According to numerous media reports, Yoshiharu Maru is planning to sign with the Yomiuri Giants. An official announcement could be made some time today.
[UPDATE 11/30 @ 3:21pm]
Maru spoke to media at Mazda Stadium today and told them he decided to sign with the Giants. He made the decision last night and contacted Tatsunori Hara this morning. He also contacted Tadahito Iguchi to turn down Lotte’s offer (his agent contact Lotte officials).
Source: Nikkan Sports 11/30/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/30/2018, Sponichi 11/30/2018, Sponichi 11/30/2018, Daily Sports 11/30/2018, Daily Sports 11/30/2018, Daily Sports 11/30/2018, Sanspo 11/30/2018, Sanspo 11/30/2018
[UPDATE 12/1 @ 2:07am]
The Giants have offered Maru the uniform numbers 8 and 24.
Source: Daily Sports 11/30/2018
[UPDATE 12/14 @ 12:09am]
The Giants held a press conference for Maru at a hotel in Tokyo on December 11. He was assigned the uniform number 8. According to media reports, he agreed to a five year deal worth an estimated 2.55 billion yen (and possibly over 3 billion yen with performance bonuses). Maru’s salary in 2019 will be an estimated 450 million yen.0 Comments
|12/14/2018||12:11am – The Carp received a list of unprotected players from the Giants. Sports Hochi 12/13/2018, Daily Sports 12/12/2018|
|11/30/2018||11:36am – Yoshihiro Maru planning to sign with the Yomiuri Giants|
|11/25/2018||5:15pm – The Yomiuri Giants met Maru at a hotel in Tokyo on November 24. Tatsunori Hara participated in the meeting. The Giants also offered the uniform number 8, the number Hara wore before he retired. Maru is not planning to hold any additional meetings with any of the teams he has met and could make a decision fairly soon. Daily Sports 11/25/2018, Daily Sports 11/25/2018, Daily Sports 11/25/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/24/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/25/2018, Sponichi 11/24/2018, Sponichi 11/25/2018 … Latest Yomiuri offer rumors: five years, 3.5 billion yen (Daily Sports 11/25/2018), five years, over 3.0 billion yen (Nikkan Sports 11/25/2018, Sponichi 11/25/2018, Sanspo 11/25/2018) … 5:05pm – Tadahito Iguchi offered his uniform number to Maru during their meeting on November 22. Daily Sports 11/25/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/25/2018|
|11/24/2018||10:14am – Latest Lotte offer rumor: six years, more than 2.4 billion yen (Sponichi 11/24/2018). … 3:20am – Latest Lotte offer rumors: six years, 3.0 billion yen (Sports Hochi 11/23/2018), six years, 2.5 billion yen (Nikkan Sports 11/23/2018), base four years, 2.0 billion yen (Sanspo 11/23/2018).|
|11/22/2018||2:46pm – Maru and his agent met Lotte officials in Tokyo today. Five Lotte officials, including Tadahito Iguchi, were in attendance. The meeting lasted about forty minutes. Sponichi thinks Maru may have been offered six years and over 2.4 billion yen. Sanspo 11/22/2018, Sponichi 11/22/2018|
|11/20/2018||2:50am – Maru sat down with the Carp for about an hour on November 19. He told reporters he wanted to make sure he got all the information he needed from Hiroshima before he started meeting other teams. Sanspo 11/19/2018, Daily Sports 11/19/2018|
|11/19/2018||6:27am – Sports Hochi seems to think the Marines could offer up to six years at 2.4 billion yen. They might be able to push the package up to 3.0 billion after incentives. Sports Hochi 11/19/2018 … Daily Sports still has their guess at four years and 2.0 billion yen. Daily Sports 11/19/2018|
|11/17/2018||1:44pm – The Giants spoke to Maru’s agent on November 15. They are working out a schedule. They might be getting ready to offer a five-year deal worth 3.5 billion yen and the uniform number 8. Daily Sports 11/16/2018, Daily Sports 11/16/2018, Daily Sports 11/17/2018 … Or a five-year contract worth about 3 billion yen and the uniform number 8. Nikkan Sports 11/16/2018, Sponichi 11/17/2018|
|11/16/2018||11:23am – The Marines and Eagles contacted Maru’s agent about their interest on November 15. The Giants offer might be around four to five years and over 2.5 billion yen (or five years and 3.5 billion yen and the uniform number 8). Sanspo 11/16/2018, Sanspo 11/16/2018, Sponichi 11/16/2018, Daily Sports 11/16/2018, Daily Sports 11/16/2018|
|11/15/2018||12:15pm – Latest offer rumors: Hiroshima four years and around 1.7 billion yen (Sanspo 11/15/2018); Lotte four years and two billion yen (Sanspo 11/15/2018, Sports Hochi 11/15/2018); Yomiuri four years and over two billion yen, could add a fifth year (Sanspo 11/15/2018), five years over three billion yen (Nikkan Sports 11/15/2018).|
|11/13/2018||12:41pm – ZakZak interview with Maru: his family has not moved to the Kanto area and his commercial contract with Momiji Ginko was put on hold, not terminated. ZakZak 11/12/2018|
|11/8/2018||10:15am – Latest offer rumors: Yomiuri four years over 2 billion yen (Nikkan Sports 11/8/2018), six years around 2.5 billion yen (Daily Sports 11/8/2018); Lotte four years around 2 billion yen (Nikkan Sports 11/8/2018, Sponichi 11/8/2018, Sanspo 11/8/2018); Hiroshima three years around 1.2 billion yen (Daily Sports 11/8/2018), four years about 1.7 billion yen (Sanspo 11/8/2018). … 4:23am – Maru has decided to exercise his free agent option. He told reporters he was curious about what other teams thought of him. Hiroshima is not planning to place any deadlines on their offer. Sponichi 11/7/2018, Tokyo Sports 11/7/2018, Daily Sports 11/7/2018, Daily Sports 11/7/2018, Daily Sports 11/7/2018, Sports Hochi 11/7/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/7/2018|
|11/6/2018||Maru might be will to go up to 2.5 billion yen. Lotte might be willing to go up to 2 billion. Sponichi 11/6/2018 … ZakZak mentions two rumors: his family may have already moved to the Tokyo area and he may be looking for at least five years. ZakZak 11/6/2018|
|11/4/2018||The Carp’s offer might be four years at around 1.7 billion yen. The Giants might be putting together a deal that is worth about 2.5 billion yen. The Carp are okay with keeping negotiations open even if Maru exercises the option. Sponichi 11/4/2018, Sanspo 11/4/2018, Nikkan Sports 11/5/2018|
|10/20/2018||The Yomiuri Giants are interested. Sponichi 10/20/2018, Daily Sports 10/20/2018|
|10/13/2018||Domestic free agent option. Lotte is interested and could offer a multi-year deal if Maru decides to use his option. One possibility is four years at around two billion yen. Maru is from Chiba and went to a high school in Chiba. Nikkan Sports 10/13/2018, Sanspo 10/13/2018, Sports Hochi 10/13/2018, Sponichi 10/13/2018|
Twenty-nine-year-old Yoshihiro Maru earned his domestic free agent option with eight years of service time on the active roster.0 Comments
Yoshihiro Maru made a diving catch in the fifth inning of a game against the Hanshin Tigers at Mazda Stadium on April 28. He hurt his right leg in the process and was removed from the game. The Hiroshima Carp later announced that he strained his right hamstring.
Maru’s consecutive games streak, currently at 700, could come to an end.
[UPDATE 4/30 @ 1:04pm]
Maru was taken off the active roster on April 29. His consecutive game streak ended at 700.0 Comments
Hitoki Iwase, Chunichi (Second Time)
14 G, 1-0, 1 Sv, 10 HD, 11.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 11 SO, 0 ER
Iwase won the MVP of the Month Award for the second time during his career. He won his first award in April 2005. He pitched in fourteen games in June and did not allow any runs to score. He led the league with ten holds and he picked up a save against Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome on June 23. The save was his first in three years. A Chunichi player has now won an MVP of the Month award three months straight. Iwase is the first Chunichi pitcher to win the award since Shunta Wakamatsu in August 2015.
Yoshihiro Maru, Hiroshima (First Time)
21 G, .402 AVG, 33 H, 6 HR, 22 RBI
Maru won the award for the first time in his ten-year career. He played in all his teams games in the month of June. He led the league in batting average, hits, and RBI. He blasted home runs in three consecutive plate appearances on June 16 against Softbank at Mazda Stadium. Maru is the first Hiroshima player to win the award since Ryosuke Kikuchi in August 2016.
Ken Togame, Seibu (First Time)
4 G, 3-0, 23.1 IP, 3.09 ERA, 18 SO, 8 ER
Togame pitched in four games in June. His three wins as a started was tied for most in the league. He gave up two runs over six innings against Hiroshima on June 1 and Yomiuri June 8. He did not record a decision when he gave up two runs over 5.1 innings against Hanshin on June 15. He allowed two runs over six innings and picked up his third win of the month on June 24 against Softbank. A Seibu player has won the award seventy-one ties, tied for most in the league with Orix and Nippon Ham.
Yuki Yanagita, Softbank (Fourth Time)
23 G, .363 AVG, 29 H, 12 HR, 31 RBI, 2 SB
Yanagita batted third and fourth and played in all twenty-three of his team’s games. He led the league in home runs, RBI, R, TB (72), SLG (.900), OBP (.480), RISP (.500). Yanagita won the award in May 2014, August 2015, and September 2015.
Source: NPB 7/7/20170 Comments
Winners of the 2017 NPB Inter-league Awards were released by the NPB today.
Most Valuable Player Award
Yuki Yanagita (Softbank)
16 G, .338 BA, 24 H (5th tie), 7 HR (2nd tie), 23 RBI (1st), .415 OBP, .565 RISP (1st tie)
He led all players with twenty-three RBI. This was the second time he won the award.
Nihon Seimei Award
Go Matsumoto (Nippon Ham)
17 G, .396 BA (2nd), 21 H, 0 HR, 5 RBI, .439 OBP (2nd), .462 (4th tie)
He started getting more regular playing time after he recorded a pinch-hit two-run double in the ninth inning of a game against Hanshin at Koshien Stadium on June 2.
Yoshihiro Maru (Hiroshima)
18 G, .411 BA (1st), 30 H (1st), 5 HR, 18 RBI (2nd), .469 OBP (1st), .565 RISP (1st tie)
He led the league in batting average, hits, and on base percentage.
Source: NPB 6/23/20170 Comments
Yoshihiro Maru felt discomfort in his right hamstring while running the bases during tonight’s game against the Nippon Ham Fighters. He was replaced on defense in the sixth inning as a precaution.0 Comments
Yoshihiro Maru started feeling discomfort in his right side during batting practice on February 7. His workouts today were cut short because he still felt the discomfort. He was examined at a hospital in Nichinan, but nothing was discovered (no bone abnormalities, no inflammation).
Maru’s workouts will be adjusted as a precaution. He will remain with the Ichi-gun team for the time being.
[UPDATE 2/11 @ 11:41pm]
Maru resumed soft-toss batting practice today.
Source: Nikkan Sports 2/11/2017
[UPDATE 2/13 @ 11:58pm]
Maru started taking fielding practice in the outfielder on February 12. He returned to general practices today. He also resumed live batting practice and took thirty swings. He was able to swing the bat at full strength without any problems.
[UPDATE 2/23 @ 12:10am]
Maru returned to general workouts on February 22 for the first time in about two weeks.
Source: Nikkan Sports 2/22/20170 Comments
According to Sponichi, Yoshihiro Maru is 26-for-50 (.520) with nine RBI in extra innings games since 2011.
Source: Sponichi 6/6/2016
Maru has recorded three walk-off hits (April 4, 2012 against Yomiuri; July 26, 2013 against Yakult; and June 5, 2016 against Softbank) and one walk-off sac fly (August 6, 2013 against Hanshin) during his career.
Source: Sanspo 6/6/20160 Comments
July 6 vs Yomiuri at Mazda Stadium – Maru recorded the sixth multi-homer game of his career. The two home runs gave him twelve at Mazda Stadium in 2017. Only two other players have hit more at the stadium in one season: Brad Eldred hit twenty in 2014 and Seiya Suzuki notched fifteen in 2015. Maru has now hit fifty career home runs at Mazda Stadium. Only Eldred has more with sixty.
Source: Nikkan Sports 7/7/2017
June 8 vs Rakuten at Mazda Stadium – Maru became the 492nd player in NPB history to play in 1,000 games.
June 30 vs Yokohama at Yokohama Stadium – Maru became the 293rd player in NPB history, twenty-second player in Carp history, to record 1,000 hits (single to center in the third inning off Katsuki Azuma). At twenty-nine years and two months, he if the fifth youngest player in Carp history to reach the milestone (behind Tomonori Maeda at twenty-seven years and two months, Yoshihiko Takahashi at twenty-seven-years and four months and Kenjiro Nomura and Akihiro Higashide at twenty-nine years and zero months).
August 26 vs Chunichi at Mazda Stadium – Maru blasted his thirtieth home run of the season and became the first Carp to reach thirty home runs since Brad Eldred hit thirty-seven in 2014 and first Japanese Carp to reach thirty home runs since Takahiro Arai hit forty-three and Tomonori Maeda hit thirty-two in 2005. Tomoaki Kanemoto holds the Carp record for most home runs in a season by a left-handed Japanese hitter with thirty-four in 1999.
September 8 vs Chunichi at Nagoya Dome – Maru hit his thirty-fifth home run of the year (first inning, off Kento Fujishima) and set a new Carp record for home runs in a season by a left-handed Japanese hitter.
September 25 vs Yokohama at Mazda Stadium – Maru tied a Carp record he originally set in 2015 by reaching base in forty-four consecutive games.
September 28 vs Yakult at Mazda Stadium – Maru’s streak of reaching base ended at forty-six games.
Source: Sports Hochi 9/28/2018
October 7 vs Yokohama at Mazda Stadium – Maru pushed his walk total to 129 and set a new Carp record. The previous record of 128 was set by Tomoaki Kanemoto in 2001. Sadaharu Oh holds the NPB record with 158 in 1974 (and 142 in 1966, 138 in 1965, and 130 in 1967).
Maru has the following etched into the handle of his bat: C9 B.
The C9 is for Carp and uniform number 9, or Maru. The B indicates the number of times he has made changes to his bat since he joined the team. In this case, B means he made a change to his bat once (he got a thicker handle).
Source: Nikkan Sports 5/30/2016
Maru agreed to a salary of 210 million yen for the 2018 season on December 15, 2017. He joined Tomoaki Kanemoto (222 million in 2001, 240 million in 2002), Tomonori Maeda (215 million in 2000, 210 million in 2007), and Kenjiro Nomura (200 million, 1998-2000) as the only position players in Hiroshima Carp history to reach 200 million yen.0 Comments