Hiroyuki Nakajima Rumors

Nakajima High Bidder Announcement Expected Today

4:58pm: Despite some reports that suggested otherwise, the Red Sox were not the winning team in the Nakajima bidding, tweets Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston.

10:31am: The Seibu Lions will accept the highest posting bid for shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima today, reports NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman via the Japanese press.  The winning team is expected to be made public as well.  That team will then have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Nakajima.

Giants Did Not Bid On Nakajima

6:32pm: GM Brian Sabean confirmed the Giants did not submit a bid for Nakajima, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News (on Twitter).

9:52am: The report of the Giants submitting a bid on Nakajima is not accurate, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.

9:21am: The Giants appear to have submitted a bid for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, tweet Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The posting period ended a few days ago, and we learned previously that the Seibu Lions are expected to accept the high bid regardless of the amount.  Nakajima hit .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs and 27 doubles in 633 plate appearances for the Lions in 2011 and is represented by Legacy Sports.

The Giants have a void at shortstop, having used Brandon Crawford, Miguel Tejada, Mike Fontenot, and Orlando Cabrera at the position in 2011. 

Hiroyuki Nakajima Posting Period Is Over

The posting period for 29-year-old Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima is complete, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). MLB and NPB have yet to announce the high bid.

Yesterday we learned that at least one team has placed a bid on Nakajima, though Brewers GM Doug Melvin confirmed that the Brewers will not submit a bit according to Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel (on Twitter). The Seibu Lions are expected to accept the high bid regardless of amount. Nakajima, who was posted on Monday, hit .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs and 27 doubles in 633 plate appearances for the Lions in 2011. He is represented by Legacy Sports.

Quick Hits: Nakajima, Wilson, Pena, Mariners, A’s

Some late night links from around the league…

Brewers Could Offer Fielder Six Years, $120MM

The Brewers have indicated during negotiations with Prince Fielder that they would be willing to offer the free agent slugger a six-year deal worth $120MM, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (via Twitter).  This would be a notable increase over Milwaukee's "last formal offer" of five years and $100MM to Fielder.

It's almost been a foregone conclusion that Fielder would leave the Brewers this winter but Olney notes (Twitter link) "it's a fluid situation, and Milwaukee is probably in play" unless another team makes an offer in the neighborhood of $170-$200MM.  With the Mariners, Nationals, Cubs and possibly the Rangers all interested in Fielder, it's likely one of those clubs (or, Scott Boras' erstwhile "mystery team") will come forward with a contract that tops the Brewers' best offer.

Here are a few more notes about the Brew Crew…

  • The Brewers will bid on Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, according to a Sanspo report (translated by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman).  The Seibu Lions announced two weeks ago that Nakajima would be posted, and he is predicted to attract attention from several teams looking for shortstop help.
  • MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, however, reports the Brewers aren't likely to go after Nakajima due to the team's lack of in-depth scouting in Japan.  Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin tells McCalvy that he expects a relatively quiet Winter Meetings for the team, and that the Brewers' priorities are finding a shortstop and bullpen help.
  • Melvin was named the Major League executive of the year by Baseball America.  Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the details.

Quick Hits: Cubs, McCann, Cespedes, Smoak, Broxton

Some links as Tuesday turns into Wednesday…

  • “Like I’ve always said, there is one person responsible for making those decisions, and one person accountable for those results,” said Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts to reporters (including Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune) when asked about the possibility of signing a player to a mammoth contract. “So if [Theo Epstein] believes strongly that’s what’s in the best interests of the team, then he’s got my support.” Earlier today we heard that the Cubs are pursuing both Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.
  • Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wonders if the Braves will offer Brian McCann a long-term contract extension soon. The six-time All-Star will make $11.5MM in 2012 and the team holds a $12MM club option for 2013, so there's no urgency to get a deal done at the moment.
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is currently in the Dominican Republic scouting Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. On Monday we heard that Washington views Cespedes as an alternative to Fielder.
  • The Mariners have interest in Fielder, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports says (on Twitter) that they would make Justin Smoak available in a trade if they manage to sign the free agent slugger.
  • Before he agreed to join the Royals, the Red Sox expressed interest in Jonathan Broxton according to Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald. Broxton wanted to sign before the winter meetings, and Lauber's source said that was “a little quicker than [the Sox] were comfortable with."
  • There is no more than a "10 percent" chance that Rays GM Andrew Friedman could be convinced to take the Astros GM job according to one executive that spoke to Friedman and ESPN's Jayson Stark (Twitter link).
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman offered a “would not say" to George A. King III of The New York Post when asked if he has any interest in Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. The Seibu Lions posted Nakajima on Monday.
  • Kelvim Escobar hopes to pitch in winter ball next month, agent Peter Greenberg told Mike Puma of The New York Post (Twitter link). The 35-year-old righty hopes to get back to MLB despite having pitched in just one game since 2007.

Seibu Lions Post Hiroyuki Nakajima

The posting period for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima has begun. The Seibu Lions posted Nakajima and MLB teams now have until 4pm CDT this Friday to submit bids, according to a Sponichi report relayed by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. The MLB team that places the highest bid won't necessarily obtain Nakajima, however. The team would obtain an exclusive 30-day negotiating period during which the sides can work toward a deal and would only pay the posting fee if they come to terms on a contract.

In the summer of 2010, Newman called Nakajima Japan's second-best hitter behind Norichika Aoki (who will also be posted). Nakajima asked to be posted last offseason, but the team denied his request. The 29-year-old hit .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs and 27 doubles in 633 plate appearances for the Lions in 2011. Legacy Sports represents him in the U.S.

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Hiroyuki Nakajima To Be Posted

The Seibu Lions of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League will post shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Legacy Sports will represent Nakajima in the U.S., according to Rosenthal.

In the summer of 2010, Patrick Newman of FanGraphs called Nakajima Japan's second-best hitter behind Norichika Aoki (who will also be posted). Nakajima asked to be posted last offseason, but the team denied his request. The 29-year-old shortstop hit .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs and 27 doubles in 633 plate appearances for the Lions in 2011.

Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins headline a top-heavy trade and free agent market for shortstops. Many teams figure to bid for the rights for Nakajima if they're priced out of the market for Reyes and Rollins and intrigued by a possible alternative to the second-tier options.

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.  

Odds & Ends: Long, Romanick, Falkenborg, Carlin

Links for Monday, as Cliff Lee looks to leave a strong last impression on his 2010 season against Tim Lincecum and the Giants…