The Seibu Lions and Yomiuri Giants announced today that the Lions selected thirty-six-year-old Tetsuya Utsumi as part of their free agent compensation package for Ginjiro Sumitani. The Giants released the following statement from Utsumi:
Being a part of the Giants over the last fifteen years, with support from the best fans in Japan, is my greatest memory. I am grateful to all my teammates. I take great pride in the things I have accomplished with this amazing team, like leading the league in wins and being a player rep. I will apply everything I learned with the Giants and do my best with the new team I will be joining. To the Giants, I look forward to facing you at the Nippon Series. To the fans, please continue to support me.
[UPDATE 12/22 @ 5:17am]
The Lions held a press conference for Utsumi on December 21. He was assigned the uniform number 27.
Source: Seibu 12/21/20180 Comments
Ginjiro Sumitani informed the Seibu Lions on November 23 that he was planning to sign with another team. He then told the Yomiuri Giants that he wanted to accept their offer on November 24. The Giants are planning to hold a press conference on November 26 after Sumitani formally signs what is said to be a three-year contract worth an estimated 600 million yen.
Source: ZakZak 11/24/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/24/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/25/2018, Sponichi 11/24/2018, Sponichi 11/24/2018, Sponichi 11/25/2018, Sports Hochi 11/24/2018, Daily Sports 11/24/2018, Daily Sports 11/24/2018, Sanspo 11/24/2018
[UPDATE 11/27 @ 11:10am]
The Giants held a press conference for Sumitani on November 26. He was assigned the uniform number 27. According to media reports, he agreed to a three-year contract that will be worth an estimated 15o million yen next year.0 Comments
|12/8/2018||4:03pm – The Lions received a list of protected players from the Yomiru Giants. They have forty days from November 26 to make a decision about their compensation package from the Giants. Sports Hochi 12/8/2018, Tokyo Sports 12/8/2018, Nikkan Sports 12/7/2018|
|11/25/2018||4:45pm – Ginjiro Sumitani to sign with the Yomiuri Giants … According to Tokyo Sports, the Rakuten Eagles may have also made Sumitani an informal offer. Tokyo Sports 11/24/2018|
|11/24/2018||3:15am – Senior Director Hisanobu Watanabe told reporters on November 23 that Sumitani told the team he was planning to sign with another team. He will most likely join the Yomiuri Giants. Nikkan Sports 11/23/2018, Sponichi 11/23/2018, Daily Sports 11/23/2018, Sanspo 11/23/2018, Tokyo Sports 11/23/2018|
|11/17/2018||1:39pm – Sumitani met the Giants at a hotel in Tokyo on November 16. Their meeting last about an hour. The Giants may have offered a three-year deal worth about 600 million yen. They also reportedly passed on a message from Tatsunori Hara. After the meeting Sumitani told reporters he did not think it would take too long for him to make a decision. The Giants apparently feel pretty good about their chances. Daily Sports 11/16/2018, Daily Sports 11/16/2018, Daily Sports 11/17/2018, Sponichi 11/16/2018, Sponichi 11/17/2018, Sports Hochi 11/16/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/16/2018, Tokyo Sports 11/16/2018, Sanspo 11/16/2018, Sanspo 11/17/2018|
|11/15/2018||12:10pm – Latest offer rumors: Yomiuri three years and about 600 million yen (Nikkan Sports 11/15/2018).|
|11/9/2018||12:06pm – The Giants might be front runners to land Sumitani because the Eagles no longer seem to be as interested. Sanspo 11/9/2018|
|11/8/2018||3:15pm – Sumitani filed his option and held a press conference on November 8. He told reporters he struggled with his decision, but ultimately wanted a chance to field offers from other teams. Tokyo Sports 11/8/2018, Sports Hochi 11/8/2018, Daily Sports 11/8/2018, Sponichi 11/8/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/8/2018, Sanspo 11/8/2018 … 4:50am – The Lions announced that Sumitani will exercise his free agent option. Seibu 11/7/2018 … Sumitani’s decision is not necessarily about money, but playing time. Tokyo Sports 11/7/2018 … Sumitani is planning to file on November 8. He is also slated to hold a press conference on the same day. The Lions met with him three times. They feel they made him their best offer. Sponichi 11/7/2018, Sponichi 11/7/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/7/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/7/2018|
|11/6/2018||11:29pm – The Giants might be the current front runner. Tokyo Sports 11/6/2018 … 3:58am – Sumitani met team officials and November 5. The Lions already offered him a multi-year deal and again asked him to stay. He thanked the team for their offer and said he still wanted to test the free agent waters and planned to exercise his option. Nikkan Sports 11/5/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/5/2018 … The Giants are still very much interested. They have options at catcher (Shinnosuke Abe also wants to do more catching again), but Sumitani could provide more stability. Nikkan Sports 11/5/2018|
|11/5/2018||The Lions are planning to leave the window open even if Sumitani uses his option. Daily Sports 11/5/2018, Sports Hochi 11/5/2018|
|11/4/2018||Sumitani is planning to speak to the Lions one more time before making a decision about his option. Nikkan Sports 11/4/2018, Sponichi 11/4/2018, Sports Hochi 11/4/2018|
|10/31/2018||Senior Director Hisanobu Watanabe told reporters on October 30 that they are negotiating with Sumitani. Right now, he feels they have a 50-50 chance. Daily Sports 10/31/2018, Sports Hochi 10/31/2018, Nikkan Sports 10/31/2018|
|10/20/2018||The Yomiuri Giants are interested. Sponichi 10/20/2018, Daily Sports 10/20/2018|
|10/01/2018||The Rakuten Eagles are interested. Sports Hochi 10/1/2018, Sponichi 10/6/2018, Daily Sports 10/14/2018|
Seibu’s Ginjiro Sumitani was named the ninth chairman of the Japan Professional Baseball Players Association during a meeting at an Osaka hotel on December 7. Motohiro Shima stepped down after five years. Sumitani is the first player out of high school to make it to chairman. His term will be one year.
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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.
[UPDATE 12/5 @ 3:10am]
Sumitani agreed to a one-year deal worth 110 million yen (up ten million yen from this season). He was also offered a two-year deal, but opted for a one-year deal. During a press conference on December 4, Sumitani said he wanted to have another good season to secure an even better multi-year deal.
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Thirty-year-old Ginjiro Sumitani is still thinking about what to do with his free agent option. He spoke to reporters on November 10 and said he hoped to have a decision soon, possibly by around Monday.
Source: Nikkan Sports 11/10/20170 Comments
Ginjiro Sumitani hit a double during his first at bat in the third inning of today’s exhibition game against the Yokohama Bay Stars. He made his way over to third base on a sac bunt, but tumbled over when his foot got stuck in the dirt and lightly twisted his left ankle. He still reached third safely and was replaced by a pinch-runner as a precaution.
Source: Nikkan Sports 3/26/20170 Comments
Sumitani was apparently ready to leave Seibu for Chunichi after the 2015 off-season, but decided against it after someone in the Chunichi organization advised him not to because of General Manager Hiromitsu Ochiai.
Source: ZakZak 9/27/2016
Sumitani will sign a brand ambassador agreement with Mizuno for the 2018 season.
Source: Sports Hochi 11/23/2017
November 25 – The first game Sumitani watched was a Giants game at Tokyo Dome. He cheered for Tatsunori Hara while wearing his number 8 uniform.
Source: Nikkan Sports 11/25/20180 Comments
Ginjiro Sumitani hurt his right hand while attempting to catch a pitch that bounced in front of him during the sixth inning of a game against the Nippon Ham Fighters at Seibu Prince Dome on July 27. Sumitani was removed from the game after the pitch. He was taken to a hospital in Tokorozawa and diagnosed with a bruise on his right thumb.0 Comments