[9/3/2017] Rumor Mill: Hanshin Tigers to pass on Sho Nakata

According to an article posted at Sanspo, the Hanshin Tigers may have decided to pass on Sho Nakata after discussions between the front office and Tomoaki Kanemoto ended with the conclusion that the slugger would not be a very cost effective solution to improving their offense during the upcoming off-season.

The Tigers have been interested in Nakata since he was a high school prospect (they tried to draft him in 2007). Rumors of him joining the team as a free agent intensified after Kanemoto returned to the organization as manager in 2016 and culminated just before the start of the Summer Koshien this year. However, it seems the Tigers may have had a change of heart after an internal meeting in Tokyo during an extended summer road trip in August. They are apparently concerned about his number this season. They could also lose a player since Nakata will be an A-level free agent.

With the money they save, the Tigers will probably look to options overseas. The Sanspo article points to Chunichi’s Alex Guerrero as a possibility.

Source: Sanspo 9/3/2017

[UPDATE 9/5 @ 3:35pm]

Sports Hochi is now also reporting that the Tigers will probably pass on Nakata because they have other options at the positions he can play.

Daily Sports mentions that the Tigers might be more interested in pitching help.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/5/2017, Daily Sports 9/5/2017

[UPDATE 9/11 @ 3:12pm]

The Buffaloes apparently have no interest in Nakata at this time because they already have options at first base and designated hitter.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/11/2017

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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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