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Players For 2008 To MLB

Discussion in the Rumor Mill forum
Players For 2008 To MLB
This is the info needed on MLB fantasy draft day this coming year '07. Players who will arrive in the future are the keys to success. Any thoughts on Japanese stars who might make the leap in 2008?
Comments
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Nov 24, 2006 4:08 AM | SFT Fan ]

As always, it is way too early to know who will be in the majors in 2008. I'd ask around the end of 2007, anything is pure speculation.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: T Moore | Posted: Nov 25, 2006 1:22 AM ]

Speculation exactly! That's what this thread is all about.

After this year drafts in deep roto leagues, you lose the rights to new arrivals to the free agent pool and auction. You want to own their rights now.

OK, there is a risk. But, the rewards are huge - as they tend to step right into starting roles and go for very cheap late draft prices in the year before their arrival

Please, speculate on players for 2008 now. Worthy players whom you think might make the leap and do it successfully.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: T Moore | Posted: Nov 25, 2006 1:34 AM ]

I've copied and pasted Matthew's fine post as an example of what this thread about from my year old 2007 thread. Thanks Matthew.

Michihiro Ogasawara is currently a Japanese FA and could sign with a major league team.

Kazumi Saitoh will likely be posted next season.

I believe Kosuke Fukudome could be posted next season, but we'll see.

Koji Uehara will 100% sign with a major league team when he becomes a FA after the 2007 season.

Hiroki Kuroda just resigned with the Carp, but has a clause in his contract to again pursue the major leaguers after 2007 season.

Hirotoshi Ishii would have been posted this off-season if his shoulder hadn't required surgery.

Kenshin Kawakami could possibly be posted in 2008.

Seung Yeop Lee can again pursue the major leagues if the Giants win a Japan Series before his contract ends.

Shinnosuke Abe will likely sign with a major leauge team after becoming a FA with with Giants in 2009.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Nov 25, 2006 10:01 AM | SFT Fan ]

- Michihiro Ogasawara is currently a Japanese FA and could sign with a major league team.

Except for one point, he signed with the Yomiuri Giants to a 4 year contract. Also, Ogasawara was never a candidate to play in the majors. He never mentioned an interest in the majors in the past.

- Kazumi Saitoh will likely be posted next season.

Except to give up your best pitcher would be suicide. Plus it is unsure when Saitoh will exactly acquire free agency, as it is unsure if he was with the top team in 1997 (1 game), 1998 (1 game), 1999 (1 game), and 2001 (7 games). Plus, I've never heard Saitoh say he has an interest in playing in the majors. Also, as said in the other thread, it isn't always about the money.

- Seung Yeop Lee can again pursue the major leagues if the Giants win a Japan Series before his contract ends.

Also, as I said in the other topic. It is unlikely that Lee will be very intriguing to major league teams after his contract is up. Lee will be 34 at the end of his 4 year contract. It is also highly unlikely that Yomiuri will win the Nippon Series on their current path.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Nov 26, 2006 1:02 AM ]

Thanks JBroke86.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Nov 29, 2006 1:39 AM ]

These are just my thoughts and are no way to be taken as who I believe will come to MLB in 2008.

I agree that it is a good idea to have some Japanese player names on your deep reserve list if your fantasy league allows it. It never hurts, but you don't know if it will pan out until just before the season starts.

Anyway, some names I would have on my reserve list if possible would be Fukudome, Saitoh, Kuroda, Lee, Matsunaka, and Takahashi. I have no idea if these guys will come in 2008, but I would want control of them if they do. I realize there is no way to tell if they will come and be a good MLB player, but it is the same way with MLB minor leaguers. You just don't know. If you have a deep reserve roster to fill, you might want to put a few of these guys' names on your list just in case.

As far as other players to think about, I have absolutely no idea. The majority of players that I thought would come have already made it. I think there could be a lull in high profile-type NPB players coming to MLB over the next few seasons. There will probably be some mid-30s age pitchers come over in the coming years, buy who they are and how they perform will be pure guesswork.

I hope this helps you make a decision. Again, these are just my thoughts and should in no way be taken as solid information on who will be coming to MLB in the next couple of years.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Nov 29, 2006 1:52 AM ]

I also forgot to mention one more guy. Uehara is a guy you might want on your list as well.

I realize in my earlier post that Matsunaka would be in his middle 30s to make it in the MLB. However, this is just speculation and it wouldn't hurt to have his name on your list.

One name for way down the road could possibly be Darvish. He just finished his second season and will most likely get better over the next 4 seasons. Perhaps his team will allow him to go way early like the Tigers let Igawa. Darvish would be a long term project, however.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Nov 29, 2006 3:56 AM ]

Another one to add to your list is Zuleta. He didn't re-sign with the Hawks and may be a good alternative to some MLB teams like the Orioles.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: Guest: cal baseball | Posted: Dec 5, 2006 4:17 PM ]

From the few clips I've seen on YouTube and from watching the WBC and Bi-annual All Star Series highlights, there are a few players I'd like to see in MLB soon. My opinions may not hold as much weight as some of the posters here who live in Japan and get to see these guys everyday, but I feel most people here can agree that these guys could contribute right away for any MLB team.
  1. Koji Uehara - I believe this guy can come over here and be at least a #2 or #3 starter for any team. He can bolster your fantasy stats, especially in his first year before the scouting report is out on him. (As for D-Mat, I believe he is overpowering enough that a scouting report won't do much to help hitters. Especially with all the other nasty pitches in his repertoire.) Uehara, is not overpowering like D-Mat, but he still hits 90s along with a good splitter and is said to have ultimate command of his pitches. He will also be younger than any other Japanese starter to make the jump, after D-Mat, Igawa, and Nomo. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

  2. Kosuke Fukudome - This guy could produce in MLB. He is a high average power hitting lefty who seems like a very professional hitter. I like the way he goes about his business and gets the job done, like Hideki Matsui. I believe Kosuke was the MVP of the Central League this year. From reading the posts here, I think it's just about whether he wants to compete in MLB. After his shot at Petco in the semis of the WBC and his clutch pinch hit in the finals, I was sold on him. Now this year he's MVP. I'd make room for him on my fantasy roster.

  3. Nobu Matsunaka - Another high average, power hitting lefty. I believe he could help a team looking for a 1B/DH. Another guy I have a good feeling about, from what I've seen of him. He hits hard, pulls leftys well, and has the physique and demeanor to do it day in and day out. Also Iguchi and Johjima were his teammates with the Hawks and I believe he was still their biggest bat.

  4. Seung-Yeop Lee - Another power hitting lefty. If the Giants win a championship, I'd get him on my fantasy roster ASAP. Hit 50 homers this year and was the MVP of the WBC, in my opinion. He has the sweetest swing on that side of the Pacific, in my opinion.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Dec 6, 2006 12:29 AM | SFT Fan ]

I'm also one who could believe Matsunaka could help a big league team, but he was signed to an seven year contract before this season. He would be a free agent, if I'm right, in 2013. Though the deal can be re-worked after the first four years, I'm still confused about the contract specifics. [Related Thread]

There's little chance, Matsunaka will play in the majors in my opinion.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: Deanna | Posted: Dec 6, 2006 8:58 AM | NIP Fan ]

Err, if Uehara makes the jump in 2008, he'll turn 33 right before the season starts. There've been many Japanese pitchers younger than that in the MLB.

Seung-Yeop Lee hit 41 homers this year and was second in the Central League to Tyrone Woods's 47. Thing is, he's tried to come to the majors before and the offers he's gotten from teams have never been in line with what he's felt he was worth; a minor-league contract after his KBO 56 HR season in 2003 wasn't exactly what he was expecting.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Dec 6, 2006 1:02 PM ]

Like what Fred Claire told Hideo Nomo/Don Nomura back in 1995, a contract is earned, not given.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: Guest: Diamond Draft - Fantasy Baseball Software | Posted: Dec 6, 2006 11:25 AM ]

- Nobu Matsunaka - Another high average, power hitting lefty. I believe he could help a team looking for a 1B/DH.


I think Matsunaka signed a 7 year contract recently.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: Guest: Nikoshiba | Posted: Dec 15, 2006 6:40 PM ]

In fact, Matsunaka didn't want to play in the Majors. He's a star in Japan so why throw that away after all?
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Dec 15, 2006 11:04 PM | YBS Fan ]

Huh? When he was still at Yokohama Ko he said he dreamed of going to the Majors eventually. For at least the past two off seasons he complained to Seibu's front office that he wanted to be posted, but they refused.

I think that he's motivated by something other than being a star in Japan.

How did this thread become about Matsuzaka? This thread is about possibilities for the MLB in 2008, not signed players for 2007. (I have no comment about 2008 until next October at the earliest.)
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: mijow | Posted: Dec 15, 2006 11:11 PM | HT Fan ]

Matsuzaka? I think they're talking about Nobuhiko Matsunaka.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Dec 16, 2006 2:54 AM | CLM Fan ]

MatsuNAKA, Michael.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Dec 16, 2006 9:12 AM | YBS Fan ]

Ah, my bad. Too much Matsuzaka in the press and on the brain. Please forgive my outburst.

Feel free to ignore everything but the "no comment on 2008" part.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Dec 17, 2006 2:32 PM ]

Free agents after the 2007 season:

Kosuke Fukudome (Chunichi)
Masahide Kobayashi (Lotte)

Fukudome is probably going to be in some MLB dugout in 2008. Kobayashi has said that he doesn't really like America.

Possible postings:

Kyuji Fujikawa (Hanshin): wants to leave as soon as they will let him. Can't see it happening, though.

Nagisa Arakaki (Softbank): In his recent salary negotiation, discussed his desire to be posted during the 2007 off-season. The Hawks are not fond of the posting system and they don't need the money.

Kazumi Saitoh: Will stay in Japan out of a sense of obligation to a team that waited out his early shoulder problems. I have no idea if some issues that arose during his rather messy divorce will keep him in Japan, too because if I am understanding it right it could be a public relations nightmare for him in the U.S. if they come to light here.

On Uehara, I have no idea what his status is. He had a lot of DL time in 2006. He absolutely has to remain healthy over the next two seasons or interest will probably fade.

By the way, just as a side note, the Chicago Cubs will be increasing their Japan scouting during the coming year. Whether that means they will be more of a player or not in bidding for NPB veterans is hard to say, but Fukudome could rake in that yard of theirs.
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: Guest: T Moore | Posted: Dec 18, 2006 2:36 AM ]

Really thought that Alex Cabrera would have gotten scooped up last year. Perhaps it was a good thing he didn't after the shake that Petagine got by MLB.

Is he now getting too old now to contribute?
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: taro | Posted: Aug 19, 2007 7:32 AM ]

What is Hirotoshi Ishii's status? Will he qualify for FA? Or will his team post him?
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: Ed Kranepool | Posted: Dec 22, 2006 2:21 PM ]

I'd keep my eyes on Nozomi for the future.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Dec 22, 2006 9:11 PM | YBS Fan ]

Kranepool's response is an inside joke for those who have been around this site for quite some time. No, you won't find a Nozomi in the Players page. Nozomi means "desire" and also is the name of one of the Shinkansen (bullet train) types.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Deanna | Posted: Dec 23, 2006 7:24 AM | NIP Fan ]

I have to admit, I've been really tempted lately to post things like "I'm betting pitcher Hiro Kunimi will make the jump when he becomes a free agent in 2008. He's wanted to pitch in the MLB ever since Koshien" or "I've heard Seibu has agreed to post catcher Taro Yamada next year," and so on, but figured I'd feel bad if anyone actually took those seriously, since the people who start these sorts of threads probably would have no idea that they're comic book characters.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Sharks410 | Posted: Dec 23, 2006 10:03 AM ]

I have to reply to those of you who are posting comic book characters and other foolishness on this thread as possible Japanese players that may make the jump to the MLB. I would estimate that there are a lot of readers who may visit this site for information and these stupid postings do nothing for this site / thread.

If you want to expand the knowledge and excitement of Japanese Baseball then treat your readers with some respect.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: Ed Kranepool | Posted: Dec 23, 2006 1:36 PM ]

Oh lighten up. This entire thread is disingenuous, in a way, to Japanese baseball. Think about it, speculating on further defections of the top NPB players to MLB. As if some people can't wait to get their hands on the good stuff - which top players will further erode the NPB quality pool. That is the "information" people seek with this thread and the "excitement" is derived from the slow dismemberment of a venerable global baseball institution. For a real fan of NPB, it must be a bittersweet development. For others, early scouting for their fantasy baseball team. If you want respect, give it.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: Ed Kranepool | Posted: Dec 23, 2006 1:41 PM ]

Westbay-san, my use of the word Nozomi was also based on my understanding the word means "hope." That's as in "at spring training, hope springs eternal" or "that guy has a hope and a prayer" to stick. I wasn't aware that it was a also comic book character, though it indeed is a name of a Shinkansen train. If hope is deemed "foolishness," then we are indeed in a sorry state of affairs.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Deanna | Posted: Dec 23, 2006 8:20 PM | NIP Fan ]

Nozomi's not a comic book character. I don't think so at least. The two names I pulled out (Kunimi Hiro and Yamada Taro) were from baseball manga (H2 and Dokaben respectively).

To Sharks410: You'll note that I posted that with the disclaimer of "I've thought it would be funny, but would feel bad for people not in on the joke." If I had no respect for people, I would have just posted it without a disclaimer.

But I don't think anyone who starts a thread like this one is interested in Japanese baseball so much as they're interested in Japanese baseball players leaving Japanese baseball - and they want the regulars on this board to do their work for them rather than going out and actually reading the stats and articles and whatnot. I'm fine with trying to help the people who say "I've looked up these players and thought about drafting them, what do you guys know about them?" I'm not fine with "Hi, I'm looking for an inside tip on Japanese players for my fantasy baseball team. Do you know anything about Japanese baseball? I would like you to write my roster for me."
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: T Moore | Posted: Dec 28, 2006 10:24 AM ]

Deanna: In part you are right, I have a "non"-passing interest in the NPB for you real fans of the Japanese game. However, the excitement generated by Japan's wonderful players in MLB spans the ocean. I do believe that the Japanese fans of NPB enjoy seeing their players test their metal in MLB, perhaps more that do MLB fans.

I do try and follow the top players during the NPB season. That said, you were right; I don't follow league play there. But I don't follow play in MLB that much either. I play fantasy baseball - a different game. I can't afford corpo baseball with its spiraling prices to the fan. It has priced my family out of the game.

To me - MLB is tied to criminal global exploitation, poverty, and mass-murder in the closest of ways. MLB's false national patriotism sickens me in support of illegal wars and the support of a world gone corpo without borders nor laws nor international recourse. I would like to think that baseball in Japan remains accessible and responsive to the Japanese people. In America, it certainly does not anymore.

I still am interested in folks' thoughts on the topic of the thread.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: Ed Kranepool | Posted: Dec 28, 2006 1:56 PM ]

That was the most ridiculous indictment of MLB that I have ever read!

As for the topic you started, I guess, then, that you are simply looking for the next recruits for the vast global blood sucking conspiracy.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Kiyoshi | Posted: Dec 29, 2006 11:47 AM | HAN Fan ]

? Wow! What was the topic? Something revolving around a game with a bat and ball?

We must all join in solidarity with the poor exploited workers from around the world who are forced to toil in the Major League Baseball slave labor fields.

I will sacrifice my extravagant five figure-a-year salary in exchange for the six to eight figure-a-year enslavement of these exploited brothers!
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Dec 29, 2006 10:35 PM | CLM Fan ]

Yeah, I'm big into activism and truth seeking, but finding that much evil in MLB is just ridiculous. If MLB and other pro sports organizations are guilty of anything, it's providing distraction to the masses while all the important stuff goes down behind closed doors. That's more the fault of the people, though, rather than things like MLB.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that Michael won't allow this to degenerate any further, so let's move on.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Kiyoshi | Posted: Dec 30, 2006 3:06 PM | HAN Fan ]

P.S. - I don't know about anyone else, but I was just kidding - let's celebrate the grand old game and the great players!
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: Dec 30, 2006 1:09 AM | HT Fan ]

Would MLB be:
  • "Corpo baseball"
  • "Tied to criminal global exploitation, poverty, and mass-murder in the closest of ways"
  • A bastion of "false national patriotism"
  • "Support[ing] of illegal wars and ... a world gone corpo without borders nor laws nor international recourse" and
  • "Not accessible and responsive to the [American] people"
if it had lower ticket prices?

I don't know much about MLB, so I have some questions:
  • "... criminal ...": In violation of which laws?
  • What is the international recourse for "a world gone corpo"?
  • Which wars have MLB been tied to, and what makes them "illegal wars" as opposed to legal ones?
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Dec 30, 2006 10:14 AM | YBS Fan ]

Please don't answer that. People want to know more about the background of the people behind the questions, so I let it go. Now you all know who you're dealing with.

What BigManZam said above has bothered me on numerous occasion. I'm guilty of perpetuating The Distraction with this forum by wanting to keep on topic (NPB and baseball around Asia - I feel MLB is off topic personally, but so many people insisted it wasn't).

Back on topic. I'll be doing a great deal more work for Fantasy players in the coming year. I hope to better be able to deal with these questions by mid-season 2007.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Kiyoshi | Posted: Dec 30, 2006 3:03 PM | HAN Fan ]

I agree - let's get back to baseball! We can find negatives throughout baseball's history. But the one constant is the game on the field.

The winter leagues have a few more weeks to go (Yabu is playing for Mexicali). Then Spring training will be here soon - hooray!
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Jan 20, 2007 10:24 AM | YBS Fan ]

I got another post asking about possible MLBers for 2008 (posted to a News thread - rejected for that reason).

I understand the need of fantasy players to get reports a year early. Time remaining to free agency and requests for postings are something I plan to track from now on. However, as an NPB fan (not MLB fan) I've had no interest in such topics and have not tracked them up until now. So I'm not qualified to say anything about the market for possible cross overs for 2008 at this point in time.

Garland-san at the Japan Baseball Daily and Albright-san at Baseball Guru have dedicated a great deal of research to cross overs. Until I've done close to the amount of research these two have done on this topic, it would be irresponsible of me to say anything more about possible 2008 pond jumpers.

I'm sorry that I cannot help you at this time.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Jan 20, 2007 6:18 PM | SFT Fan ]

Since, like Michael said, that this is a ongoing question, I have put together a list to watch over at my blog.

Hopefully this will help some of the numerous ongoing questions.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: Matthew | Posted: Jan 27, 2007 8:04 AM ]

List of players that might make the jump to the MLB for the 2008 season.
  • Kazumi Saitoh - will be 1 year away from free agency and could just as easily walk away after 2008.
  • Kosuke Fukudome - will be a FA after 2007 season.
  • Koji Uehara, has already said he is leaving.
  • Kenshin Kawakami - highest paid starter in Japan, will be a FA after 2007 season. He has stated that the majors are where he'd like to be.
  • Hiroki Kuroda - contract says he can pursue posting after the 2007 season. Almost did so in 2006.
  • Hitoki Iwase - highest paid pitcher in Japan and will be a FA after 2007 season. Rumors are that he wants to play in majors.
  • Masahide Kobayashi - FA after season and might be swayed by money.
  • Tomohiro Nioka - a FA after 2007 season with Giants and has said he would like to play in majors.
Others that have asked to be posted: Naoyuki Shimizu, Kyuji Fujikawa, and Norichika Aoki. Also, Seung Yeop Lee can opt out and again pursue the majors if the Giants win the Japan Series Championship within the next 4 years.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 3, 2007 2:22 AM | SFT Fan ]

- ... will be 1 year away from free agency and could just as easily walk away after 2008.

Not to sound ignorant, but what part of "Saitoh hasn't played four full seasons with the top club" don't people understand? As I pointed out above, Saitoh played in only 1 game in 1997, 1 game in 1998, 1 in 1999, and 7 in 2001. Also, this profile [Sponichi Player Meikan - in Japanese] shows that Saitoh is still a distance away from free agency.

- Others that have asked to be posted: Naoyuki Shimizu, Kyuji Fujikawa, and Norichika Aoki. Also, Seung Yeop Lee can opt out and again pursue the majors if the Giants win the Japan Series Championship within the next 4 years.

Though some have concerns over Shimizu's control, whether that will keep him from going to MLB is doubtful, as the market for pitching in the majors is so high and anyone can get a contract. Also it's unlikely Chiba Lotte will post Shimizu.

As for Fujikawa, he's still very young and isn't getting posted anytime soon. To get rid of your star young phenom closer is suicide, and if you were a Hanshin fan you'd wonder, "Hey, does my team have any baseball sense whatsoever?"

With the departure of Iwamura to Tampa Bay, Aoki will take over as the face of the Swallows. He's the closest player that resembles Ichiro in a long time. He's just 24, played only two full seasons, has broken the CL record for hits, was a Rookie of the Year, and has 2 straight .300 seasons. Aoki is going nowhere anytime soon.

The thing to remember about Seung-Yeop Lee, is the escape clause is based on if Yomiuri can actually win a Nippon Series. How close have they come these last few years? Not very close, and with their weak player development it doesn't look like it will be anytime soon. Also, when Lee's contract is up he will be 34, and won't look so attractive to major league teams. Plus, from the view I'm getting, he would rather stay with Yomiuri as he and Hara have seemed to have a strong bond from I've witnessed and read.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: Im not... | Posted: Feb 4, 2007 7:19 AM ]

Saying that all of the players that have asked or expressed their hopes in getting posted, will be. I agree that Aoki is currently too cheap and too young to be posted by the Swallows. But Fujikawa does have some elbow issues and he's the same age that Igawa was when he was posted. If Fujikawa was in fact posted then Kubota would again be the closer. He was fine while getting closer duty the last 3 years. Shimizu is fairly lackluster IMO, but it wouldn't surprise me if he was posted since he's asked for so long. Also, if Lee could get a major league contract, which he was unable to acquire in the past off-season, he would jump on it and there isn't a doubt in my mind about that. He will have to wait, and I agree that the Yomiuri Giants likely won't win a championship in the next 4 years, but after that, even at age 34, if he is still able he will again attempt a try at the majors.

This is Saitoh's contract:
[December 24, 2005]

Baseball: Softbank pitcher Saito signs 3-year, 750 mil. yen deal+

(Japan Economic Newswire) FUKUOKA, Dec. 24_(Kyodo) Softbank Hawks right-hander Kazumi Saito signed Saturday with the Pacific League club a three-year contract which is worth an estimated 750 million yen plus performance-based incentives.

Saito's annual salary expands to 250 million yen from his current 150 million yen, making him the highest-paid pitcher in club history. He was 16-1 with a 2.92 ERA in 22 games this year after matching a Japanese record with a 15-0 start to a season.

[...] signed 3-year deal worth $6.5M USD thru 2008 season in Dec. 2005 [...] he receives salaries of $2.1M each year in 2006 and 2007 and $2.3M in 2008 [...] he can earn performance bonuses [...]
Source: mlb4u.com

So again, after the 2008 Season, Saitoh is a free agent as things stand now. Again, he is only 2 seasons away from free agency and under most practices players are posted 1 season prior to their free agent year so the parent team can reap financial benefits. Or, they can walk for nothing at the end of their contract. I hope this clarifies things for you concerning Saitoh's contract status.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: Matthew | Posted: Feb 16, 2007 3:07 PM ]

Also, Kiyoshi Toyoda is a free agent after the 2007 season with the Giants. He signed as a free agent for 2 years during November 2005 with the Giants. He's pretty old at 36 but could find a place in a major league bullpen. Not predicting Saitoh-like success, but he would be an above average improvement to many teams in need of bullpen help.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 17, 2007 11:40 AM | SFT Fan ]

- Also, Kiyoshi Toyoda is a free agent after the 2007 season with the Giants. He signed as a free agent for 2 years during November 2005 with the Giants.

Except there wasn't really any significant interest the first time around when Toyoda signed with Yomiuri concerning MLB on both sides. What's so different now than 2 years ago? Toyoda's stock has fallen since he signed that deal with Yomiuri due to injury.

Also there's a small injury risk with Toyoda (who's only played in 38, 35, 34 games respectively) the last 3 years. That could scare a lot of teams away. Finally, if he were to get a opportunity at MLB it would most definitely be a minor league contract.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: Matthew | Posted: Feb 17, 2007 1:51 PM ]

Two years ago, it was an issue of how much teams were willing to give him (he was already on a downward slope then) and he didn't like the contract offers he was getting (similar to Lee this in 2006). Toyoda might chose to try and end his career at the top level. Toyoda's K/BB ratio I think would attract a lot of MLB teams. He'll likely get a contract similar to Saitoh, maybe Mori (without quite the signing bonus he received). If he can stay healthy I fully expect him to be productive at least during his 1st year. Still, there is a chance he'll make the jump like Kuwata did, with a similar deal.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Feb 17, 2007 4:09 PM | SFT Fan ]

- He'll likely get a contract similar to Saitoh, maybe Mori (without quite the signing bonus he received). If he can stay healthy I fully expect him to be productive at least during his 1st year.

If he gets a chance it will most definitely not be the same type and length contract that Mori received, it would most definitely be a minor league deal as there is too much of a health risk involved. Also there's little chance if he was to make the jump that he would even be guaranteed a roster spot. He would most likely open up in AAA and have to wait for a roster spot should an injury occur, and even then it isn't necessarily guaranteed.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Guest: taro | Posted: May 30, 2007 2:28 PM ]

Hey guys,

Realistically how interested is Hiroki Kuroda in coming to the US next year?

Thanks!
Re: Players For 2008 to MLB
[ Author: NipponHam11 | Posted: Jun 5, 2007 11:21 AM | SFT Fan ]

Wow, I'm glad I got into the Japanese side of the game, because this looks juicy for this off-season. It could be another blizzard of moves, and teams will probably be looking to the Far East to try and score some big-name free agents.

Concerning Fukudome, I think that you have your major players right there in the Mets, Yankees, Red Sox, and maybe the Cubs. He could be this year's big catch.

Here's some potential complications for these teams:

New York Mets
This team has plenty of youth in the outfield, and they already have Carlos Beltran in center. Endy Chavez is a fan favorite (not to mention his other tools), and they've got depth. However, general manager Omar Minaya has been known to put forth the big bucks regardless of who he has under contract and how much he's paying them.

New York Yankees
This is the team most likely to snatch Fukudome. Johnny Damon is gradually being replaced by Melky Cabrera in center, Hideki Matsui isn't getting any younger, and Bobby Abreu has been just awful this season. With the exception of Cabrera, the arms in the outfield are equivalent to pop guns. Fukudome's cannon arm will be an asset. God knows the Yankees have the money to spend, and if Brian Cashman is canned by Steinbrenner, look for the Yankees to pay hand-over-fist for Fukudome. Pretty much the only thing that would keep the Yankees from getting him is if they spend hand-over-fist for pitching instead of Fukudome.

Chicago Cubs
When you consider the huge investment the Cubs made in Alfonso Soriano this past off-season, mix in a spoonful of a great young talent in Matt Murton, speed in Jacque Jones and Felix Pie, and the masher in Cliff Floyd, and also throw in the ownership change for flavor, it's highly unlikely, despite the increased efforts overseas, that the Cubs will make an offer to Fukudome, but stranger things have happened.

Boston Red Sox
As a Red Sox fan myself, I tend to doubt that Boston will put forth the money for Fukudome. The Red Sox are pretty set at outfield, with Manny Ramirez, Coco Crisp, and JD Drew as the primary starters, and a very solid backup in Eric Hinske. Wily Mo Pena has been a disaster from Day 1, and Boston should get rid of him. Boston also has great outfield prospects in Jacoby Ellsbury, Brandon Moss, and David Murphy. Boston has also been rumored to be more interested in the proven commodity, Ichiro Suzuki.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Jun 6, 2007 1:49 AM | SFT Fan ]

- Realistically how interested is Hiroki Kuroda in coming to the US next year?

Not very much so, he signed a four year deal to remain with the Carp.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: NipponHam11 | Posted: Jun 6, 2007 10:16 AM | SFT Fan ]

It would seem that I'm wrong about the Red Sox not pursuing Fukudome. Early reports say that Boston is interested, and it may mean that Manny Ramirez and/or Coco Crisp might be on the way out, should the Red Sox scoop up Fukudome.

Here are the scenarios with Boston's 3 outfield starters:

Ramirez (LF) has 1 year left on the massive deal that Boston gave him in 2001, and for the last 3 or so years, Ramirez has asked to be traded before in the off-season. Ramirez's mammoth salary would be easy to manage for a team looking for hitting help, but Boston will have to eat a good amount of it.

Coco Crisp (CF) has a pretty big salary himself, but this is a lot more manageable. Despite the fact that he likes Boston, he isn't performing, and the Red Sox will not be afraid to eat some of his salary and trade him to make room for Fukudome, who wants to play center to start with.

And now for the weakest link, JD Drew in right field (or JD Pew as they're calling him in Boston). The Red Sox gave him 5 years and $70 million, which is ungodly considering a player of Drew's status (which is mediocre at best). I wouldn't be surprised if Drew gets traded or released instead of Ramirez and/or Crisp, and the Sox make room for Fukudome that way.

I have a feeling that if the Yankees overhaul their pitching instead of their outfield, this could be another major coup for the Red Sox in Japan.

I'll post salary scenarios for the other 3 teams I've named later.
Re: Players For 2008 To MLB
[ Author: Jbroks86 | Posted: Jun 6, 2007 12:52 PM | SFT Fan ]

- it may mean that Manny Ramirez and/or Coco Crisp might be on the way out, should the Red Sox scoop up Fukudome.

Yeah, Crisp [MLB.com] has been a major disappointment, batting just .237/.299/.323 with 1 HR and 16 RBI. Since being acquired from Cleveland, Crisp has been a major disappointment.

A lot also depends on what Ichiro does this off-season. If Seattle ends their season on a winning note, I think Ichiro will stay with the M's, though if Seattle falls off, I think he will leave. Seattle looks as good as they have since 2001 at this point.

- Ramirez (LF) has 1 year left on the massive deal that Boston gave him in 2001, and for the last 3 or so years, Ramirez has asked to be traded before in the off-season. Ramirez's mammoth salary would be easy to manage for a team looking for hitting help, but Boston will have to eat a good amount of it.

Manny's going nowhere, these rumors that Manny wants out of Boston come up every year. As they say, it's just "Manny being Manny."

- And now for the weakest link, JD Drew in right field (or JD Pew as they're calling him in Boston). The Red Sox gave him 5 years and $70 million, which is ungodly considering a player of Drew's status (which is mediocre at best). I wouldn't be surprised if Drew gets traded or released instead of Ramirez and/or Crisp, and the Sox make room for Fukudome that way.

Not happening. Boston isn't going to release him, and then be on the hook for over $60 million over the next 4 years. There's a slight possibility they might look into moving Drew, but don't expect Boston to release him. Coco Crisp is likely the one moving after the season.
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