Junichi Tazawa Rumors

NPB Rumors: Tazawa, Iwase, Iguchi

Some Japanese baseball-related rumors, courtesy of Patrick Newman at NPB Tracker:


Odds And Ends: Street, Schilling, Tigers

Links for Saturday…


Tazawa Not Selected In Japanese Draft

According to an AP/ESPN report, the 12 Nippon Professional Baseball teams adhered to Junichi Tazawa‘s request not to draft him.  Tazawa, a 22 year-old righty, has reportedly been scouted by the Red Sox, Mets, Braves, Dodgers, Tigers, Pirates, Cubs, and Mariners.


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Odds and Ends: Prior, Mulder, Cameron

Links for Wednesday…


Japanese Teams To Ban Defecting Amateurs

ESPN reports today that the 12 Nippon Professional Baseball teams agreed on a conditional ban for amateur players to sign overseas.  The agreement was sparked by Junichi Tazawa, the 22 year-old pitcher who hopes to sign with an MLB club.  It’s a two or three-year ban from playing in Japan, depending on the circumstances.

It doesn’t really sound all that discouraging.  NPB apparently sent a delegation to the U.S. to discuss the situation with MLB officials.  Did anything come of that meeting?  Or will MLB just start signing up Japanese amateur players now?


Full Story | Comments | Categories: Junichi Tazawa

Odds and Ends: Alvarez, Williams, Tazawa

Today’s links…

  • Chat today, 2pm CST.
  • Great stuff on the Pedro Alvarez situation from Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein.  Goldstein’s source says the union will claim that the Pirates and MLB engaged in a premeditated conspiracy, perhaps designed to take Scott Boras out of the picture by negotiating past midnight.  The article is subscription-only.  At $40 a year, BP is well worth it.
  • It seems that Type B status is slipping away for Tigers reliever Kyle FarnsworthIvan Rodriguez recently fell from A to B, but the Yankees may choose not to offer him arbitration.
  • Baseball America’s Jim Callis says Mariners top draft pick Joshua Fields wants $2MM, while the team is holding firm at $1.5MM.  Fields is advised by Scott Boras.
  • Interesting note from last week…Bernie Williams is training and does not consider himself retired.
  • Patrick Newman discusses the Junichi Tazawa situation in-depth.  He says NPB’s commissioner plans to meet with Bud Selig.  One reason MLB looks extra-appealing to Tazawa: NPB limits draft pick bonuses to $1MM.
  • Geoff Baker discusses Jose Guillen.

Tazawa Ignites Controversy

Japanese amateur pitcher Junichi Tazawa is shaking things up – last week he asked the 12 Nippon Professional Baseball teams not to draft him.  He wants to join an MLB team instead.  His decision, coupled with interest from multiple MLB teams, is putting a major strain on MLB-NPB relations.

Peter Abraham of The Journal News had an informative article on the Tazawa situation yesterday.  He says Tazawa’s decision is testing an informal agreement that MLB will not sign Japanese prospects.  Abraham says the Red Sox, Mets, Braves, and Dodgers have scouted Tazawa.  The Tigers, Pirates, Cubs, and Mariners may also be in the mix.  The Red Sox are said to be in the lead.  There’s no posting free for an unsigned player, though Tazawa may want a big league deal.

The Yankees will pass – GM Brian Cashman told Abraham he will honor the gentleman’s agreement between the two leagues.  When the Yanks sent Gene Michael to Japan last week, it was apparently to scout Yu Darvish.  Darvish’s availability this winter will hinge on the whims of the Nippon Ham Fighters.  No one knows whether the Fighters will cash the 22 year-old in now for a possible $60-80MM posting fee.

NPB directors convened to discuss the Tazawa situation last week, and they’re sending a delegation to the U.S. to meet with MLB. Abraham suggests NPB could strike back if Bud Selig doesn’t step in to stop the pursuit of Japanese players before they are drafted.  Abraham speculates Japan could pull out of the World Baseball Classic or even sign an American amateur player as retaliation.  Or, as Patrick Newman suggested to me recently, a team like Softbank could jump in and sign Pedro Alvarez or Aaron Crow.


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Rasmus, Tazawa, Manny

Let’s take a look at what is being written in the Blogosphere…

Cork Gaines writes for RaysIndex.com and can be reached here.


Tazawa Headed To MLB

As expected, amateur pitcher Junichi Tazawa has decided to forego Japanese baseball and sign with an MLB team.  The Braves, Tigers, Red Sox, Pirates, Mets, and Yankees are thought to be in on him.  Patrick Newman has a slew of links and videos on Tazawa here.

I am curious what NPB fans think of this development.


Odds and Ends: Pettitte, Hampton, Tazawa, Blalock

Let’s round ‘em up…