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Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?

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Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
Hey everyone,

Do you guys know of any players currently in the Japanese baseball leagues who are planning on playing in the North American Major League Baseball next year (in 2007)? I know Yusaku Iriki is planning to play in New York. Do you guys know of any others?

Thanks!
Comments
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Aug 25, 2006 10:34 AM | SFT Fan ]

Right now it's a little early to know what Japanese players are planning to make the switch to the majors. I'd come back in November and see which players plan on making the switch.

- I know Yusaku Iriki is planning to play in New York.

Right now, Iriki is with the AAA Norfolk Tides, the Mets' AAA team. I doubt he will return in 2007.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: Guest: Win | Posted: Nov 16, 2006 10:48 AM ]

Well, Matsuzaka is coming. Igawa might. Iwamura is. And that's all the players coming to MLB from Japan I have gathered, so I can get some cheaper good players in my fantasy baseball league.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Nov 16, 2006 7:22 PM | CLM Fan ]

Ken Kadokura has been approached by an MLB team for a 2 year 2-oku yen contract. He's still thinking about it. He loves the deal and would like to play in the majors, but he didn't have himself or his family mentally prepared for any offers from America.

Lefty reliever Hideki Okajima and former Giants ace Masumi Kuwata could also get smaller deals much like Takashi Saitoh got last year.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: Guest: Matthew | Posted: Nov 19, 2006 1:01 AM ]

Okajima might be a candidate to do what Ohtsuka has done in the majors with the Rangers and Padres.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Nov 19, 2006 8:20 AM | SFT Fan ]

It's more possible he will be what Saitoh did with the Dodgers.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: Guest: I think | Posted: Nov 20, 2006 7:47 AM ]

Kuwata is a better candidate to do that.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Nov 20, 2006 12:21 PM | SFT Fan ]

Except Kuwata hasn't pitched well at all. In fact, Kuwata hasn't had a good year since 2002.

Okajima, on the other hand, is more likely to make an impact in the majors. He's been very steady this year.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Nov 20, 2006 3:59 PM ]

Who's getting more interest? Okajima or Ken Kadukora?
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Nov 20, 2006 11:30 PM | CLM Fan ]

Pretty certain that Okajima is getting better offers, since he's a lefty reliever.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: Nov 21, 2006 11:20 AM | HT Fan ]

Anyone notice that Okajima doesn't have his eyes on the batter when he pitches? He's looking at the ground. I saw him interviewed about that on TV a few years back; he said he didn't know why he did it - he just did.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Nov 22, 2006 6:06 AM | SFT Fan ]

Reportedly two teams (one the Padres and another unknown team) offered Kadokura a contract. One of those teams offered a multi-year deal. It is unknown whether that deal is a 2 year deal, or a 1 year deal with an option year. [Related Story - Japan Ball]
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: Guest: Matthew | Posted: Nov 21, 2006 7:56 PM ]

I don't believe Saitoh was great coming over from Japan and then did surprisingly well pitching for the Dodgers in 2006. Kuwata, the one time ace, at least has multiple pitches including his "thunderball." Saitoh is also a lot older than Okajima, as is Kuwata. I'd like both to have some success in 2007 if they all remain healthy.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Nov 22, 2006 6:02 AM | SFT Fan ]

- I don't believe Saitoh was great coming over from Japan and then did surprisingly well pitching for the Dodgers in 2006. Kuwata, the one time ace, at least has multiple pitches including his "thunderball." Saitoh is also a lot older than Okajima, as is Kuwata. I'd like both to have some success in 2007 if they all remain healthy.


Comparing the two, Saitoh was way better than Kuwata over his last four years. Kuwata has pitched in just 45 games over his last 4 years. Also, over those 4 years his lowest ERA was 5.93 in 2003.

Saitoh, with the exception of his disappointing 2004 year, was merely average. It is easily seen that Saitoh would be more able to succeed in the majors than Kuwata based on the numbers. Also, let's remember that Kuwata has been injured or pitched in the minors for the majority of the last 4 years, not a bright sign.

Not to say I don't want both to succeed, but the signs are just against Kuwata succeeding. Hopefully he does, but I'm very skeptical based on his performance over the last 4 years.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Nov 22, 2006 2:44 PM | CLM Fan ]

There's also a good chance that the BayStars messed up by not using Saitoh as the closer. It seems like he thrives in that role, and his career stats pretty much reflect that. It's almost like they forced him to be a starter, and it just didn't work out with him.
Re: Japanese Players to MLB in 2007?
[ Author: Guest: Matthew | Posted: Feb 20, 2007 7:55 AM ]

The Orioles worked out free agent Kazuaki Minami on Monday, but they aren't likely to sign the right-hander.

Minami, 25, pitched only briefly in Japan's top leagues, appearing in two games in 2004. He reportedly showed a high-80s fastball and a decent slider while working out for Baltimore. He's only going to be a candidate for a minor league deal.

Source: Baltimore Sun
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