Three players find themselves on the transaction wire, while another hopes to.
- Lotte free agent Hiroyuki Kobayashi has chosen to join the Hanshin Tigers rather than take a minor league deal from an MLB club. Sanspo quoted Kobayashi as saying, "I've decided on Hanshin" and "deep inside, I feel that I want to do my best for the Tigers. I was torn in many ways, but as I player I felt to do my best for a team that needs me is the happiest thing. Now I feel refreshed." According to Jiji.com an official announcement is coming in a few days.
- Meanwhile, dai-veteran lefty Kimiyasu Kudoh is going to attempt a voyage across the Pacific. Nikkan Sports caught Kudoh on the record as saying "I think I want to go to America. It would be a minor league contract, but they don't care about age over there. If I can put up results, I want to realize my Major League dream." Kudoh will be 48 on May 5, and has been playing pro ball since the early years of the Reagen Administration. He gave up seven earned runs in six innings with Seibu last year. Kudoh had an offer from the Rockies way back in 1999, but signed with Yomiuri.
- And finally, Yokohama and Seibu swapped pitchers Yataro Sakamoto and Koji Ohnuma. This is a low-impact deal, but I think just instinctively I like this trade better for Seibu. Incidentally, just the other day Deanna watched Yataro play soccer with the BayStars.