Misc updates on other NPB free agents. Some of these guys are already on my list, others will be added in the next day or two.
On with the updates...
Tyrone Woods (1B, Chunichi Dragons): Yahoo (via Daily Sports) reported that Tyrone Woods is going to leave Chunichi after the season ends. Woods put up another strong season in the Central League despite turning 39 in August, and should attract plenty of interest around NPB if he chooses to stay. I could see him moving to MLB too - if Darryl Ward can stick for the whole year on the 97-game winning Cubs, I have to think there's a place for Woods somewhere.
Hiram Bocachica (OF, Saitama Seibu Lions): Like most foreign players in Japan, Bocachica is playing for Seibu on a one-year contract. Though he played only 78 games, Bocachica hit a surprising 20 home runs this season. This blogger wants his Marines to go after him this offseason, but Hiram told Deanna that he wasn't sure about staying in NPB.
Ken Takahashi (SP, Hiroshima Carp): Takahashi is coming off a resurgent season with Carp, and there's a chance he'll opt for free agency. It looks like teammate Hiroki Kuroda inspired this: "I'm interested in seeing what American baseball is like. The image of Kuroda has had a big impact. I'm struggling (with the decision)". Takahashi is a lifelong Carp and 40 at the beginning of next season. I think it's either Hiroshima or America for him.
Colby Lewis (SP, Hiroshima Carp): Lewis put up a great year for the Carp, and has already re-signed and should be Hiroshima's opening day starter next year.
Hiroshi Shibahara (CF, Softbank Hawks): Sponichi reported last week that Rakuten is targetting Shibahara as the first free agent acquisition in the team's four year history. Shibahara is still a useful player and would fill a veteran role for the team.
Ryoji Aikawa (C, Yokohama BayStars): Aikawa has already announced his intent to declare free agency, with a move to MLB a possibility. He's taken in some MLB playoff action and intends to participate in tryouts as a winter league invitee, but I don't see him getting more than a minor league contract. Back in NPB, Yakult is interested in acquiring Aikawa to fill starting catcher role that no one has claimed since the retirement of the great Atsuya Furuta.