Red Sox Close To Contract With Itsuki Shoda

The Red Sox are close to signing Japanese left-hander Itsuki Shoda to a minor league contract, reports Nikkan Sports (Japanese language link) and tweeted by NPBTracker's Patrick Newman.   As WEEI.com's Alex Speier translates, Sox GM Theo Epstein said the two sides are close to an agreement and Shoda will report to Boston's minor league Spring Training camp.

Shoda, 29, won the Pacific League's Rookie of the Year award in 2002 as a member of the Nippon Ham Fighters, but failed to live up to that early promise, eventually moving to Hanshin in 2007 and playing two seasons for the Tigers.  For the last two seasons, Shoda has pitched in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, posting a 3.60 ERA and a 3.35 K/BB ratio in 324 1/3 innings for the Sinon Bulls.


Leave a Reply

53 Comments on "Red Sox Close To Contract With Itsuki Shoda"


dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

Ham Fighters, eh?

4 years 6 months ago

No the Ham Fighters, the Fighters. The corporate owner is Nippon Ham. Though it is cool to think of the lineup drawing swords to take on the herd of bacon beasts.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

I was kind of just referring to it as like people call the Boston Red Sox, Red Sox. Nippon Ham Fighters could be called “Ham Fighters”

4 years 6 months ago

I don’t hear people calling “Boston Red” anywhere..

TrueYankeeFanNYC
4 years 6 months ago

How did matsuzaka work out? Bean town signed a glorified Brett Gardner (Crawford) with a litte more pop for 21 mill a year and we pay 600k for Brett Gardner lmao good one. The jenks pap combo is scary btw that’s domination lol.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

You’re certainly a bitter Yankee fan. Glorified Brett Gardner? You sure have your hopes up, don’t you? And Dice-K has worked out fine and been an above average starter when healthy.

TrueYankeeFanNYC
4 years 6 months ago

Definitely. I’m so sad we missed out on paying Crawford 21 mill not getting an extension done with A-gon and missing out on white sox scraps like jerks.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

If you’re team signed Crawford you wouldn’t be acting like a child and saying Dice-K didn’t work for the Sox and Crawford is a “glorified Brett Gardner.” Also, you have every reason to be bitter since your team lost out on Cliff Lee. You’re trying to find reasons to talk bad about your teams biggest rivals, who happened to have the best offseason in all of baseball.

NomarGarciaparra
4 years 6 months ago

Once in a while I see an extremely bitter Yankee fan on here. Let’s face it man…you are mad Cliff Lee left millions on the table to NOT be on your team. You are mad that the Gonzalez deal didn’t fall apart.

As a Yankee fan, you have absolutely no right on pointing out how much the Red Sox are paying anyone. Do we have anyone being paid $27 milllion? Is our payroll $200M+?

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

It just kills him that with a payroll under 200M, we seem to have a better looking and younger team, OUCH.

BoSoxSam
4 years 6 months ago

Well lets not forget, it may be under 200 mil, but its damn close. Especially once A-Gon gets his extension.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

Still going to be under. Drew is out next year, no way Boston re-signs him. 14M right there alone off the books. Well, I lied. If for some reason they feel Kalish is not going to be ready, they MIGHT take Drew back for one more year.

BoSoxSam
4 years 6 months ago

Well, A-Gon will sign the extension this year. And while it doesn’t go on their taxes, I’d consider his likely bump in salary for this year to count. And yeah I never said it would be over, there’s no chance of that unless they signed another big FA for some reason. But I just mean, the Sox aren’t exactly a mid-market team, so its just slightly hypocritical of Boston fans to whine about New Yorks salary lately. 😛

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

Yeah, but we had a chance to add two superstars and ownership went for it. It’s not like it’s become our history to have 150M+ payrolls. Up until last year we have had relatively been small compared to NY. That’s mostly due in part to guys signing team friendly extensions. I get what you’re saying though. We have definately been a bigger market team, but when you compare us to the Yanks only up until the last 2 years have we really come close to them.

BoSoxSam
4 years 6 months ago

Throughout the 2000’s, which is when we’ve been having this run of success, Boston has pretty consistently had quite a large payroll. Never as big as NY, sure, but all I’m saying is Boston has been consistent recently of being at the very least a top 5 payroll. And over the last couple years have been number 2 payroll, which doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon. As soon as a Drew leaves, a Buchholz may need a new extension. And when Pedey, Youk, etc. all need new contracts, that’s gonna be money for sure.

And, isn’t that what NY does? Add superstars when they have the chance? Look I’m a hardcore Red Sox fan, but the point that somehow Boston is not nearly the spender NY is is pretty silly at this point. YES, NY is still the number one spender. But Boston is number two.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

I never anywhere said Boston isn’t a higher spender :P. All I was referring to from the beggining was we have an under 200M payroll with a younger and more talented team right now. Cheaper, more talented and younger = more efficient. That’s all I was really trying to get across is my original post. But you make a good point about the upcoming contracts players need. People are saying Boston should go after Pujols, Fielder, etc. In all reality, they shouldn’t. I’ve been saying all along on this site and the NESN website that the Sox need to keep that money coming off the books after this season for those players. Sure, they took team friendly contracts before, but I’m sure now most of them entering their primes, they’re going to want more market value deals. We have a lot of money coming off the books and will need it in a couple years.

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 6 months ago

We added 2 superstars and stayed under the excise tax! I dont care how much the yanks spend to win but at least the Sox stay around the excise tax without paying that 40pct hit! And next year we have a minimum 58million coming off the books in Drew 14, Papi 12.5, Papelbon 12, Cameron 8, Scutaro 6.5, Wake 3, Tek 2! The Sox are as good a business model as their is in baseball! You have to spend money to make money!

MaineSox
4 years 6 months ago

A-Gon is already under contract for this season, so his salary for this season wouldn’t change. Any salary change due to an extension will come next season after Drew (and others) comes off of the books. But I’m with you on whining about the Yankees payroll, seems foolish to me.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

I was just trying to point out we are getting more bang for our buck. It wasn’t me whining about the payroll. Younger, more talented players for under 200M is way more efficient than aging vets of the Yanks with huge deals adding up to 200M or higher.

MaineSox
4 years 6 months ago

I wasn’t trying to say that you were whining about it, I was just agreeing that it’s foolish for Red Sox fans in general (or anyone for that matter) to whine about the Yankees payroll.

BoSoxSam
4 years 6 months ago

Well true, but for I’m just kind of assuming he’ll insist on some sort of signing bonus that basically bumps up this years salary. Or something. Gotta figure he’ll want to bump this years salary up as part of the deal.

MaineSox
4 years 6 months ago

That’s possible I suppose.

Victor Kipp
4 years 6 months ago

No way they take drew back..not a chance..even if he took league minimum…not a chance in hell he comes back…and Dice-K will prob be gone as well.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

They are very high on JD.

BoSoxSam
4 years 6 months ago

Yeah, but with the outfielders in the system, plus his age, plus Drew supposedly is even thinking of retiring, I think its unlikely he comes back as well. Although I’m a big JD fan personally…Boston fans will finally recognize his value when they’ve got Kalish dealing with the right field hellhole instead of JD.

Victor Kipp
4 years 6 months ago

Next year Drew comes off, Ortiz is prob gonna be gone, papelbon will be gone, so ya when A-Gone signs his extension there will be over $30 mill off the books.

Fangaffes
4 years 6 months ago

A-Gon’s new salary doesn’t start until 2012. Drew, Scutaro, Cameron, Wakefield, Varitek, Papi, and Papelbon will all be gone by then. They’ll be nowhere near $200M.

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 6 months ago

Don’t forget missing the playoffs this year too!

BoSoXaddict
4 years 6 months ago

Have fun watching your team come in 3rd this year. Jeeze.

NomarGarciaparra
4 years 6 months ago

How did Igawa work out? How did Pavano work out? I’m sure there are many more that can be listed…

The Evil Empire signed a glorified Daniel Bard (Soriano) with a little more experience for 12 mil a year and we pay 400k for Bard lmao good one.

TrueYankeeFanNYC
4 years 6 months ago

Bard ever close or lead the AL in saves? You compared bard to soriano hahahahahha.

NomarGarciaparra
4 years 6 months ago

You are using saves to compare? That’s like using wins to compare pitchers. Felix Hernendez had 13 wins last season, John Lackey had 14…let’s get a trade going. I’m sure the Mariners would be fine taking that extra win.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

Well, maybe comparing Bard to Soriano is a little premature (only due to ML service time). But then again, if I can take a 25 year old over the 31 year old for basically league min or 11.66M avg a year and get the same results, guess who I’m going with? Bard. BTW – That’s not something you can say with Gardner and Crawford either. Sure, the salaries are far apart but the results will NOT be the same.

Aaron4289
4 years 6 months ago

Did Gardner ever lead the league in stolen bases or triples?

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 6 months ago

Just make sure u don’t compare your team to ours. Cuz one is gonna to the Series and yours is not making the playoffs! How ya like them apples! Lol!

4 years 6 months ago

I’m a Yankees fan and even I know it’s a losing battle to poke fun of other teams for poor international signings. Let’s be real here guy, don’t be silly now…

4 years 6 months ago

Your fooling yourself NYC when your comparing Gardner to Crawford. Crawford is a WAY better player than Gardner. For the record Gardner isn’t even as good as Ellsbury. Think before you spew.

4 years 6 months ago

I’ll agree that Crawford is hands above Gardner. He’s proven much, much more. But I wouldn’t necessarily go as far as to say that Gardner is worse than Ellsbury. So, you’re half right.

NomarGarciaparra
4 years 6 months ago

At this point, I’d say Ellsbury and Gardner are similar players. Ellsbury is probably a better hitter, but Gardner walks a lot more (i.e more suitable as a leadoff man). Only time will tell who’s better.

4 years 6 months ago

I think Gardner has an edge defensively as well. He’s fearless out there. And I think that is going to be be an issue with Ellsbury at the start of the season. He missed so much time after getting run over by Beltre last year that I’m guessing there is going to be some hesitation on his part, at least early on.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

I don’t think Ellsbury will be holding back. He didn’t last year when he came back from the ribs the first time. He made multiple diving catches out there. It will be a non issue. As for overal defense though, I think you’re right. Gardner probably does have the edge and at the plate he is definately more disciplined. Overall it’s as close to evenly matched as you could get. I’d flip a coin and take either.

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 6 months ago

No! He’s actually totally right!

4 years 6 months ago

Is this a Yankees fan talking about overpaying for a player?! O the hypocrisy is too much to bear!

MaineSox
4 years 6 months ago

Are you for real? Or are we all getting punk’d right now?

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 6 months ago

Spoken like a scared man who’s already accepted defeat! Btw 36 million for a setup man was a steal! Enjoy fighting for your life to get the wildcard this year! U won’t!

Fangaffes
4 years 6 months ago

Hey, that’s pretty funny – a Yankees fan asking how Matsuzaka worked out.

How about the guy the Yankees signed in response: Kei Igawa? Did you know he has two major league wins so far? Did you know he’s still on the Yankees payroll?

Dice-K’s record so far is 46-27, with an 8.33 K/9.

4 years 6 months ago

Ya man you’re totally right, how could you have time to be sad when you are so busy celebrating the Yankees awesome offseason! You guys hit the jackpot! You get to pay a 37 year old shortstop 17mil a year until he’s 40, got flat out rejected by Cliff Lee, and had your second best pitcher retire! Meanwhile the Sox got those minor league scrubs Crawford and A-Gon. I honestly don’t see how the Yankees can’t win it all this year with all-stars like Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre shutting teams down every night…

4 years 6 months ago

awesome*

tiger313
4 years 6 months ago

Who would win the battle between MLB mascots and Japanese Mascots?

MaineluvstheSox
4 years 6 months ago

I’ve got to hand it to Trueyankeefan, for handing out a truly moronic statement he got a lot of replies. There isn’t anyone who would realistically put Gardner in the same class as Crawford.

Fangaffes
4 years 6 months ago

You have to admit, it was a hugely successful troll.

tiger313
4 years 6 months ago

Hanshin Tiger vs. the Detroit Tiger?

Fangaffes
4 years 6 months ago

Well see, that puts him right up there with post-season Arod. Even better, since he’s fast and able to play defense.