Masuda signed a contract with blueeq before the 2018 season.0 Comments
The Hanshin Tigers are interested in thirty-one-year-old Byung-Ho Park (KBO LG, KBO Nexen, MLB Minnesota) as an option for the 2019 season. Thirty-year-old Jung-Ho Kang (KBO Hyundai, KBO Nexen, MLB Pittsburgh) and twenty-nine-year-old Hyun-Soo Kim (KBO Doosan, MLB Baltimore, MLB Philadelphia, KBO LG) are other possibilities. This is in addition to twenty-four-year-old Po-Jung Wang (CPBL Lamigo).
It should be noted that a number of other NPB teams are also interested in Wang, like the Chunichi Dragons, Orix Buffaloes, Yomiuri Giants, and Softbank Hawks.
The Tigers are also keeping an eye on thirty-five-year-old Seung-Hwan Oh (KBO Samsung, NPB Hanshin, MLB St. Louis). They currently have no openings in the bullpen, but that could change if someone gets hurt or struggles. There are also rumors that Oh might be interested in a return to the NPB.
Source: Sports Hochi 12/30/2017, Daily Sports 12/30/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/30/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/30/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/30/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/30/2017, Sponichi 12/30/2017, Sanspo 12/30/2017, Sanspo 12/30/20170 Comments
The Softbank Hawks are interested in thirty-two-year-old Cuban Yurisbel Gracial. A Softbank official is currently in Cuba scouting the infielder. The Hawks most likely see Gracial as both injury insurance and competition to keep other players motivated.
The Hawks already have three of their four foreign player slots filled with Alfredo Despaigne, Dennis Sarfate, and Rick van den Hurk. Livan Moinelo could get the last spot, with Robert Suarez also a possibility.0 Comments
Kodai Senga told reporters on December 27 that he spoke to the Softbank Hawks about wanting to be posted to the Majors before he earns his international free agent option during salary negotiations on December 21. He said he never really considered playing in America until recently (he enjoyed pitching at the World Baseball Classic where he went 1-1 with a 0.82 ERA, sixteen strikeouts, one walk, and seven hits over eleven innings of work spanning four games). The Hawks are not known for posting their players, so it is uncertain what they plan to do with Senga’s request. As of now, the twenty-four-year-old pitcher is not scheduled to earn his international free agent option until some time during the 2022/2023 season.
[UPDATE 1/13/2018 @ 5:15pm]
Senga is not necessarily interested in being posted to the Majors before he earns his free agent option. According to Tokyo Sports, he merely wanted to let the Hawks know that he has a desire to play in the Majors. He also wanted them to give him a place to express his feelings.
Senga could have kept his discussions with the team private, but decided to make them public because he wanted the additional pressure to perform.
Source: Tokyo Sports 1/13/20180 Comments
The Softbank Hawks announced today that Seiichi Uchikawa’s registered position will change from outfielder to infielder.
Source: Softbank 12/25/20170 Comments
Thirty-five-year-old Kenichi Nakata finished off the final year of a four-year contract this year. He met the Softbank Hawks on December 23 and agreed to a new one-year contract worth an estimated eighty-five million yen (down ten million yen from this season).
Nakata exercised his free agent option after the 2013 season and signed a four-year contract with the Hawks.
Source: Nikkan Sports 12/24/20170 Comments
Twenty-nine-year-old Yuki Yanagita is slated to earn his domestic free agent option some time next season. He reached an agreement on a three-year contract with the Softbank Hawks that will be worth an estimated 400 million yen (up 1.4 million yen from this year) plus incentives in 2018.
[UPDATE 12/24 @ 2:22pm]
There are some reports pointing to an estimated salary of 550 million yen plus incentives and a total contract that could be worth up to around two billion yen.
Assuming no major injuries, Yanagita could earn his international free agent option in 2020 (the last year of this current contract).
Source: Daily Sports 12/24/2017
[UPDATE 1/11/2018 @ 3:13pm]
Yanagita may have been offered up to five years, but went with three years because he is interested in exercising his international free agent option. He has apparently been asking the Hawks to change their stance on allowing players to go to the Majors through the posting system.
Source: Tokyo Sports 1/11/20180 Comments
Nakamura started working with trainer Yuji Shimabukuro in late-August. Shimabukuro used to work with Nobuhiko Matsunaka.
Nakamura agreed to a salary of 160 million yen (up twenty million over this season) plus performance bonuses in 2018 during contract negotiations on December 25. His representative, Haruo Kitamura, helped him negotiate a contract that could be worth up to 200 million yen if he maxes out all his performance bonuses (nine categories).
Source: Sponichi 12/25/20170 Comments
The Softbank Hawks announced the following uniform number change on December 21:
Source: Softbank 12/21/20170 Comments
Thirty-five-year-old Seiichi Uchikawa finished the final year of a four-year contract this season. He reached a new agreement with the Softbank Hawks on December 18 for a new two-year deal. His salary next year will be 400 million yen plus incentives (up fifty million yen from this season).
Source: Sanspo 12/18/20170 Comments