Yankees Win Rights To Hiroyuki Nakajima

Saturday, 2:41pm: Nakajima spoke to Nikkan Sports (Japanese link) about the Yankees submitting the top bid.  "I thought 'whoa!'. I got a bid from a great team," said the shortstop before adding that he doesn't know how everything will turn out.  Thanks to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker for the translation.

Thursday, 6:18am: ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the question is being explored as to whether or not the Yankees will trade Nakajima, as they don't really have a role for them on their club.

Wednesday, 6:43pm: Given the low salary Nakajima figures to receive, the Yankees aren't confident they'll sign the infielder, tweets Heyman. Nakajima could decide to stay in Japan.

11:34am: The Yankees won the bid for about $2MM, tweets Jon Heyman.  Noting Nakajima's preference to play for a West Coast team, Rosenthal wonders if he'll be willing to be a utility player for the Yankees.  

11:18am: The Yankees won the rights to negotiate with Nakajima, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  They now have 30 days to work out a deal with him.

11:08am: The Yankees submitted a posting bid on Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima with an eye on using him in a utility role, tweets David Waldstein.  One person believes the Yankees won the bid, but Waldstein has not yet confirmed that.  The Seibu Lions should announce the winning bidder today.


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245 Comments on "Yankees Win Rights To Hiroyuki Nakajima"


3 years 8 months ago

Swisher will break his leg in an intrasquad game.

3 years 8 months ago

so will this be Yankees biggest offseason move?

Lastings
3 years 8 months ago

They extended Sabathia. That was big both figuratively and literally.

UltimateYankeeFan
3 years 8 months ago

Well if it is the Yankees it would seem that Nunez days as a Yankee could be numbered.
If that’s the case could a possible trade with the Braves be that far off for Jurrjens.  The Braves previously expressed an interest in Nunez.

Tirameenlasbolas
3 years 8 months ago

Probably woudln’t be a bad idea to dump Nunney while his stock is still fairly high.

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

Please remember that while Eric Chávez said he wants to play next season, he and Yankees have not come to terms, PLUS he is often injuried.

This move we’ll probably say goodbye to Ramiro Peña as the second utility man.

3 years 8 months ago

Does anyone know Nakajima’s strengths? Is there a comparable player already in the MLB? Just trying to get an idea the type of player he is.

3 years 8 months ago

Yunel Escobar with higher AVG, slightly less pop.

Brad Hodge
3 years 8 months ago

If you meant Yunel Escobar’s jockstrap then I agree. 

3 years 8 months ago

Hah!  Yeah, right.  And Daisuke was Nolan Ryan but with a gyroball.

If he was truly that good his posting fee would have gone above 2 Mill.

Whowonthe2009WorldSeries
3 years 8 months ago

If Albert Pujols was really that good then he would have been drafted before the 13th round, right?

KJ4realz
3 years 8 months ago

Really? Nice comeback. The Yankees were stupid too for passing up on Pujols then 12 times… You know along with 28 other teams. Stupid comment. The history of failed Asian players is more likely to continue than the next Asian Pujols is to happen.

jjs91
3 years 8 months ago

U really missed the point.

Whowonthe2009WorldSeries
3 years 8 months ago

Some Asian players have failed, might as well write off the entire continent then, right?

Using the fact that no one gave him money as logic to the fact that he can’t be good is inherently flawed.

3 years 8 months ago

It’s time for you to wake up, man.  This guy is 29 years old, and moving from Japan.  His skillset is pretty set in terms of what he can bring to the table.  If he’s as good as Yunel “with a better AVG and less pop” (doubtful to say the least, considering this would make him an elite AVG hitter), there would have been many, many more and higher bids for him.  You knew where Pujols was two years ago, when he was 29?  Picking up his third MVP trophy, his second consecutive.  This guy is 29 years old. TWENTY-NINE.  Much different than a player in the amateur draft.  Have fun with your Yankee blindness, I’m sure Kei Igawa is still going to be a star, too…

Whowonthe2009WorldSeries
3 years 8 months ago

Saying that “if he was going to be good, teams would have paid him more” is one of the dumbest things I have ever read.

The whole point of the Pujols thing was, people didn’t know how good he would be at the time.  I’m not actually comparing them on a talent level.  

You still don’t get it.

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

Damn, those guys Matsui and Ichiro sure suck… not to mention that guy Nomo who threw two no hitters and won ROY, and surely Kazuhiro Sazaki never was the best closer before going back to Japan… i’d say Shigetoshi but I doubt you know how valuable to the Angels bullpen he was.

3 years 8 months ago

Asian Pujols? That physical composition isn’t possible. Maybe in a genetic lab. hahaha

Blanketsburg
3 years 8 months ago

Looking at his numbers from the Japanese League, he looks to be a better all-around SS than Jeter, though of course there is league differentials. Would never displace him unless Jeter retired, of course. This seems like a strange move by the Yankees, unless they view him as Jeter’s eventual replacement after an audition as a utility player.

3 years 8 months ago

or they will use him as trade bait?

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

Wait until the crop of nitpicking SABRmetricians invent something that says that Nakajima is also the worst SS in history, while ignoring evidence of the contrary =)

ellisburks
3 years 8 months ago

The difference is that Jeter really is a bad short stop.

3 years 8 months ago

I am going to be sick. $20Million+ likely with posting fee to squander in a super utility role. 

3 years 8 months ago

The only explanation: They’re trading Jeter. haha.
Is it feasible to obtain Nakajima from posting, and then flip him for a starter?

3 years 8 months ago

Oh I am sure it is, but you’re basically throwing the posting fee away for nothing, unless the pitcher they acquire is on a low salary. There remains the bigger picture – and this is a stretch, that the Yankees made a bid for another team, to effectively outbid everyone to trade Nakajima somewhere for a SP. Not impossible, but shifty. I think the Yankees just wanted to block the Jays and Red Sox from getting better, honestly. No pressing needs? Then just ruin it for everyone else.

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

2 millions is too low of an amount to (in my opinion) be considered an offer to outbid in somebody else’s name.

If he was THAT good and somebody like the BJays and the Red Sox were after him, they would have bid higher than 2 millions (BJays alone paid 4 millions to sign 16 year older Roberto “Cañoncito” Osuna).

But what i see is that maybe most teams view him in an utility role, and judging by how much money utility players have been getting, it would be more or less like spending a few millions more for an already stablished MLB utility, with less risk inherent of how good will Nakajima adapt (if he really is THAT good defensively he will have no problem adapting, plus he is a contact hitter which can translate favorably as long as he doesn’t try to go ‘yard’).

captainjeter
3 years 8 months ago

yeah right

BLEACHER_CREATURD
3 years 8 months ago

lol 20 million? Where did you hear that? Not a chance.

3 years 8 months ago

Didn’t hear it – posting fee (which, wow, was only $2M) +3-year contract @ ~$5M/Year. Expected the posting fee to be wayyyyyy more. Apparently no one wanted him.

Tirameenlasbolas
3 years 8 months ago

Utility to begin with, then eventual replacement for Jeter.  Yanks win the WS this year, Jeter walks away on top, and the little guy from Japan takes over.  Ok, maybe not.

BLEACHER_CREATURD
3 years 8 months ago

More likely so they can trade players if they need to (nunez). Not to mention utility player on the Yankees is a bit different than other teams, because Jete, and Alex will need a lot of days off.

3 years 8 months ago

Nakajima played 3B in a Japanese all-star game, so he’s done it before. I’d be surprised if A-Rod plays over 100 games this season, so you’re right, utility role in NYY might be at least 80 games.

Tirameenlasbolas
3 years 8 months ago

For the Yankees’ sake I hope Payrod is in the Caribbean right now searching out a chemist to supply him with some undetectable “medicals” if you know what I mean.  Getting off the sauce has destroyed him.  In another year or two he’ll look like deflated like McGwire.

BLEACHER_CREATURD
3 years 8 months ago

I think he has a bounce back year this year as long as hes healthy. Every time he got in the swing of things last year he got hurt. Obviously that’s wishful thinking from a fan though. If he doesn’t start playing hes gonna get booed out of town though. Pujols might have the same fate… I really don’t think hes only 31.

Tirameenlasbolas
3 years 8 months ago

A baseball player lying about his age?  Nahhhhhhhhhh!

jjs91
3 years 8 months ago

He was leading 3rd baseman in most catergories, before he got injured at the all star gm. I might be a tad worried about his legs getting hurt, but he missed a large chunk for hurting his thumb wish is pretty flukish

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

No need to look in the caribbean when the doping masters are in the US working hand on hand with prominent sport stars… 😉

3 years 8 months ago

I’m guessing they can’t handle Nunez’s nerve-racking throws across the diamond then. 

3 years 8 months ago

not when his throws end up 7 rows in the stands behind the 1B

captainjeter
3 years 8 months ago

Jeter is here through 2013. Be more concern about being stuck with the albatross A Rod   through  2017

3 years 8 months ago

Arod will prob retire before that, if his body dont hold up

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

If that’s the case, I hope he does what Gil Meche did lol

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

If that’s the case, I hope he does what Gil Meche did lol

OrangeCards
3 years 8 months ago

and not collect a check? Doubt it.

OrangeCards
3 years 8 months ago

and not collect a check? Doubt it.

3 years 8 months ago

Posting fee: $2 million (Jon Heyman)

baseballz
3 years 8 months ago

Wow goes to show you even the Yankees FO doesn’t believe its own hype regarding Nunez.

3 years 8 months ago

no one believed the hype about nunez after this past seasons defensive showing. his offense isnt bad. its just the defense that needs work

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

Eduardo has very good range but makes the common mistake of losing track of the ball once he is near him, plus he wants to act quickly to make a play, which also contributes to him making all those errors. If he could learn from Jeter to be calm when attacking the ball he would be absolutely phenomenal (Jeter is one of the best SS once he gets to the ball, which is an above average of 70-80% of the times a ball is hit in his vicinity… but it doesn’t translate very well for some SABRmetricians because they overlook the fact that Yankee pitchers induce far less grounders towards the SS-3B area than the average MLB team).

YanksFanSince78
3 years 8 months ago

You know what, you’re a m0r0n (dang moderator). You’re acting as if the Yanks hired a pr company to praise about Nunez. HE’S A UTILITY PLAYER who could probably start for a handful of teams because his bat has some upside at the SS position and he’s cheap. NOWHERE AND AT NO TIME has Cashman praised him like he was Montero or someone.

notsureifsrs
3 years 8 months ago

lollin

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

What’s so funny? Hey it’s 25x less than Dice-K’s bid and 12x less than Igawa’s.

notsureifsrs
3 years 8 months ago

answered your own question, didn’t you? so many huffpuff posts about japanese players and when will we know when will we know!

aaaand $2M

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

“answered your own question, didn’t you?”

Umm it seems as if you were laughing at the Yankees, were you not?

Is $2 millilion a lot in baseball today?

notsureifsrs
3 years 8 months ago

no to both questions, unless millilion is a denomination i don’t know about

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

But had the posting fee been 10x you’d be yelling… LOL!!

the_insomniac
3 years 8 months ago

Wonder how much the bid was. Seems like a costly investment in a bench player 😛

3 years 8 months ago

Nothing is costly to the Yankees. AJ Burnett and Kei Igawa, Yankees doing just fine.

the_insomniac
3 years 8 months ago

2 million is lower than I expected. Good move barring the price of his contract. Do you mean apart from Burnett and Igawa, the Yankees are doing just fine?

3 years 8 months ago

I meant with the money being paid to them, and them not contributing at all, the Yankees are still in no financial trouble and will still have a great record.

the_insomniac
3 years 8 months ago

lol true

hardcoreforhardcore
3 years 8 months ago

This is definitely a precursor to another move, I believe. Interested to see where Cash goes with this.

3 years 8 months ago

If you are willing to spend over 10 million a year on a 7th inning guy (Soriano), then 30 or 40 million makes sense for a utility guy.

BluMule
3 years 8 months ago

make that 2 mill

Rabbitov
3 years 8 months ago

2 mill just to talk to him. 

MB923
3 years 8 months ago

Yeah I guess $50 mil to Dice-K was more worth it.

Rabbitov
3 years 8 months ago

Not sure what you are responding to?

BluMule
3 years 8 months ago

You think his contrat will reach 50 mill?

Rabbitov
3 years 8 months ago

I want to say no, but I have seen stranger things happen in baseball free agent signings. 

BluMule
3 years 8 months ago

Thats so true.

Leonard Washington
3 years 8 months ago

Not a chance.

jjs91
3 years 8 months ago

They paid soraino to be a reliver theres no difference in what inning he pitched the three outs in the 9th is that more valuable than the 3 outs in the 7th

MurderersRow27
3 years 8 months ago

Except Soriano wasn’t brought in to be the 7th inning guy, he was brought it to be the set-up man for Rivera, so the Yankees could have that LOCK DOWN 8th/9th innings combo like they had with Rivera/Wetteland. It was also believed that Soriano would most likely be Mo’s predecessor when he retired. 

3 years 8 months ago

He gonna be cool with this?  Kind of culturally ignorant of me to ask, but will being asked to be a utility player maybe insult his honor or something?  I mean, when he decided to make the jump to the MLB, I assume he imagined being a starter and making an impact.

3 years 8 months ago

Kenny Ken Ken Rosenthal makes it sound like he wanted to be West Coast and everyday player. Eep.

andrewyf
3 years 8 months ago

Well, it looks like no one on the West Coast wants him, and his Japanese team clearly doesn’t want to pay him. He’ll just have to swallow his pride and hope Jeter doesn’t find the cure for aging.

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

And Rosenthal is never wrong…

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

WOW really? “to insult his honor”? we don’t live in the era of Japanese men commiting suicide because his honor was broken… so you know.

3 years 8 months ago

Patrick Newman from NPB Tracker doesn’t think he can make it as an MLB SS and will probably move to 2B. Posted for $2 million according to Jon Heyman.

fxx3605
3 years 8 months ago

OMG truly this is a precursor to come when we realize we cant resign cano to a 6/165 deal

3 years 8 months ago

ahahhaa hmm…

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

So he is already catalogued as “one of the worst SS ever to play in MLB” even before he plays for the Yankees? That is something new.

ARod's Ring
3 years 8 months ago

I think this is part of a bigger deal.

Morley C
3 years 8 months ago

This is just winning the rights to negotiate with him. They haven’t necessarily actually signed the player.

0bsessions
3 years 8 months ago

$2 million? Seriously?

It’s really hard to argue against that move. For the Yankees I’m not entirely convinced that them bidding on him was anything but an accounting error.

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

Not an error when you take into account that there are interrogants regarding Chávez+Ramiro Peña and that various teams want Eduardo Núñez; this move just gives the Yankees a bit more comfort regarding possible replacements for them.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 8 months ago

This is like an episode of Storage Wars. You make a bid that you really don’t expect to win because it’s so low and you end up with a possible steal. It says they doubt they can sign him because his salary would be low. He’s not going to supplant Jeter, Cano or Arod so why would they pay him anything substantial? 

drumzalicious
3 years 8 months ago

2 Mil?????? I can’t believe more teams weren’t in on him with that being the winning bid. Especially the Giants and Braves.

HummBaby
3 years 8 months ago

The article says a posting fee of 2 million? (everyone above keeps saying $20 million?) (granted it says $2MM). If it in fact was as low as $2M….Sabean couldn’t afford $2.5M to bid? For a player that said he wants to be on the West Coast? And for a player that would be an upgrade to what we have?

0bsessions
3 years 8 months ago

This looks like a huge misread of the market. Even without looking at the guys numbers, I have to imagine with how thin the SS market is, SOMEONE should have been willing to top $2.5MM.

Guest
3 years 8 months ago

Just another genius move by Cashman. 

HummBaby
3 years 8 months ago

I’d like to see how “genius” Cashman would be running a team like the Astros or the Padres with their payrolls.

Guest
3 years 8 months ago

Right, great argument. Now I need to get back to what I was doing, which was nothing. 

jjs91
3 years 8 months ago

Im sure astros fans wish they could find out

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

My bet is that he would do great, just look at the small acquisitions he has made in the past when there was nothing good available and how much they contributed.

Last year alone he acquired Freddy García, Bartolo Colón and promoted Nova. 4 of his 6 starters during 2011 either came from within their system or were deemed laughable signings at the time.

And to make matters worse to those who criticize the Yankees, again they were the best team in the AL while at the same time having one of the highest amounts of homegrown talent (just Texas had more homegrown players than the Yankees).

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

My bet is that he would do great, just look at the small acquisitions he has made in the past when there was nothing good available and how much they contributed.

Last year alone he acquired Freddy García, Bartolo Colón and promoted Nova. 4 of his 6 starters during 2011 either came from within their system or were deemed laughable signings at the time.

And to make matters worse to those who criticize the Yankees, again they were the best team in the AL while at the same time having one of the highest amounts of homegrown talent (just Texas had more homegrown players than the Yankees).

YanksFanSince78
3 years 8 months ago

Astros have the ability to spend money. My guess is he would spend what he has on WanRod and Brandon Lyon.

Cash has room for error with the Yanks. On a smaller payroll team he absolutely wouldn’t take a chance with some guys simply because the risk would be too great. Cash is far from stupid.

3 years 8 months ago

Exactly. This was a great opportunity for Sabean and he mailed it in. Mike Fontenot!

3 years 8 months ago

It seems strange…like no other team had interest in Nakajima.There are at a few teams  that could look into acquiring a shortstop, so it couldn’t hurt to spend more than $2 million to make a bid. 

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

It is abbreviated as MM because it is plural as in millions, if it were a single million it would be M. It applies to other abbreviatures too, even in spanish, where USA is abbreviated either as as EE.UU.AA. (Estados Unidos Americanos), or just EE.UU. (Estados Unidos = United States), México for example should be EE.UU.MM. (United States of México, which is the official name of the country).

Though to facilitate learning the language, most of this conventions have been nullified and only a reduced number of plural words use the double lettering, as when you are working on a scientific paper and you quote a paper, you’d put it as “pp.” to indicate the pages where the quote comes from… though the “pp.” in reality mean “paginae” in latin, or, pages.

3 years 8 months ago

I always read MM as M*M, as in a thousand thousands.  But that breaks the rules of Roman Numerals, so it would have to be M^2.

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

It is abbreviated as MM because it is plural as in millions, if it were a single million it would be M. It applies to other abbreviatures too, even in spanish, where USA is abbreviated either as as EE.UU.AA. (Estados Unidos Americanos), or just EE.UU. (Estados Unidos = United States), México for example should be EE.UU.MM. (United States of México, which is the official name of the country).

Though to facilitate learning the language, most of this conventions have been nullified and only a reduced number of plural words use the double lettering, as when you are working on a scientific paper and you quote a paper, you’d put it as “pp.” to indicate the pages where the quote comes from… though the “pp.” in reality mean “paginae” in latin, or, pages.

Guest
3 years 8 months ago

I saw this coming, strangely, and I have to wonder if this is part of something bigger for the Yanks. 

sherrilltradedooverexperience
3 years 8 months ago

i hope this is the beginning of the death of the posting system by defacto boycott

MikhelB
3 years 8 months ago

Sure, wait ’til Darvish is posted…

SixAces
3 years 8 months ago

Why? Because the Big BAD Evil Yankees won the bid by NOT throwing huge lumps of cash? $2M bid and they might have been one of the small handful of teams (if any) to bid.