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Hiroyuki Nakajima Rumors
Earlier today, we learned that Jorge Posada will announce his retirement in the next couple of weeks. The catcher spent his entire career with the Yankees and earned five All-Star nominations across his 17-year career. In his final year in the Bronx, Posada hit .235/.315/.398 with 14 homers in 387 plate appearances..
- Posada instructed his agents, Seth and Sam Levinson of ACES, not to make calls on his behalf this offseason, a source told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, the agents fielded calls and accepted offers as Posada waited until after the holidays to make his final determination.
- Speaking of members of the Core Four, closer Mariano Rivera has said he might know by Spring Training whether he intends to keep pitching when his contract expires after this year, but won't say which way he's leaning, writes Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger. The 42-year-old posted a 1.91 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 last season.
- General Manager Brian Cashman isn't sure if the club will have interest in Hiroyuki Nakajima when he'll be an unrestricted free agent after the 2012 season, writes Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. As expected, the Yankees are now in on Eric Chavez after being unable to come to terms on a deal with Nakajima.
- McCarron also writes that Cashman & Co. believe that other teams are seeking too much on the trade market in return for pitching.
- Nakajima is a classic example of the flaws in the posting process, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. While waiting one more year isn't a terrible outcome for the shortstop, it had serious consequences for another Japanese player, right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. Iwakuma nearly had a four-year, $36MM deal with the A's last offseason but wound up inking a one-year, $1.5MM deal with the Mariners this week.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter) hears that Nakajima was offered about $1MM by the Yankees, but the bigger issue for him was the role he would have had with the Bombers. The infielder was a starter and a star player for the Saitama Seibu Lions.
“We unfortunately could not come to an agreement with Hiroyuki," said GM Brian Cashman in a statement. "We wish him the best of luck during the upcoming 2012 season.”
Earlier this week we heard that the two sides were unlikely to come to an agreement before tomorrow's 4pm CT deadline. The Yankees viewed Nakajima as a bench player and intended to pay him like one, and Jack Curry of the YES Network says (on Twitter) they offered him a one-year deal, nothing more. The 29-year-old hit .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs and 27 doubles in 633 plate appearances for the Seibu Lions in 2011. Legacy Sports represents him in the U.S.
The Yankees do not have to pay the posting fee since no agreement was reached. Nakajima will return to Japan for another season, then become an international free agent next offseason.
The Yankees aren’t likely to sign Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima by Friday’s 4pm CDT deadline, one person with knowledge of the situation told Marc Carig of the Star Ledger. The Yankees see Nakajima as a bench player and intend to pay him like a backup, Carig reports on Twitter.
In theory, the Yankees have until Friday evening to sign Nakajima. However, they’d have to complete a physical by that point, so there’s not much time remaining. The 29-year-old hit .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs and 27 doubles in 633 plate appearances for the Seibu Lions in 2011. Legacy Sports represents him in the U.S.
The Yankees won the rights to Nakajima with a bid in the $2MM range last month. If the sides don't agree to terms, Nakajima would stay in Japan and the Yankees wouldn't have to part with the posting fee. If the Yankees don’t sign Nakajima, Eduardo Nunez’s role becomes clearer and the chances of a new deal with Eric Chavez would likely increase.
On this date in 1996, the Red Sox signed veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer, who at that time had a 4.51 ERA in 1116 2/3 MLB innings over the course of nine MLB seasons. Though he appeared in just 23 games for Boston, he enjoyed a career renaissance in Seattle and hasn't stopped yet. Moyer, now 49, is recovering from Tommy John surgery and has drawn some interest from MLB teams. Here's the latest on the AL East…
- The Orioles are expected to hire former Mets, Brewers and Athletics pitching coach Rick Peterson as an organizational pitching guru this week, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
- The Red Sox have maintained interest in Hiroki Kuroda, but his asking price figures to exceed Boston’s budget unless they make another move to free up payroll, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. Kuroda is open to pitching on the East Coast, Bradford notes.
- The Yankees have until Friday to negotiate a deal with Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima and the sides continue discussing possible contracts, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Earlier reports had suggested the deadline was Tuesday, rather than Friday. Depending on whether the Yankees sign Nakajima, they could have interest in bringing back Eric Chavez or trading Eduardo Nunez.
- Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie told Jeff Joyce and Todd Hollandsworth on MLB Network Radio that he hopes trade rumors surround him next year, since other teams won't be interested if he's pitching poorly. Guthrie is entering his final season of arbitration eligibility and will hit free agency after the 2012 campaign.
- Jason Frasor says he was confused when he saw Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos had texted him over the weekend, according to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star. "I thought he might have wanted to talk,” Frasor said. “He likes to talk. He's a talker." In fact, the GM was calling about the trade that sent Frasor back to the Blue Jays for Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb. Frasor's optimistic that Sergio Santos, his teammate in the minors and majors, will fit well in Toronto.
Links for Saturday night..
- Congratulations to MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith on being named among the 100 most influential Canadians in baseball by Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Luke Adams and Mark Polishuk picked up honorable mentions.
- The Rays' interest in Ryan Theriot, presumably as a backup, has been preliminary to this point, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Mets and Braves are also said to be interested in the infielder's services.
- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker breaks down the pros and cons of Japanese import Norichika Aoki. Earlier this month, the Brewers won the negotiating rights to the speedy outfielder and have until mid-January to work out a deal. Milwaukee reportedly started negotiations with an offer in the $1-1.5MM range.
- Meanwhile, the Yankees and Hiroyuki Nakajima are said to remain far apart in their talks, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Bombers won the exclusive right to negotiate with the shortstop with a bid around $2MM earlier this month. The deadline to reach a deal is on Tuesday.
- Just as they were at the beginning of 2011, the Marlins will begin 2012 on the prowl for a starter, writes Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com wonders if a new year will mean a new DH for the Orioles. For the time being, it seems like the O's will look for an in-house solution to fill the gap.
- Third baseman Alex Rodriguez recently traveled to Germany for an experimental therapy called Orthokine on his right knee, reported Mike Puma of the New York Post. Orthokine is similar to Platelet Rich Plasma therapy, which reliever Takashi Saito had done several years ago. The procedure, which was recommended by Kobe Bryant, came with the blessing of the Yankees and the commissioner's office. Puma explains, "Orthokine involves taking blood from the patient’s arm and spinning it in a centrifuge, a machine used in laboratories to spin objects around a fixed axis. The serum is then injected into the affected area." Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters the procedure was done on Rodriguez's left shoulder as well. For more on the topic, check out this article from Teri Thompson and Christian Red of the New York Daily News.
- Cashman appears to be waiting for a resolution on the Hiroyuki Nakajima situation before pursuing Eric Chavez any further, tweets MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. Hoch says the Nakajima situation will be resolved next week. The Yankees won the exclusive right to negotiate with Nakajima with a bid around $2MM earlier this month.
- Hoch notes that the Yankees are still talking about re-signing Andruw Jones but Cashman says he has nothing to report right now.
FRIDAY: The Yankees have not discussed a sign-and-trade with Nakajima since winning the bidding for him, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).
WEDNESDAY: The Yankees won the bidding for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be wearing pinstripes in 2012. Agent Greg Genske has approached the Yankees about the possibility of a sign-and-trade, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Giants and Cubs like Nakajima, according to Rosenthal.
The Yankees won the rights to Nakajima with a bid in the $2MM range last week. They now have 30 days to reach an agreement with the 29-year-old, who will return to the Seibu Lions for another year if he doesn’t sign. Nakajima would like to play every day, but he’s not ruling anything out — even a backup role with the Yankees.
Alex Rodriguez signed the largest contract in baseball history on this date four years ago, going back to the Yankees for $275MM over ten years. He did help the Yankees to a World Championship two seasons ago, but it's tough to see that deal having a happy ending. Here's the latest from the AL East…
- The Red Sox are expected to exceed the $178MM luxury tax threshold next season according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier. The team will try to stay close to the threshold to minimize the penalty, however.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman told David Waldstein of The New York Times that he has continued to negotiate with the agent for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, but the two sides aren't close to a deal. The Yankees won Nakajima's negotiating rights last week.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com says (on Twitter) that people with the Orioles have given him the impression they were unwilling to offer David Ortiz a two-year contract before he accepted the Red Sox's offer of arbitration.
- “We will see, I couldn’t say because it hasn’t been discussed," said Cashman to George A. King III of The New York Post when asked if a multi-year deal for Russell Martin was possible. The Yankees tendered all of their eligible players contracts yesterday, including Martin, who is arbitration-eligible for the fourth time as a Super Two.
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.
Aside from David Ortiz accepting arbitration, the Red Sox had an uneventful Winter Meetings, though the offseason is still young. The latest:
- An executive who knows Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine says he's very high on Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman's source expects Nakajima to reject the Yankees' attempts to sign him, play in Japan for 2012, and sign with the Red Sox as a free agent.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington met with pitching coach candidate Brad Arnsberg before leaving the Meetings, tweets Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com. The meeting went well, but others will be interviewed. Arnsberg has served as pitching coach for the Blue Jays and Astros.
- It's unlikely the Red Sox focus their remaining offseason resources on offense, Cherington told reporters including WEEI's Alex Speier.
- Cherington said he's felt all along that his pitching staff would be an "all-winter project."
- Asked if the Sox considered being creative to try to fit Albert Pujols in, Cherington replied, "Not really."
- Regarding the compensation owed by the Cubs for acquiring Theo Epstein, Cherington said, "Loosely, we've loosely defined a strategy of talking at some point in the near future. Yeah. We'll resolve it at some point I'm sure."
- In case you missed it, the Red Sox added reliever Jesse Carlson on a split contract and minor league pitcher Marco Duarte by way of trading Rule 5 pick Marwin Gonzalez to Houston.