Adjust Font Size: A A       Guest settings   Register

2010 MLB Players

Discussion in the Rumor Mill forum
2010 MLB Players
What Japanese hitting/pitching stars are thinking about landing in MLB for 2010?
Re: 2010 MLB Players
[ Author: Really Off Topic | Posted: Oct 18, 2009 6:32 AM ]

I've seen replies in other threads that these kinds of requests are tiring or even annoying for hard-core Japanese baseball fans here. But I think you have to realize that, like it or not, fantasy players are a huge part of all aspects of baseball. There is a reason that ESPN, etc., cater to them. They are a huge part of the audience and I'd go so far as to say that they were mainly responsible for the resurgence of baseball's popularity after the strike years ago.

Moreover, I first started following Japanese baseball years ago in order to pick up ideas for my fantasy baseball team and have become a real booster for them. I even rooted for them in the Olympics!

So please, less anger and condescension for fantasy owners! Yes, we can be annoying but we love baseball too.

So tell us your opinion if you will -- who may be coming over to the ML in 2010?
Re: 2010 MLB Players
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Oct 18, 2009 1:42 PM | YBS Fan ]

Well, I did tell many (starting in March) to wait until October, and now it's October. Further, I usually wait until the list of free agents is published in the newspaper, which is at the end of the Japan Series. That won't be until November 8 (at the latest) this year.

To compound the problem, I'm not the speculative type. I prefer to wait for a player to say he's interested in exercising his free agency rights before suggesting that he may be going anywhere. However, players only say things like "I'm just focused on the current season" when they reach free agency during the year, making it rather hard to determine who's really interested in going.

Nonetheless, I'll give you a list of possible players who may or may not be going in 2010. And I most definitely don't suggest that any of them will be able to succeed there. If that is understood, then please read on.

First up is Tamura Hitoshi (SFT). Labeled "most likely to kill himself running into a wall," the often injured Tamura has voiced before that he'd like to give the MLB a try. I haven't heard of any such talk for a while now, but unlike some of the people on this list, he has actually said it before. Tamura is 32 years of age.

Next up is the Chiba Lotte Marine contingency: P Shimizu Naoyuki (33), P Ono Shingo (34), OF Ohmura Saburo (33), and C Hashimoto Tasuku. Other than Hashimoto, the first three of them reached free agency before this season, but didn't exercise their FA rights, opting to stay with Valentine-kantoku and the Marines. The team is heading in a new direction, and because they were all some of Bobby's favorites, they may be targeted for extra punishing work loads next season (as Lotte punished many of Valentine-kantoku's favorites after his 1995 stint). I've heard that both Shimizu and Saburo have talked about the Majors in the past, I'm not sure about Ono or Hashimoto. Shimizu seemed to be way off this past season, and Ono wasn't at his best either. Saburo led the team in batting. Hashimoto suffered from some injuries and is atrocious batting against southpaws.

In the "one last bid" sweepstakes, there are C Tanishige Motonobu (CHU - 38), OF Inaba Atsunori (NIP - 37), and pitchers Kudoh Kimiyasu (YOK - 46) and Toyoda Kiyoshi (YOM - 38). Both Tanishige and Inaba have tried to latch on to an MLB team before, Inaba twice. I've got to give it to Inaba for not getting down by the lack of interest as he has only gotten better each year. Kudoh, recently released by the BayStars, still wants to play and is hoping to pull a Kuwata-like contract. Toyoda seems to be suffering from his trade to the Giants and is looking to close his career on something to be proud of.

Finally are some guys who I just think would be interesting, although I'd never heard if they're interested in moving or not. Pitchers Igarashi Ryota (YAK - 30), Takahashi Hisanori (YOM - 34), and Tateyama Yoshinori (NIP - 33), and infielders Kaneko Makoto (NIP - 33) and Higashide Akihiro (HIR - 33).

Again, I am not saying that these free agents can make it in the MLB, nor that they will even try. Furthermore, it's not an exhaustive list of free agents (which will be posted when Nikkan Sports publishes it). It's just a list to appease the pitch fork wielding Fantasy players for a while.
Hashimoto Interested in Domestic Free Agency
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Oct 19, 2009 8:53 AM | YBS Fan ]

I mentioned above that many of the Lotte players reached free agency in past years but wanted to stay on with Valentine-kantoku. Well, in today's Nikkan Sports (October 19, 2009) Hashimoto Tasuku comes out and says just as much:
"I'd had the feeling that I wanted to use my free agency rights since last year," he said. He first attained free agency last year but, "I really wanted to give Valentine-kantoku the doage" he explained as to why he decided against it.
[* Doage is the traditional throwing of the manager in the air after clinching a pennant.]

Word is that Yokohama and Rakuten are both interested in Hashimoto's services, as are some other domestic clubs. There is no word about the possibility of using his free agency to go to the Majors, though.
Re: 2010 MLB Players
[ Author: Really Off Topic | Posted: Oct 26, 2009 3:24 AM ]

LOL! I have put my pitchfork in storage! Thanks for the ideas.

My feeling is that Darvish is still years away from the ML, if even then. He can make a fortune in Japan and doesn't need the ML as much as they need him.
Re: 2010 MLB Players
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Oct 27, 2009 12:00 PM | YBS Fan ]

I've put together the list of international free agents for the 2009-10 off season. Do with it what you will.
Re: 2010 MLB Players
[ Author: Really Off Topic | Posted: Nov 9, 2009 10:46 AM ]

Thanks! An interesting list.

I thought Hitoki Iwase missed all of last year with an injury, so it was a little surprising to see him there. I thought time on the DL tolled your free agent time.

I also have to wonder if Ibata isn't such an individual that he may want to try the ML and see what he can do.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

Search for Pro Yakyu news and information
Copyright (c) 1995-2021
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Some rights reserved.