Orioles Eyeing Some Japanese Players

The Orioles will show interest in five to eight Japanese players if they become available, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Orioles director of player development John Stockstill told Zrebiec that he scouted Japanese players personally as recently as September.

Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima has the Orioles’ attention; they have seen him play several times. The Mariners also have interest in Nakajima, according to Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner and other teams will be involved in the bidding, too. There aren’t many shortstops with power available via trades or free agency, so Nakajima figures to draw interest if he’s posted.

The Orioles would have kicked the tires on Yu Darvish if he had become available this offseason. They have seen the right-hander throw about 30 times since 2008, but Darvish plans to stay in Japan for 2011.

16 Responses to Orioles Eyeing Some Japanese Players Leave a Reply

  1. This pleases me. First they open a facility in the Dominican, now they are heavily involved in looking at Japan. Who is this team and what have you done with my normally complacent (at least internationally) Orioles?

  2. I wonder if they will kick the tires on Iwakuma

  3. iains 5 years ago

    This really strikes me as a desperation move. If you can’t develop or trade for quality players and don’t want to lose your draft picks, Japan seems to be the route to go… More available there than Cuban defectors.

  4. I am a dedicated Orioles fan, if this draws any naysayers, then they must be doing something right.

    You can never have enough options! I hope this works our for them. Considering the issues with SS, Izturis is invaluable as a defender but as a hitter he is a major liability, Macahdo looks good but you never know. I am all for having plenty of options at your disposal.

    • ugen64 5 years ago

      Machado looks good but he won’t be ready until like 2013 or 2014 at the earliest. you have to play somebody at short for the next two or three years. other than maybe J.J. Hardy (if he gets non-tendered), I don’t see a domestic free agent SS that would be good value and anything more than a 1 year rental. so yeah, looking at other options makes sense.

  5. Since_77 5 years ago

    Orioles need to go out a sign Adrian Beltre. He would fill a need at 3rd base and be a veteran presence in their lineup.

    He would also put fannies in the seats. They have been rebuilding for over fifteen years, another draft pick would not help at this time.

    • ugen64 5 years ago

      Beltre clearly wants to play for a contender (or so he thought when he joined Boston). we were interested in him last year, and there were other clubs that gave him a better offer than Boston, including the Athletics. of course we would be interested – Josh Bell is pretty much our only 3B prospect and he’s not good enough to pass on Beltre, not to mention he could play 1B / DH if he develops into an ML-caliber hitter. but there’s no chance Beltre would be interested in the Orioles.

      • Since_77 5 years ago

        There are not many big market contending teams that need and can afford a 3rd baseman like Beltre.

        Boston wont give him the years, but other than the Orioles maybe Detroit or the Angles.

    • The_Athlete 5 years ago

      “They have been rebuilding for over fifteen years”The Orioles did not start rebuilding until Andy MacPhail was hired in 2007, they were just aimlessly losing with no real direction since 1998 before that.

  6. basemonkey 5 years ago

    The Os now have a dedicated International Scout in Asia. So seeing Yu would be one of his duties. It’s a pretty standard thing.

  7. basemonkey 5 years ago

    I’ve seen Hiroyuki Nakajima play last year in Japan. This would be pretty intriguing news for Os fans. I think they’d be happy with him. I think he’s a solid line drive hitter with good contact rates. He has some pop and a good glove. His swing is weird (like so many Japanese position players). His eye has been getting better. I can see him being a solid defensively-leaning SS with good doubles power in the major leagues. Strong fundamentals and situational hitter.

  8. penpaper 5 years ago

    I really like the Os, depending on how they handle their rotation next season.

  9. Eric 5 years ago

    Japanese players are expensive, and very injury prone.

    Inchiro might be an exception to the rule .

    BUT… and there is a but… Most come over in the peak of their careers and can be dominant like Koji has been for us.

    Orioles need a SS and if this guy has the power we are hearing we should grab him.

    Even though Izturis would be cheaper. Like the Article says HR hitting SS’s hard to come by

  10. Yeah, heaven forbid a team tries to get better.

  11. basemonkey 5 years ago

    I think he was sarcastically suggesting that you’re just being a basher.

    You seem to suggest that since any such moves wouldn’t make them that much better, so that you either don’t care or why bother? Either way you’re just being a troll.

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