|—||Wakui has apparently hired Steve Hilliard to represent him. Sponichi 12/1/2017|
|—||The media learned on November 17 that Wakui is planning to sign with CAA Sports. Nikkan Sports 11/18/2017|
The Chiba Lotte Marines announced today that Hideaki Wakui will exercise his free agent option. Wakui is hoping to find a new home with an MLB team. If he ends up staying in Japan, it will be with Lotte. In a statement released by Lotte, Wakui mentions wanting to find discover opportunities and getting excited while watching a World Series game in person for the first time.
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Thirty-one-year-old Hideaki Wakui earned his international free agent option this year. The Chiba Lotte Marines would like Wakui to return next year. However, they know he is also interested in playing in the Majors. They are planning to sit down with him to discuss his plans.
According to Nikkan Sports, Wakui is planning to consider all his available options. That includes the Majors, Lotte, or another NPB team. Sports Hochi is reporting that Wakui has plans to visit the United States and watch the World Series.
[UPDATE 10/12 @ 11:58am]
The Marines want Wakui to return in 2018. To that end, they are prepared to do the following:
Source: Sports Hochi 10/12/2017
[UPDATE 10/25 @ 2:55am]
Wakui left for the United States out of Haneda Airport on October 23. He is planning to watch the World Series. Before leaving, he told reporters he was interested in playing in the Majors and that he started thinking about it after playing in the WBC.
Source: Sports Hochi 10/24/2017
[UPDATE 11/7 @ 2:27pm]
Wakui is no rush to make a decision and told reporters on November 6 that he take advantage of all the time he has until the deadline on November 14.
Nikkan Sports is reporting that Wakui has already informed Lotte that he is planning to exercise his option with his first choice to play in the Majors.
[UPDATE 11/8 @ 12:44am]
Wakui is reportedly planning to file for free agency because he wants a shot at playing in the Majors. If he ends up staying in Japan, it will be with Lotte.0 Comments
Hideaki Wakui left his start against the Nippon Ham Fighters at ZOZO Marine Stadium after he gave up a single to the first batter he faced in the sixth inning. He first seemed to have problems with his left thumb. He left the field for treatment and returned. But after he finished throwing some warm-up pitches, he appeared to have an issue with his right leg. That was when he was pulled from the game.
Wakui had a perfect game through the first four innings. He gave up a lead-off single in the fifth before retiring the side in order. He left the game after he faced seventeen batters and threw seventy pitches.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/24/2017
[UPDATE 9/25 @ 1:32am]
Wakui first left the field to get treatment for a cramp near the base of his left thumb. After he returned and threw some warm-up pitches, he developed a cramp in his left calf.
Source: Sanspo 9/24/20170 Comments
September 24, 2017 vs Nippon Ham at ZOZO Marine Stadium – Wakui became the 1,500th player in NPB history to reach the 1,500 strikeout milestone when he struck out Go Matsumoto in the fourth inning.
Source: Daily Sports 9/24/20170 Comments
Hideaki Wakui re-earned his free agent option today. He earned and exercised his initial domestic option after the 2013 season. He re-earned the option (which now also includes international rights) with four years of service time on the active roster.
[UPDATE 9/5 @ 3:05pm]
It is uncertain if Wakui signed a one- or multi-year deal before the start of the season. Regardless, he likely has the ability to opt out and exercise his option if he so chooses. The Marines would like him to return next year and are okay with him exercising his option and then ultimately staying, something they normally do not do.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/5/2017
[UPDATE 9/6 @ 1:37am]
Wakui has mentioned interest in the Majors and could head overseas after the season. However, if he decides to stay, a number of teams could be interested, like Chunichi, Yokohama, and Hanshin.
Source: Tokyo Sports 9/5/2017
[UPDATE 9/10 @ 10:52pm]
Scouts from at least four MLB teams (Giants, Mariners, Phillies, and Cardinals) were at Wakui’s last start on September 9.0 Comments
Hideaki Wakui left tonight’s game against the Seibu Lions at ZOZO Marine after throwing just one pitch in the seventh inning. He grimaced as his right leg came around after releasing the ball. He was later seen touching the area above his right knee. He left the field for treatment and did not return.
Tsutomu Ito later told reporters Wakui started feeling some tightness (cramping) in his legs around the sixth inning and that he reached his limit when he took the mound in the seventh.0 Comments
The Nippon Ham Fighters hit seven home runs against the Chiba Lotte Marines on May 12. They tied a franchise record set on May 31, 1950 (as Tokyu, nine-inning game) and May 3, 1971 (as Toei, ten-inning game: two in nine innings, five in the tenth inning). The feat was accomplished all three times against the Lotte franchise. The NPB record for most home runs in a game is nine, set by Shochiku (1951), Hanshin (1976), Hankyu (1980), and Lotte (1980). Prior to the Fighters, the last team to hit seven or more home runs in one game was the Yomiuri Giants with eight against the Hiroshima Carp on June 29, 2010.
Lotte’s Hideaki Wakui gave up six of the seven home runs on May 12 and set a new Pacific League record. Thirteen pitchers, including Softbank’s Kenji Otonari on May 13, 2009, held the previous record of five. The NPB record of nine was set by Tokuji Kawasaki on April 26, 1949. The Central League record of seven was set by Zenjiro Tadokoro on June 1, 1958.
Nippon Ham’s Brandon Laird hit home runs in two consecutive trips to the plate on May 12. He followed that with two walks to finish the day and then hit home runs in his first two at bat on May 13. He tied the NPB record with home runs in four consecutive at bats. He is the twentieth player to accomplish the feat, first in the NPB since Tetsuto Yamada in 2015 (Central League) and first in the Pacific League since Nigel Wilson in 1997.
Twenty players that have hit home runs in four consecutive at bats:
Hideaki Wakui was hit in the head by a batted ball while working out in the outfield during pre-game practices at Jingu Stadium on March 15. He was able to participate in practices at Zozo Marine today. He appeared to be okay and is still slated to start an exhibition game against Yomiuri on March 18.
Source: Nikkan Sports 3/16/20170 Comments
According to Nikkan Sports, the Chiba Lotte Marines and thirty-year-old Hideaki Wakui have reached an agreement on a multi-year contract extension. He is expected to meet Lotte on January 25 to finalize negotiations and sign a formal agreement.
Wakui finished off a three-year contract last year. He is slated to earn an international free agent option some time this season.
Source: Nikkan Sports 1/24/2017
[UPDATE 1/25 @ 8:53pm]
Wakui met with Lotte officials at Zozo Marine earlier today for salary negotiations. His salary this year will be an estimated 250 million yen, up thirty million from last year. There was no mention of contract length.
Source: Daily Sports 1/25/2017
[UPDATE 1/26 @ 4:05pm]
Wakui may have either signed a one-year deal or a multi-year deal. Three years is a possibility, with some sort of an opt-out clause if he wants to exercise the international free agent option he is scheduled to earn this season.
[UPDATE 1/27 @ 11:13pm]
Wakui apparently did not talk about the MLB during contract negotiations with Lotte. He also apparently asked for a multi-year contract. He may have agreed to a two-year contract with a player option for a third year.
Source: ZakZak 1/27/20170 Comments