka Sakaguchi finalized to a new three-year contract with the Yakult Swallows on December 21. The contract does not have a set salary, which means it will fluctuate year to year. His salary in 2019 will be an estimated 140 million yen, up 40 million yen from this year.

Source: Daily Sports 12/21/2018, Sports Hochi 12/21/2018, Sponichi 12/21/2018, Sanspo 12/21/2018

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ENEOS Samurai Japan Series 2019 Japan vs Mexico

Series Information

  • Dates: March 9 (Sat), 10 (Sun), 2019
  • Times: 19:00 (both games)
  • Venue: Kyocera Dome

Tickets

  • Advance Tickets
    • Lawson Ticket HMV Premium/Lencore Members
      December 22, 2018 @ 12:00 – January 26, 2019 @ 12:00
    • Lawson Ticket Prerequest Members
      December 23, 2018 @ 12:00 – January 26, 2019 @ 12:00
    • e plus/Ticket PIA
      January 19, 2019 @ 12:00 – January 26, 2019 @ 12:00
  • Regular Tickets
    • January 27, 2019 @ 11:00 –
  • Tickets start at 1,500 yen (infield/outfield non-reserved) and go up to 20,000 yen (field seat S).

Ticket Packages

  • Game 1 – Commemorative Ball
    • Reserved S – 6,500 yen
    • Reserved A – 5,000 yen
    • Reserved B – 3,500 yen
  • Game 2 – Replica Uniform
    • Reserved S – 6,500 yen
    • Reserved A – 5,000 yen
    • Reserved B – 3,500 yen
  • Games 1 and 2 – Watch
    • Premium Seat – 8,500 yen
  • Games 1 and 2 – Glove
    • Reserved S – 10,000 yen

Rules

  • DH rules for all games
  • WBSC baseball
  • Tie games after nine innings will end in a draw
  • No called games
  • Twenty-eight players per team each game

Source: Samurai Japan 11/30/2018, Ticketing Page

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[12/20/2018] Shohei Otani wins 2018 Japan Pro Sports Award

Shohei Otani won the top 2018 Japan Pro Sports award today.

Other baseball awards:

Outstanding Performance (殊勲賞)

  • Softbank Hawks

Best Rookie of the Year (最高新人賞)

  • Katsuki Azuma

Rookie of the Year (新人賞)

  • Katsuki Azuma

Source: Japan Professional Sports Association

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HAN ORI

[12/20/2018] Daichi Takeyasu heading to Orix as FA compensation package

The Orix Buffaloes and Hanshin Tigers announced that the Buffaloes selected twenty-four-year-old Daichi Takeyasu as part of their free agent compensation package for Yuki Nishi. The Tigers released the following comment from Takeyasu.

I’m surprised by this sudden development. The Tigers selected me in the draft even though I was hurt, so it pains me to leave like this, but I will refocus my efforts as a member of Orix and will do my best to become a pitcher that can make Orix fans happy.

Source: Orix 12/20/2018, Hanshin 12/20/2018

[UPDATE 12/27 @ 10:29pm]

The Buffaloes announced that Takeyasu was assigned the uniform number 21.

Source: Orix 12/26/2018

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RAK

[12/20/2018] Rakuten uniform number, position, name changes

The Rakuten Eagles announced the following changes:

Registered Position Change

  • Takero Okajima = OF → C

Registered Name Change

  • Takumaru Yaoita = 八百板 卓丸 (Yaoita Takumaru) → 卓丸 (Takumaru)

Uniform Number Assignments

  • Alan Busenitz = 32
  • Jabari Blash = 69

Source: Rakuten 12/20/2018

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YOM

[12/20/2018] Yomiuri Giants uniform number changes

The Yomiuri Giants announced the following uniform numbers changes:

  • Shun Yamaguchi = 42 → 11
  • Tomoyuki Sugano = 19 → 18
  • Koji Uehara = 11 → 19
  • Kazuto Taguchi = 90 → 28
  • Seishu Hatake = 28 → 31
  • Toshiki Sakurai = 36 → 35
  • C. C. Mercedes = 95 → 42
  • Mitsuo Yoshikawa = 21 → 47
  • Taylor Jungmann = 39 → 49
  • Shingo Usami = 27 → 32
  • Daiki Yoshikawa = 68 → 00
  • Shunta Tanaka = 63 → 51
  • Daiki Masuda = 98 → 63
  • Shingo Ishikawa = 49 → 36
  • Soichiro Tateoka = 58 → 39
  • Alex Guerrero = 5 → 44
  • Hirotaka Yonahara = 91 → 023

Source: Yomiuri 12/20/2018

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
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
G W L T
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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