Tag Archive: Free Agency


[11/8/2017] Yamato to test the free agent waters

The Hanshin Tigers announced today that Yamato filed paperwork to exercise his free agent option. The Tigers released the following statement from Yamato:

I have decided to use my free agent option. It is difficult to find words to express my love and gratitude toward the Tigers, a team that took care of me the last twelve years. I made this decision because I strongly felt that this was my last chance to talk to other teams. I did not use the option with the intent to leave. I want to play for a team next year that needs me the most. This could be the Tigers.

The Yokohama Bay Stars and Orix Bufaloes are said to be interested in the thirty-year-old.

Source: Hanshin 11/8/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/8/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/8/2017Daily Sports 11/8/2017

[UPDATE 11/14 @ 3:48pm]

The Bay Stars might be willing to go up to four years on their offer to Yamato.

Source: Daily Sports 11/14/2017

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[11/8/2017] Hideaki Wakui to exercise international FA option

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.

Source: Lotte 11/8/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/8/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/8/2017, Daily Sports 11/8/2017, Daily Sports 11/8/2017, Sponichi 11/8/2017, Sponichi 11/8/2017

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[11/7/2017] Yoshihisa Hirano files for free agency

Thirty-three-year-old Yoshihisa Hirano filed for free agency earlier today. A number of MLB teams, including the Cardinals and Red Sox, have shown some interest in the reliever.

Hirano spoke to reporters today and said he seriously started to think about the Majors this year after he found out MLB teams were asking if he was going to exercise his option. He received a nice offer from the Buffaloes, but for the time being, his top priority is to sign with an MLB team that wants him and will give him a chance to play.

Source: Daily Sports 11/7/2017, Daily Sports 11/7/2017, Sports Hochi 11/7/2017, Sports Hochi 11/7/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/7/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/7/2017, Sponichi 11/7/2017, Sponichi 11/7/2017

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[11/6/2017] Shinya Tsuruoka planning to exercise FA option

Thirty-six-year-old Shinya Tsuruoka is planning to exercise his free agent option. He exercised his first option after the 2013 season and signed with the Softbank Hawks. He re-earned the option this year and would like to go to a team that will give him more playing time. He was a third catcher for the Hawks this year, behind Takuya Kai and Hiroaki Takaya. Tsuruoka played in twenty-nine games this season and got the start at catcher twice.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/6/2017

[UPDATE 11/7 @ 3:59pm]

Tsuruoka filed for free agency today. He told reporters he wanted a chance to start over from scratch with a shot at winning the everyday job behind home plate.

Source: Daily Sports 11/7/2017Sports Hochi 11/7/2017, Sponichi 11/7/2017, Nikkan Sports 11/7/2017


[11/5/2017] NPB Free Agent filing period begins on November 6

The NPB free agent filing period will begin on November 6 and end on November 14 this year. The NPB will release a list of free agents on November 15. Teams will be allowed to contact free agents beginning on November 16.

Source: Sponichi 11/5/2017


NPB Free Agent Numbers

The free agent system was added in 1993. Since then, eighty-one players have moved to new teams. The Giants set a new record this year by signing three free agents, most by any one team during any one year. Most of the numbers were taken from a Sponichi article posted on December 18. The rest were taken from various other sources.



[12/2/2016] Masahiko Morifuku picks the Yomiuri Giants

Masahiko Morifuku visited YafuOku Dome on November 1 and formally told the Softbank Hawks that he wanted to sign with the Yomiuri Giants. The Giants are planning to hold a press conference for Morifuku on December 5.

Source: Daily Sports 12/1/2016, Daily Sports 12/2/2016

[UPDATE 12/5 @ 10:01pm]

The Giants held a press conference for Morifuku on December 5. He was assigned the uniform number 13. They also introduced Shun Yamaguchi.

Morifuku most likely agreed to a two-year deal worth an estimated total 400 million yen.

Source: Yomiuri announcement, Nikkan Sports 12/5/2016

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[12/2/2016] Shun Yamaguchi to sign with the Yomiuri Giants

The Yomiuri Giants announced on December 1 that they received a positive reply from Shun Yamaguchi. General Manager Tatsuyoshi Tsutsumi told reporters Yamaguchi called him and said he wanted to join the team. The Giants are planning to hold a press conference on December 5.

The Yokohama Bay Stars met Yamaguchi one last time on November 29. Yokohama did not did not make any changes to their base offer (reportedly three years and 500 million yen), but were willing to improve other portions of their proposal, like the incentives. The organization made an announcement on the same day that he was going to move on to another team.

The Chunichi Dragons also made a run for Yamaguchi with an offer that was apparently about the same as the Yomiuri Giants.

The Bay Stars are currently thinking about taking a player and money as compensation for losing Yamaguchi to free agency. They either want a player with future potential or a player that can contribute right away.

Source: Yokohama announcement (11/29), Daily Sports 12/2/2016Daily Sports 12/1/2016, Daily Sports 12/1/2016Daily Sports 11/29/2016

[UPDATE 12/3 @ 11:56am]

Yamaguchi is slated to get the uniform number 42. He was also offered the numbers 11, 33, and 99, but he selected 42 because it reminds him of the MLB (Jackie Robinson).

Source: Sponichi 12/3/2016

[UPDATE 12/5 @ 10:00pm]

The Giants held a press conference for Yamaguchi on December 5. They also introduced Masahiko Morifuku.

Yamaguchi most likely agreed to a three-year contract worth an estimated 700 million yen.

Source: Yomiuri announcement, Nikkan Sports 12/5/2016

[UPDATE 12/13 @ 5:03pm]

The Bay Stars received the Giants’ list of protected players on December 12.

Source: Tokyo Sports 12/13/2016

[UPDATE 12/13 @ 8:18pm]

Yokohama is looking for either a pitcher or infielder.

Source: Sponichi 12/13/2016

[UPDATE 12/22 @ 10:13pm]

Yokohama General Manager Shigeru Takada told reporters today that they are planning to select a player as part of their compensation package. They will inform the Giants after they finalize their decision during a meeting on January 4.

Yokohama will also be entitled to forty percent of Yamaguchi’s 2016 salary (32 million yen).

Source: Daily Sports 12/22/2016, Daily Sports 12/22/2016

[UPDATE 12/23 @ 9:35pm]

The Bay Stars might have their eye on a pitcher, since they already have enough infielders.

Source: Sponichi 12/23/2016, Nikkan Sports 12/23/2016

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[11/21/2016] Yoshio Itoi to sign with the Hanshin Tigers

According to reports by the media, thirty-five-year-old outfielder Yoshio Itoi met Orix Buffaloes’ team official Hiroyuki Nagamura at a hotel in Osaka on November 21. He thanked the organization for the last four years and said he wanted to play for another team.

The Hanshin Tigers announced today that they reached an agreement with Itoi. They released the following comment from him:

After thinking things over, I have decided to join the Hanshin Tigers. I struggled with the decision every day. I grew a lot over the four years I was with Orix. I get emotional when I think about the teammates I played with and the organization that worked hard to create a positive work environment for me. And above all, I am very grateful to the fans that supported me no matter how bad things got. Despite all those things, I still decided [to leave] because I felt the only way I could grow as a baseball player was to change my environment and take on the challenges of playing for a new team. But the biggest factor that pushed me to join the Hanshin Tigers was Tomoaki Kanemoto’s passion. I will do my best to fit in with the Tigers and gain the support of the fans. I will also do my best to help Kanemoto-kanto win a championship.

Source: Hanshin announcement, Sponichi 11/21/2016

[UPDATE 11/22 @ 10:26pm]

The two sides may have agreed to a four-year deal worth a total 1.8 billion yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/22/2016

[UPDATE 11/23 @ 11:31am]

Kanemoto is currently planning to use Itoi in center with Kosuke Fukudome in right. Itoi has started 573 games in right and 441 games in center. His last start in center came on June 11, 2015 against Yakult at Kyocera Dome. Fukudome was an option at first, but the veteran wants to focus on playing the outfield.

Source: Daily Sports 11/23/2016

[UPDATE 11/24 @ 1:44am]

The Orix Buffaloes told the media that if they select player plus money as compensation for losing Itoi, they will not be afraid to take a big-name veteran. They did something similar when they selected Takahiro Mahara when they lost Hayato Terahara to the Softbank Hawks.

The Tigers have a lot of young players on their seventy-man roster. If they want to protect their future, they may have to leave veterans like Takashi Toritani, Kosuke Fukudome, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, and Atsushi Nomi on their list of unprotected players.

Source: Daily Sports 11/22/2016, Nikkan Sports 11/22/2016

[UPDATE 11/25 @ 11:00pm]

The Tigers held a press conference for Itoi at a hotel in Osaka earlier today. Eleven television cameras and over 100 members of the media covered the event. Kanemoto also made an appearance.

Itoi was officially assigned the uniform number seven.

Source: Hanshin announcement, Daily Sports 11/25/2016

[UPDATE 11/26 @ 11:38pm]

The NPB official listed the signing on November 25. The Tigers now have until December 9 to submit their list of unprotected players.

The Buffaloes might be looking for a: left-handed pitcher, shortstop, and second baseman. The Buffaloes and Tigers discussed a possible one-for-one trade that would have involved a catcher going to Hanshin in exchange for a left-handed pitcher. If pitchers like Minoru Iwata, Daiki Enokida, and Takumi Akiyama are left unprotected, they might be the perfect target for the Orix.

Source: Sanspo 11/26/2016, ZakZak 11/26/2016

[UPDATE 12/6 @ 6:10pm]

With the Yomiuri Giants interested in Dai-Kang Yoh, the Buffaloes are no longer as sure if they will be able to sign the outfielder. If they miss out on Yoh, they might try to acquire an outfielder through the Tigers.

Source: Daily Sports 12/6/2016, Sponichi 12/6/2016

[UPDATE 12/6 @ 6:21pm]

The Buffaloes received the Tigers’ list of twenty-eight protected players today. They also received news that Yoh will be signing with another team.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/6/2016Nikkan Sports 12/6/2016

[UPDATE 12/9 @ 9:59pm]

The Buffaloes went over the Tigers’ list during an internal meeting on December 9. They are planning to look into five to six candidates and meet against on December 15.

Source: Daily Sports 12/9/2016

[UPDATE 12/15 @ 3:49pm]

Junichi Fukura told reporters after an organizational meeting today that, based on their current needs, they were probably going to take a pitcher over a position player. He did not mention any names, but did say they were looking at a pitcher in his twenties that can throw in the upper-140s and pitch out of the bullpen.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/15/2016, Daily Sports 12/15/2016

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[11/17/2016] Takayuki Kishi to sign with the Rakuten Eagles

Thirty-one-year-old Takayuki Kishi has decided to sign with the Rakuten Eagles. He visited the Seibu Lions in Tokorozawa, Saitama today and informed team officials, including Senior Director Hisanobu Watanabe, of his decision. According to Nikkan Sports, the Rakuten Eagles may have offered a four-year deal worth as much as 1.6 billion yen.

Source: Daily Sports 11/17/2016, Sponichi 11/17/2016, Nikkan Sports 11/17/2016, Nikkan Sports 11/17/2016

[UPDATE 11/19 @ 1:25am]

The Eagles held a press conference for Kishi at kobo Stadium on November 18. He has been assigned the uniform number 11.

Source: Rakuten announcement, Rakuten announcement (press conference details)

[UPDATE 11/19 @ 5:43pm]

According to media reports, the two sides agreed to a four-year contract that might be worth as much as 1.6 billion yen (four-year total and after full incentives). His base salay next year will be an estimate 225 million yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/19/2016, Daily Sports 11/19/2016

[UPDATE 12/7 @ 9:33pm]

The Lions told the media today that they received a list of protected players from the Eagles.

Source: Sponichi 12/7/2016

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