NPB Rumors: Aoki, Nakajima, Chen, Kuroda, Igawa

Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker has scoured Japanese newspapers for the latest rumors.

  • Yakult center fielder Norichika Aoki has asked to be posted.  Aoki hit .292/.358/.360 in 643 plate appearances in 2011.  Newman wrote last year that Aoki was "the best pure hitter Japan has produced since Ichiro," but that was before his numbers dropped off significantly in 2011.  Despite great range, Newman thought last year that Aoki's weak arm could limit him to left field in MLB.
  • Seibu shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima will again ask to be posted this offseason.  Nakajima was denied that request last winter, though the Orioles and Mariners were reportedly among the interested teams.  The 29-year-old hit .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs in 633 plate appearances this year.  Newman considered Aoki Japan's second-best hitter in his August 2010 article.
  • Chunichi southpaw Wei-Yin Chen was 50/50 on moving to MLB as of October 26th.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports dubbed Chen a "likely free agent" in a report this morning.  The 26-year-old posted a 2.68 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, and 0.49 HR/9 in 164 2/3 innings this year.  He's represented by Alan Nero of Octagon.
  • The Hiroshima Carp have an offer out to Hiroki Kuroda.  Kuroda said he's happy to have received the offer from his former team.  His plans for 2012 remain unknown though.
  • Multiple Japanese teams have interest in Kei Igawa, who reached free agency after his five-year deal with the Yankees expired.  

blog comments powered by Disqus