[11/14/2017] Sho Nakata decides to stay with the Fighters

Sho Nakata held a press conference at the Nippon Ham Fighters’ offices on November 14 and announced that he decided not to exercise his free agent option. He told the press that he was able to make the decision after talking it over with his family. He also told the press that he found it difficult to leave after having such a disappointing season.

According to media reports, Nakata agreed to a one-year deal worth an estimated  200 million yen plus incentives (down eighty million yen from this year).

Source: Nippon Ham 11/14/2017, Sponichi 11/14/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2017, Daily Sports 11/14/2017

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[11/14/2017] Kyushu to have one fewer rep in Inter-City Tournament

The Japan Amateur Baseball Association announced a couple changes in the number of representatives they allow per region for the Inter-City Tournament, effective beginning in 2018.

  • the Kyushu region will have one fewer representative, shifting from three to two
  • the Tokyo and Minami Kanto regions will have an extra representative: Tokyo will remain at four and Minami Kanto will shift from two to three

The changes were made based on recent performance data.

Source: Sponichi 11/14/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2017


[11/14/2017] Hanshin Tigers looking into Leonys Martín

The Hanshin Tigers are looking into twenty-nine-year-old Leonys Martín. The Tigers feel he has enough pop to bat fourth for them. They like his speed and his defensive abilities.

Source: Sanspo 11/14/2017


[11/14/2017] Daiki Iwashita has surgery for herniated disc

The Chiba Lotte Marines announced today that Daiki Iwashita had surgery to treat a lumbar herniated disc. He will be able to move around in about a month and resume throwing practices in around two months.

Source: Lotte 11/14/2017Nikkan Sports 11/14/2017


[11/14/2017] Hirotoshi Masui to become a free agent

Thirty-three-year-old Hirotoshi Masui held a press conference at the Nippon Ham Fighters offices in Sapporo today and announced he was going to use his domestic free agent option. He told the media the Fighters are still an option since they told him they wanted him to stay during earlier negotiations. He wants to play for as long as possible and is looking for a long-term deal.

A number of teams, including Yomiuri and Orix, are said to be interested in Masui.

Source: Daily Sports 11/14/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2017, Daily Sports 11/14/2017, Sponichi 11/14/2017

[UPDATE 11/15 @ 1:37am]

The Fighters posted an announcement on their official web site.

Source: Nippon Ham 11/15/2017

[UPDATE 11/15 @ 1:47pm]

The Buffaloes might build off a four-year contract.

The Fighters’ offer may have been two years at a total over 440 million yen (Masui made an estimated 220 million yen this year).

Source: Sports Hochi 11/15/2017, Sanspo 11/15/2017

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[11/13/2017] NPB to implement a Request system

The NPB decided to approve the use “Reqests” next season. The Request system will allow managers the chance to ask umpires to review replay footage. Use of the Request system will begin during exhibition play next year and will then be used for all regular season games.

Footage used for television broadcast will be used for the Request system. Umpires will have to make decisions within five minutes. Managers will have two requests per game (the request will be retained if the call is overturned). Requests will be reset in extra innings and managers will get one request.

Requests cannot be used for the following:

  • balls and strikes
  • check swings
  • foul balls / obstruction
  • offensive interference
  • infield flies
  • fouls ball hit in front of umpires
  • balks

The NPB decided to use the word “request” because a lot of the work will still have to be handled by umpires at the game since the league cannot afford to install complete replay systems at every stadium and hire extra staff that specifically handles the requests.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/13/2017, Sponichi 11/13/2017, Daily Sports 11/13/2017Daily Sports 11/13/2017, Sanspo 11/13/2017


[11/13/2017] Kenji Akashi not going to use FA option

Kenji Akashi spoke to reporters after fall camp practice on November 13 and indicated that he was not going to use his domestic free agent option. He said even though he wanted to talk to other teams, he decided to stay because he wanted to play for a strong team and felt there was still something for him to accomplish with the Softbank Hawks.

Source: Sponichi 11/13/2017, Sanspo 11/13/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/13/2017

[UPDATE 11/14 @ 3:34pm]

The Softbank Hawks may have offered Akashi a multi-year deal.

Akashi earned his domestic option in May. The Hawks reportedly asked him to stay in June.

Source: Sponichi 11/14/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2017, Sports Hochi 11/14/2017

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[11/13/2017] Ginjiro Sumitani not planning to use FA option

Ginjiro Sumitani has decided not to use his international free agent option. He informed the Seibu Lions of his decision on November 12. Sumitani finished the second year of a two-year contract and considered exercising his option for a chance to talk to other teams, but ultimately decided to stay put because of his love for the team.

Sumitani sat down with the Lions twice after the season. He will most likely sign a one-year contract, even though he was reportedly offered another two-year deal.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/13/2017, Daily Sports 11/13/2017, Sponichi 11/13/2017

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[11/13/2017] Ryoma Nogami planning to exercise FA option

Ryoma Nogami has informed the Seibu Lions that he plans to exercise his domestic free agent option. Senior Director Hisanobu Watanabe told reporters on November 13 that Nogami contacted the club on November 12. Remaining with the Lions is still an option, but a number of teams, like Yokohama and Hanshin, are also said to be interested in his services.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/13/2017, NHK 11/13/2017

[UPDATE 11/14 @ 3:50pm]

The Lions have a multi-year offer on the table with Nogami.

Source: Sponichi 11/14/2017

[UPDATE 11/15 @ 1:14am]

Nogami held a press conference at MetLife Dome on November 14 and informed the media he filed for free agency on November 13. He said he struggled with his decision, but ultimately wanted the opportunity to talk to other teams. He also said it helped that the Lions were okay with him staying even if he exercised his option.

Source: Tokyo Sports 11/14/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/14/2017, Sponichi 11/14/2017

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[11/13/2017] Additional 2017 NPB Awards

2017 Commissioner Awards

Special Award

  • Dennis Sarfate (Softbank)
    * for setting a new NPB record with fifty-four saves
  • Takahiro Norimoto (Rakuten)
    * for setting a new NPB record with eight consecutive double-digit strikeout games
  • Hitoki Iwase (Chunichi)
    * for being the first pitcher in NPB history to pitch in 950 games

2017 Pacific League Awards

Manager of the Year

  • Kimiyasu Kudo (Softbank)
    * guided the Hawks to their second Nippon Series championship in three years

Achievement Award

  • Tadahito Iguchi (Lotte)
    * for his contributions over his long career

2017 Central League Awards

Manager of the Year

  • Koichi Ogata (Hiroshima)
    * managed the Carp

Comeback Award

  • Hitoki Iwase (Chunichi)
    * pitched in fifty or more games in fifteen consecutive seasons between 1999 and 2012, then forty-nine games over the next three years, before he appeared in fifty games this year.
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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