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Uehara and MLB?

Discussion in the Rumor Mill forum
Uehara and MLB?
Does anyone know the latest on Uehara and if he's coming to MLB next year? How about Iwamura, Matsuzaka, or is there anyone else? Is Johjima the only defenite guy right now? I'm not sure how it usually works, but are all these players a gamble to come over in 2006?

Thanks,

Clancy
Comments
Re: Uehara and MLB?
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: Jun 10, 2005 2:15 PM | HT Fan ]

At this early stage of the season, there's hardly any talk at all, of course. Still, it's hard to imagine that any of the NPB teams involved will let those players go easily.

These guys (and others) are discussed in other similar threads throughout this site. Have a browse around, perhaps a site-specific Google search, and you'll find more people's opinions.
Re: Uehara and MLB?
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Jun 10, 2005 2:42 PM ]

- Does anyone know the latest on Uehara and if he's coming to MLB next year?

I don't think so. Yomiuri won't post their players via the posting system, and have already said they wouldn't post Uehara. Also, they don't recognize the posting system according to team representative Hidetoshi Kiyotake. [Link - Japan Ball]

- How about Iwamura, Matsuzaka, or is there anyone else? Is Johjima the only defenite guy right now?

Iwamura might be posted by Yakult. According to a November 4, 2004 Daily Yomiuri article, Yakult told him, "Wait another year and we'll think about it." Though I doubt it.

Matsunaka surely won't be posted after coming off a Triple Crown season, also Matsunaka has a .305 average, with 23 HR and 61 RBI this year. [Stats - NPB-BIS]

- Is Johjima the only defenite guy right now?

Right now, yes, Johijma is the only certain player to come over to the majors, next year.
Re: Uehara and MLB?
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Jun 10, 2005 7:40 PM | CLM Fan ]

I thought Kenji wanted to stay in Japan and be a Nomura style player. Plus, the communication in the U.S. could be very hard for a catcher.
Re: Johijma
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Jun 11, 2005 10:03 AM ]

- I thought Kenji wanted to stay in Japan and be a Nomura style player.

I don't really know at the moment, but Johijma did reject Softbank's multi-year contract in favor of a 1 year contract.
Re: Johijma
[ Author: niibu_yaa | Posted: Jun 12, 2005 8:27 AM | FSH Fan ]

I agree with big man on this one. Communication is the key to catching. At last check I don't believe KJ could speak English. I suppose that since he rejected his multi-year contract deal he could be hitting the books really hard and trying to pin down English.
Re: Johijma
[ Author: Guest: clancy | Posted: Jun 15, 2005 2:39 AM ]

Thanks for the responses. I was talking to someone about Johjima's situation and he had an interesting comment: If Japanese pitchers can hold through the language barrier and be successful in MLB, wouldn't it be similar for a catcher?

I wonder if guys like Nomo, Otsuka, etc. are fluent in English.
Re: Johijma
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Jun 20, 2005 8:43 AM ]

On Saturday (June 17), Softbank said it would try to reach an agreement with Johjima before he is eligible for free agency after the Japan Series.

Sadahuru Oh, the Hawks' manager and GM, said he will strongly encourage Johjima to stay, but will not talk about money.

[Full Article - Daily Yomiuri]
Re: Johijma
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Jul 6, 2005 6:02 AM ]

Kenji Johjima said in a press conference Tuesday (July 4th) that he would exercise his right to become a FA (free agent) after this season, and that he may take a shot at being the first Japanese catcher in the majors.

Johijma did say that he wouldn't leave the Hawks, however, if he stayed in Japan. He said "I definitely have dreamed of playing [in the majors]. I think there are many players who want to go, but I want to be someone whose ability is recognized. It doesn't make sense to go if you're not an everyday player."

[Full Story - Daily Yomiuri]
Re: Johijma
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Jul 14, 2005 4:11 PM ]

Hawks' owner, Masayoshi Son, said he's ready to meet with free agent catcher Kenji Johijma to try to convince him to stay with Softbank next year. Son is the second member of the Hawks' management that will talk with Johjima on staying with the Hawks. [Full Story - Japan Ball]

Johjima will become a free agent after this year, Johjima has said he wishes to either play in the majors, or stay with the Hawks.
Re: Johijma
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Oct 22, 2005 3:38 AM ]

Hawks' catcher Kenji Johjima said he will declare free agency and is aiming for a move to the majors, baseball sources said Friday. Johjima batted .309 with 24 HR's and 57 RBI this year. [Full Story - Japan Ball]
Re: Johijma
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Oct 28, 2005 1:30 PM ]

Johjima said he's undecided about whether he wants to pursue a career in the majors or stay in the NPB. Johjima went on to say "I'm standing at a crossroads and it's something you don't have very often in your life, (Oh) told me to think it over and I'll do so." [Full Story - Japan Ball]
Re: Johijma
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Oct 31, 2005 1:50 AM ]

Johjima has announced that he's having a press conference, today regarding free agency at a Fukuoka hotel. [Full Story - Nikkan Sports - in Japanese]
Re: Johijma
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Oct 31, 2005 9:58 PM ]

Hawks' catcher Kenji Johjima declared himself a free agent with an option to play in the majors or stay with the Hawks.

The Hawks have asked Johjima to stay with the team. Johjima will visit the United States in November for talks with several MLB teams. [Full Story - Mainichi Daily News]
Re: Johijma
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Nov 6, 2005 11:43 PM ]

Johjima signed a contract with U.S. sports management firm CSMG, Sunday. CSMG chairman Alan Nero will take over the charge of major league team's negotiations for Johjima.

Johjima said "I just got my agent. So I haven't heard anything concrete." Teams can start talks with Johjima, Wednesday.

Also, Johjima mentioned the possibility that he will stay with the Hawks. About this possibility Johjima said, "To declare free agency is usually taken as a move to some other team. But it only makes more options available to me."

[Full Story - Japan Ball]
Re: Uehara and MLB?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jul 5, 2005 5:08 PM ]

Koji Uehara strikes out 14 and pitches a complete game 2 hitter vs. Yakult on June 30th. Okay, let's say he does come to the MLB, what kind of impact will he have?
Re: Uehara and MLB?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jul 7, 2005 12:36 AM ]

- Koji Uehara strikes out 14 and pitches a complete game 2 hitter vs. Yakult on June 30th. Okay, let's say he does come to the MLB, what kind of impact will he have?

Uehara would be an above average starting pitcher in MLB. To my knowledge, Uehara hasn't had any arm injuries and he's pitched well in Olympic and MLB All-Star competitions. Uehara would do fine and make a lot of money.

The problem is . . . the Giants. They won't post him before he is eligible for free-agency. The only way he could come over is if he sits out an entire season from any baseball. Doing this would break his ties with the NPB and he would be free to go to any professional league he chooses. He contemplated doing just that this season. He waited until after spring training started to sign his one-year deal.

I don't know if Uehara has it in him to become a revolutionary in the NPB union, but in order for the union to break the management's service time hold someone will have to be the leader. Maybe it will be Uehara in 2007.

-Greg Slaten-
Re: Uehara and MLB?
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Jul 7, 2005 10:58 AM ]

- The problem is . . . the Giants.

Exactly, the same team with Tsuneo Watanabe at the helm. He isn't going to allow Koji Uehara to go to the majors before he's eligible w/o somekind a fight, I mean a major fight. There will be some kind of court case before the Yomiuri Corporation allows Uehara to go to the majors before he's a free agent. The Giants have already said they don't recognize the posting system, so Uehara won't go that way.

I will say here I have no problem with NPB teams posting players, but don't want to see a free for all NPB which is a MLB feeder. This only serves to the advantage of MLB.
Re: Uehara and MLB?
[ Author: Guest: lokahi | Posted: Oct 26, 2005 11:24 PM ]

I think Japanese teams not named the Giants, Tigers, or Hawks are going to need to do some re-evaluating of the posting system and take advantage of it. The big 3 teams can afford to keep their stars and lure and develop top young talent. But I think most of the rest of the teams need to take an Oakland A's approach to players they will eventually lose to free agency. Use the posting system to make many millions of dollars to re-invest in young talent. Seibu should definitely cash out on Matsuzaka now. They could get between $15-20 million for him, if not more.

Also, don't Japanese draft picks have a lot of power in choosing where they will go to play, leading to the situation we had this past off-season where several teams (Giants, Tigers) were caught paying a young college pitcher to choose their team? If you are a team like Rakuten, I'd say it would be in your best interest to let young players know that if you play for Rakuten, they won't hold on to you for 9 years and prevent you from going to the majors. They'll use the posting system when you are ready to make the jump. Rakuten then not only attracts a lot of ambitious young talent, but has the money to invest in that talent from the payouts they receive in posting players. A team like Rakuten should be planning on posting Iwakuma after one or two more years, allowing him to pitch in the majors while he is still in his mid-twenties.

It may upset some fans, but if they can communicate with the fans as the A's have done, that they are a small market team that needs to get the most value out of their players while they can, fans would catch on (as long as the money is being spent on building winners).
Re: Uehara and MLB?
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Oct 27, 2005 12:12 AM ]

- Use the posting system to make many millions of dollars to re-invest in young talent.

While that is a good idea if played out the right way, remember that NPB fans want to see NPB players at the games. Also, the NPB should do what is in its best interest. Is it in NPB's best interest to use the posting system to allow a mass exodus of players to the majors? I really don't think so.

- Seibu should definitely cash out on Matsuzaka now. They could get between $15-20 million for him, if not more.

I know this is beginning to get "ad nauseam," but remember Matsuzaka is Seibu's star player and the face of the Seibu Lions' organzation. The Lions aren't going to just all of a sudden sell him away because people want him to play in the majors.
Posting? Process for Japanese Players to Sign with MLB Team
[ Author: Guest: rwall | Posted: Jun 27, 2005 8:44 PM ]

Is there a link that anyone knows that explains the "posting system" and the process of Japanese ball players crossing into the MLB? I love MLB and am huge on scouting and prospects (U.S. players) and was wondering if young stars in Japan are allowed to sign with an MLB team when they are really young or do they have to wait and basically come to the U.S. when their tools have fully developed and translated into their onfield play, no longer projecting skill improvement, just playing at their peak and downside?
Re: Posting? Process for Japanese Players to Sign with MLB Team
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Jun 28, 2005 3:50 AM ]

Amteaur players in Japan are free to sign with either NPB or MLB teams.

Once they sign with a NPB team, they're held to the reserve clause for 9 years before they can become a FA (Free Agent), or they can be posted by the NPB team they play for. If posted, the highest bid by the MLB team will win the right to negiotate with that NPB player. Then the team with the highest bid will have 30 or so days to negiotate a contract with that player.
Re: Posting? Process for Japanese Players to Sign with MLB Team
[ Author: Guest: Will | Posted: Jul 6, 2005 11:31 PM ]

It is also possible for the Japanese team to simply release the player before the 9 years are up. That happened with Tadahito Iguchi.
Ishii?
[ Author: Guest: Mike | Posted: Jul 14, 2005 1:36 AM ]

Has anyone heard any word on Hirotoshi Ishii's desire to play in the U.S.? If I'm not mistaken, his ninth year of service ends after the 2006 season. He would be a phenomenal closer in the U.S., IMHO.
Re: Ishii?
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Jul 14, 2005 8:41 AM ]

Ishii said he talked with Yakult earlier this year about using the posting system after the 2005 season. I would seriously doubt Yakult would post him giving the outstanding season he has put out this year. [Full Story - Japan Ball]
Re: Posting? Process for Japanese Players to Sign with MLB Team
[ Author: Guest: null | Posted: Aug 11, 2005 7:48 PM ]

- Is there a link that anyone knows that explains the "posting system" and the process of Japanese ball players crossing into the MLB?

Link [PDF file] - American Bar Association, Asia/Pacific Committee Newsletter.
Seibu's Toyoda
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Aug 10, 2005 6:27 PM ]

Also there is talk swirling about what Seibu Lions' closer Kiyoshi Toyoda will do when he qualifies for free agency. Toyoda is best known for his forkball, which is said to be the best in Japan right now.

Toyoda is 3 and 1 with 16 saves and a 4.00 ERA this year with the Seibu Lions. [Lions Stats - Borisov's Pro Yakyu]
Re: Noguchi Acquires Free Agency
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Aug 19, 2005 7:52 AM ]

Dragons' pitcher Shigeki Noguchi has acquired his free agent rights on Thursday (August 18th), the Dragons said.

Noguchi says he's still focused on the Dragons' pennant race and is undecided at the moment whether he will decide to declare himself a free agent. [Full Story - Japan Ball]

Noguchi, who is now 31 years old, was the Dragons' number 3 pick in 1993. He's claimed the ERA title twice and is currently 3-4 with a 3.20 ERA this season.
Re: Iwamura and Ishii
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Oct 14, 2005 12:48 AM ]

Yakult Swallows' third baseman Akinori Iwamura has given up on his wish to go to the majors this off-season. Iwamura said, "I would like to go to the majors. But I can't go if the Swallows don't give me a green light. I don't want to fight against my team."

Yakult closer Hirotoshi Ishii, however, said he doesn't plan on giving in to the posting system rule, saying it has to be this off-season given his age and physical condition. Ishii is 28 years old. Ishii went 4 and 3 with 36 saves and a 1.96 ERA in 60 games. He gave up 15 walks and struck out 90 batters in 72 and 2/3rds innings pitched this year.

[Full Story - Japan Ball] [2005 Yakult Stats - Borisov's Pro Yakyu]
Re: Iwamura and Ishii
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Oct 25, 2005 9:00 AM ]

Newly appointed Swallows manager Atsuya Furuta phoned closer Hirotoshi Ishii and asked him to stay with the team instead of persisting in his effort to go to the majors via the posting system. [Full Story - Daily Yomiuri]
Re: Saitoh to Majors?
[ Author: Guest: John Brooks | Posted: Nov 6, 2005 2:56 AM ]

Yokohama BayStars pitcher Takashi Saitoh said he will try and make a switch to the major leagues this off-season. Saitoh is a free agent this off-season.

Saitoh exercised his right to free agency in 2002 and had talks with major league teams, but was unable to come to terms with teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Saitoh went 3-4 with a 3.82 ERA in 21 games this year. He had struck out 93 while walking just 29 [2005 BayStar Stats - Borisov's Pro Yakyu]. Overall, Saitoh has a career 87-80 record with 48 saves in 339 games.

[Full Story - Japan Ball]
Pitchers
[ Author: Guest: sakic | Posted: Nov 24, 2005 9:52 AM ]

Pitchers all have a good chance to make a MLB club. Lack of them is significant, and teams are paying a premium for pitchers with barely a .500 record, especially if you have some potential. See A. J. Burnett.
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