Wakui, Hideaki 涌井 秀章 (わくい・ひであき)
Chiba Lotte Marines | #16 | P
Born: 06/20/1986 (age 32)
Height: 185cm
Weight: 85kg
Bats: R
Throws: R
Blood Type: A
Hometown: Chiba
Draft: 2004, 1st Round
History: 横浜高(甲)-西武
Roster Changes: removed 09/26/2016, added 10/07/2016

[1/30/2018] Chiba Lotte Marines sign Hideaki Wakui

The Chiba Lotte Marines announced today that they finalized a contract with Hideaki Wakui on January 29. Wakui reached out to Lotte on January 27. The two sides worked out a framework last year and Wakui’s agent finalized the details.

The Marines released the following statement from Wakui:

I signed a contract last night. I had decided I would make a decision by spring camp in Japan when I exercised my free agent option. The time came for a decision and the desire to help Iguchi win a championship with my beloved Marines grew stronger. With the contract signed, my thoughts now are with the Marines. My training has gone well and I feel great. I will do my best to make this a year.

Source: Lotte 1/30/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/30/2018, Sponichi 1/30/2018

[UPDATE 1/31 @ 4:38pm]

According to media reports from this morning, Wakui agreed to a one-year deal worth an estimated 200 million yen (down fifty million from last year).

Source: Sponichi 1/31/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/31/2018, Daily Sports 1/31/2018, Sanspo 1/31/2018

See also:


[1/27/2018] Hideaki Wakui will likely remain with Lotte

According to a number of reports, thirty-one-year-old Hideaki Wakui is planning to stay with the Chiba Lotte Marines. Wakui exercised his free agent option this off-season with hopes of playing in the Majors. Unnamed sources have told the media that the pitcher may have received a number of offers, but none at the MLB-level. An official announcement could be  made on January 29.

Wakui could wait a little longer to see how things play out, but spring camp in Japan is about to begin. Missing spring camp would not be the end of the world, but would not be ideal. Wakui might be feeling some pressure to make a decision now because Lotte has kept the window open for him without setting any concrete deadlines.

Source: Sponichi 1/27/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/27/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/27/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/27/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/27/2018, Daily Sports 1/28/2018

[UPDATE 1/29 @ 10:56pm]

Wakui confirmed to the media on January 28 that reports of his decision to stay with Lotte from January 27 were true and that he wanted to make it to the first day of spring camp on February 1.

Source: Nikkan Sports 1/29/2018, Sponichi 1/29/2018


[2017 Free Agency] Hideaki Wakui Rumors

Date Team Update
@ 1:55p
Wakui has apparently hired Steve Hilliard to represent him. Sponichi 12/1/2017
@ 3:11a
The media learned on November 17 that Wakui is planning to sign with CAA Sports. Nikkan Sports 11/18/2017

See also:


[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

See also:


[10/11/2017] Chiba Lotte Marines would like Wakui to return in 2018

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.

Source: Sponichi 10/11/2017, Nikkan Sports 10/11/2017, Daily Sports 10/11/2017, Sports Hochi 10/11/2017

[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.

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

[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.

Source: Daily Sports 11/7/2017Daily Sports 11/7/2017


[9/24/2017] Hideaki Wakui leaves start after five innings

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 9/24/2017


Hideaki Wakui: Did You Know


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 9/24/2017


[9/4/2017] Hideaki Wakui earns international FA option

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.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/4/2017, Daily Sports 9/4/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/4/2017

[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.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/10/2017, Sponichi 9/10/2017


[7/28/2017] Hideaki Wakui leaves start with leg cramp

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.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/28/2017, Sponichi 7/28/2017, Nikkan Sports 7/28/2017


[5/14/2017] Nippon Ham, Lotte, Wakui, and Laird

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.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/13/2017, Sponichi 5/13/2017, Sanspo 5/13/2017

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.

Source: Sponichi 5/13/2017, Nikkan Sports 5/13/2017

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:

Source: Tokyo Sports 5/13/2017, Sponichi 5/13/2017, Nikkan Sports 5/13/2017, Daily Sports 5/13/2017