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Hiroyuki Nakajima Rumors
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.
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.
Some late night links from around the league…
- According to a report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (on Twitter), at least one MLB team has bid on Hiroyuki Nakajima since the posting process started on Monday. The Seibu Lions are expected to accept the highest bid, regardless of amount.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels has spoken to C.J. Wilson's agent as recently as today reports Jeff Wilson of The Fort Worth Star Telegram (on Twitter), and MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says the two sides are expected to meet again at the winter meetings.
- Before signing with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks for $5MM over two years, Wily Mo Pena had drawn interest from the Indians, Giants, Brewers, and Mariners according to SI.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter).
- Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times wonders if the Darren Ford signing clears the way for the Mariners to trade some of the outfielders on their 40-man roster, like Trayvon Robinson, Michael Saunders, or Franklin Gutierrez.
- “We’re very open,” said Athletics assistant GM David Forst to John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle when asked if any of the club's pitchers were untradeable. “If we didn’t have the (pitching) depth, we wouldn’t have this option.” Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey have been popular names, but Forst's statement suggests Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy could be had as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- The Yankees and hitting coach Kevin Long agreed to a three-year deal, reports George A. King III of the New York Post. He'll be getting a raise on his previous $400K salary.
- The Athletics named Ron Romanick their new pitching coach, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- King's colleague Joel Sherman doesn't believe Brian Falkenborg will be the next Colby Lewis, as Falkenborg is likely to remain in Japan.
- The Indians removed catcher Luke Carlin from the 40-man roster, according to the team's Twitter account. Carlin, 30 next month, hit .238/.332/.336 at Triple-A this year. The Indians' 40-man roster is at 38. Andy Marte is another candidate to find his way off the 40-man, in my opinion.
- If Carl Crawford has similar offers elsewhere, he'd need to be convinced to join a former rival like the Yankees or Red Sox says ESPN's Buster Olney.
- The Seibu Lions have again denied Hiroyuki Nakajima's appeal to be posted, according to a report passed along by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman on Twitter. The Japanese shortstop was said Saturday to be holding out hope.
- Check out the voting for the 2010 Fielding Bible Awards.
SATURDAY: Newman passes along another report (via Twitter) saying that Nakajima hasn't given up on being posted just yet. He wants to meet with Seibu Lions management again and try to get them to change to their minds.
FRIDAY: Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima will not be posted, according to reports passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker (on Twitter). He had been drawing interest from MLB teams including the Orioles and Mariners, but those clubs will have to look elsewhere for middle infield help. Nakajima would have added some pop to the otherwise ordinary group of shortstops available via trade or free agency.
The 28-year-old hit .314/.385/.511 with 20 home runs in 579 plate appearances in Japan this year. In an article for Fangraphs, Newman suggested Nakajima is a line drive hitter whose power could fade in the majors.