Tag Archive: Rumor Mill


[11/28/2017] Nippon Ham Fighters interested in Kazunari Sanematsu

The Nippon Ham Fighters are interested in Yomiuri senryokugai Kazunari Sanematsu. The Fighters are thinking about offering him a contract as a player/coach. They also might be looking at him as insurance (back-up plan) in case Shota Ono decides to sign with another team.

Source: Sponichi 11/28/2017

[UPDATE 12/31 @ 12:41am]

The Fighters announced on December 4 that they added Sanematsu to their team as a player/Ikusei coach. He was assigned the uniform number 90.

Source: Nippon Ham 12/4/2017, Nippon Ham 12/4/2017


[11/27/2017] Hiroshima makes Jay Jackson an offer

The media learned on November 26 that the Hiroshima Carp offered thirty-year-old Jay Jackson a contract for the 2018 season. According to Sponichi, the Carp exercised a team option and made their offer. They are hoping for a decision before the end of the year.

The Carp are also looking to sign another pitcher that can start and relieve. They are planning to go into the 2018 season with six foreign players on their seventy-man roster (Kris Johnson, Brad Eldred, Xavier Batista, and Alejandro Mejia).

Source: Daily Sports 11/27/2017, Sponichi 11/27/2017


[2017 Free Agency] Shinya Tsuruoka Rumors

Date Team Update
@ 3:58p
Nippon Ham Tsuruoka agreed to a two-year deal worth an estimated thirty million yen plus incentives. Sponichi 12/18/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/18/2017
@ 3:32p
Nippon Ham Tsuruoka met the Fighters for a second time in Sapporo on December 18. A press conference is scheduled for the same day. Sponichi 12/18/2017, Sanspo 12/18/2017
@ 1:29a
Nippon Ham Tsuruoka met with the Fighters at a hotel in Sapporo on November 3. The Fighters showed strong interest by offering a multi-year deal. Tsuruoka was grateful for the meeting and is open to returning to his former team. Daily Sports 12/3/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/3/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/3/2017Sponichi 12/3/2017
@ 2:59p
Nippon Ham The Fighters announced that they are scheduled to meet Tsuruoka in Sapporo on November 3. They see as someone that can still contribute at Ichi-gun. Sanspo 12/1/2017
@ 2:53
Nippon Ham The Fighters are planning to sit down with Tsuruoka within the next few days. They could reach an agreement before the end of the year. Daily Sports 11/30/2017, Daily Sports 11/30/2017
@ 10:28p
Tsuruoka told reporters on November 24 that he has been carrying his mobile phone around with him, but has not received any offers. He did receive a call from Softbank Hawks Chairman Sadaharu Oh. Oh told Tsuruoka he supported his decision to exercise his free agent option. Nikkan Sports 11/25/2017

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[2017 Free Agency] Yoshihisa Hirano Rumors

Date Team Update
@ 10:17a
Hirano has apparently narrowed down his option to fewer than six teams. Top possibilities might include the Giants and Athletics. Daily Sports 12/21/2017
@ 3:00p
The media learned today that Hirano and his family left for the United States out of Narita Airport on December 19. He will most likely meet his agent (John Boggs) and possibly visit cities and facilities of teams that have an interest in him. Some teams that might have an interest: Tigers, Cubs, Padres, Rangers, Cardinals, and Red Sox. Sponichi 12/20/2017, Sports Hochi 12/20/2017, Sanspo 12/20/2017
@ 10:49p
MLB Hirano has received a two-year offer. Daily Sports 12/15/2017
@ 4:44p
MLB Hirano has already apparently received a multi-year offer. He might be able to make a decision before Christmas. Sponichi 12/14/2017
@ 11:26a
MLB Eight MLB teams might be interested in Hirano. Sponichi 12/12/2017
@ 3:32a
MLB The Tigers are interested in Hirano. Other teams with interest could include the Cubs, Red Sox, and Rangers. Sports Hochi 12/9/2017, Sponichi 12/9/2017
@ 10:21p
Hirano spoke to reporters on November 24 for the first time since he officially became a free agent and said that he had yet to hear from his agent. He hopes to have some sort of a decision before the end of December. Sanspo 11/25/2017
@ 2:39a
MLB The Cardinals might be interested. Daily Sports 11/16/2017

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[11/24/2017] Chunichi planning to sign two foreign position players

Shigekazu Mori spoke to reporters after the Chunichi Dragons’ last meeting of the year on November 24. He told them that they were planning to sign two new foreign position players and one Ikusei foreign catcher. One of the position players will be a switch-hitter.

Mori also restated that the Dragons are not going to get into a bidding war for Alex Guerrero and that it could not be helped if he decided to go somewhere else.

Source: Sponichi 11/24/2017, Sanspo 11/24/2017

[UPDATE 11/26 @ 3:02am]

The two players the Dragons are planning to sign could be thirty-year-old Pedro Alvarez and twenty-eight-year-old Zoilo Almonte.

Source: Sponichi 11/25/2017, Sanspo 11/25/2017

[UPDATE 11/30 @ 3:01pm]

The Dragons are apparently planning to sign twenty-six-year-old Steven Moya (not Alvarez) and Zoilo Almonte.

Source: Daily Sports 11/30/2017

[UPDATE 12/3 @ 4:58am]

Nikkan Sports is reporting that twenty-one-year-old Ariel Martinez might be the catcher the Dragons are looking to sign to an Ikusei contract.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/2/2017

[UPDATE 12/4 @ 1:57am]

According to Sponichi, local media is reporting that Moya agreed to a one-year contract with the Dragons.

Source: Sponichi 12/3/2017

[UPDATE 12/20 @ 2:35pm]

The Dragons are planning to sign Martinez to an Ikusei contract.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/20/2017


[2017 Posting] Shohei Otani Rumors

Date Team Update
@ 12:42a
Otani had PRP therapy on his right elbow in October as a preventative measure. MLB teams were informed about the procedure. Yahoo Sports is reporting that Otani has a “damaged ulnar collateral ligament.” Tokyo Sports 12/13/2017, Sanspo 12/13/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/13/2017Sports Illustrated 12/11/2017Yaho Sports 12/13/2017
@ 11:16a
The Fighters are planning to hold a farewell press conference at Sapporo Dome for Otani next year in January. Sponichi 12/12/2017
@ 11:15a
Otani returned to Japan on December 12 and went back to his dorm at the Fighters Ni-gun facilities in Kamagaya. He will resume his rehab training until he heads back to the US for spring training. ZakZak 12/12/2017, Sponichi 12/12/2017
@ 10:53p
MLB Otani selected the Angels. MLB.com
@ 4:42a
Otani was posted on December 1 (US time). Teams will have until December 22 (US time) to sign him. MLB.com 12/1/2017Daily Sports 12/2/2017, Sponichi 12/2/2017
@ 2:24p
Otani flew out of Haneda Airport on the evening of November 29 and arrived in Los Angeles on November 30 (Japan time), most likely to meet with his agent ahead of his posting. He did not speak to the media before he climbed into a car waiting for him at the airport. Otani is traveling with a interpreter from the Fighters. ZakZak 11/30/2017, Tokyo Sports 11/30/2017, Sponichi 11/30/2017, Daily Sports 11/30/2017
@ 11:05p 
Otani is asking MLB clubs to: evaluate Otani as a two-way player, pitcher, or hitter; describe player development, medical and training philosophies and facilities; give information on major league, minor league, and spring training facilities; show how teams plan to help Otani adjust to the new culture; outline life after signing with teams; show the benefits of having Otani; provide characteristics of the team. Daily Sports 11/26/2017
@ 2:41a
The Nippon Ham Fighters are expected to post Otani on December 2. Sanspo 11/22/2017
@ 2:34a
According to Sanspo, sixteen MLB teams are currently interested in Otani. Sanspo 11/22/2017

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[11/21/2017] Wladimir Balentien will most likely return to Yakult in 2018

According to report posted by Sports Hochi, Wladimir Balentien will most likely return to the Yakult Swallows in 2018 with a one-year deal in the three million US dollar range. The two sides are said to be in the in final stages of negotiations. An announcement could be made soon.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/21/2017

[UPDATE 11/22 @ 2:58pm]

The Swallows would like to make an announcement before the end of the month, ahead of the deadline for teams to file their list of reserved players.

Source: Sponichi 11/22/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/22/2017


[2017 Posting] Kazuhisa Makita Rumors

Date Team Update
1/9/2018 Makita signed a management contract with Yoshimoto Creative Agency. Sponichi 1/8/2018
@ 2:10p
Seibu does not think a decision on Makita will be made before the end of the year. Sponichi 12/24/2017
@ 10:52p
The Rangers are interested in Makita. Other teams could include the Blue Jays and White Sox. Sponichi 12/16/2017, Tokyo Sports 12/16/2017, Sanspo 12/16/2017
@ 1:34a
The Seibu Lions announced that they filed paperwork to post Makita on December 11. Seibu 12/11/2017
@ 3:42a
The media learned on December 8 that Makita will most likely be posted some time next week. Sponichi 12/9/2017
@ 1:54p
Makita has apparently hired Steve Hilliard to represent him. Sponichi 12/1/2017
@ 10:07p
Makita could stay with the Lions depending on the kind of offers he receives. He said on November 23, “Will I get a major league offer? Do I stay if I get a minor league offer, or do I still go? Something I have to think about.” Sponichi 11/23/2017, Daily Sports 11/23/2017
@ 12:43a
Makita told reporters that he was going to wait for the offers to arrive and then pick the one with the best terms. Nikkan Sports 11/21/2017
@ 1:19a
Makita felt a strong push to try for the Majors after he pitched in a game against the Netherlands during this year’s World Baseball Classic, though he first told the Seibu Lions about his desire to go to the Majors during contract negotiations in 2014. He is prepared to wait into the New Year. Sponichi 11/19/2017, Daily Sports 11/19/2017

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[2017 Free Agency] Ryoma Nogami Rumors

Date Team Update
@ 3:47p
Seibu If the Lions decide to take a player as part of their compensation for losing Nogami, Hatsuhiko Tsuji would like them to go after a pitcher. Daily Sports 11/29/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/29/2017, Sponichi 11/29/2017
@ 1:56a
Seibu Nogami contacted the Lions on November 27 to let them know he will be signing with another team. Sanspo 11/28/2017, ZakZak 11/28/2017
@ 3:17p
Yomiuri The media is reporting that Nogami has decided to sign with the Giants. He may have agreed to a three-year deal worth around 400 to 450 million yen. Nikkan Sports 11/28/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/28/2017, Sports Hochi 11/28/2017, Sponichi 11/28/2017, Daily Sports 11/28/2017
@ 9:33p
Yomiuri The Giants may have come out on top. There could be announcement of a deal some time soon. Tokyo Sports 11/27/2017
@ 6:21p
Yomiuri Giants GM Yoshitaka Katori told reporters on November 25 that they were interest in Nogami because of his durability and overall make-up (not just counting numbers like wins). Katori feels Nogami has the ability to become a number two or three pitcher in their rotation. Nikkan Sports 11/26/2017, Sponichi 11/26/2017, Daily Sports 11/26/2017
@ 9:49pm
Nogami admitted on November 23 that he has received a number of offers and hoped to make a decision by early-December. Daily Sports 11/23/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/23/2017
@ 2:51p
Seibu The Lions offered Nogami a three-year deal. Sponichi 11/22/2017
@ 12:25a
Yomiuri The Giants are looking into Nogami because they are still not sure where Miles Mikolas is going to end up next year. Nikkan Sports 11/21/2017
@ 12:40a
Yokohama The Bay Stars are expected to reach out to Nogami. Sports Hochi 11/19/2017
@ 12:30a
Seibu The Lions are not planning to sit down with Nogami again because they feel the offer they made is sufficient. They met Nogami twice and improved their initial offer during their second meeting. Daily Sports 11/19/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/19/2017, Sports Hochi 11/19/2017

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[2017 Free Agency] Hideaki Wakui Rumors

Date Team Update
@ 1:55p
Wakui has apparently hired Steve Hilliard to represent him. Sponichi 12/1/2017
@ 3:11a
The media learned on November 17 that Wakui is planning to sign with CAA Sports. Nikkan Sports 11/18/2017

See also:

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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