A couple of readers have been asking about Japanese gyroball pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Is he still available for posting? Is there any chance he comes to the U.S. for 2006? I assumed he would come over, naming him the best available free agent pitcher (excluding Clemens). The always helpful Gary Garland of Japan Baseball Daily was willing to answer our questions.
On Matsuzaka’s 2006:
Matsuzaka just signed a new contract with Seibu and will not be posted this offseason. Seibu seems to be now saying that they are going to make Matsuzaka wait until he is a free agent, but I think the situation is a little more fluid than that.
On a Mets fan favorite, Kaz Ishii:
Incidentally, a little housekeeping matter: according to Hochi Sports, Kazuhisa Ishii has decided to re-sign with Yakult.
On the Hawaiin Winter League:
Finally, it looks like the Hawaiin Winter League will be revived. In tha past, Japanese teams have sent players to that league for a little extra seasoning. Among past graduates of that league is Ichiro Suzuki.The Korean pro league will also send some youngsters to be part of the four team circuit, according to Nikkan Sports.
As always, thanks for the informative Japanese baseball info, Gary.