Yusei Kikuchi Rumors

Odds & Ends: Chapman, Cubs, Holliday, Damon

Links for Saturday afternoon …

  • Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News spoke with a baseball executive who believes the Yankees will wind up with Aroldis Chapman.  "My bet is that it'll come down to the Yankees and Red Sox, like it always does…" said the executive. "And I think the Yankees will get him.  They can give him a big-league contract over five years for $20 million and they don't even feel that."
  • The NY Post's Bart Hubbuch reports that the rumored three-way deal involving Milton Bradley, Kevin Millwood and Luis Castillo "isn't happening because the Rangers aren't interested in giving up Millwood so easily." He also mentions that the Mets aren't expected to make any majors moves until the Winter Meetings in two weeks.
  • Paul Sullivan at The Chicago Tribune rounds up some Cubs' rumors all in one convenient spot, just like our Cubs archive.
  • Meanwhile, Phil Rogers of The Chicago Tribune posted his projections on where some notable free agents will land. He sees Matt Holliday signing with Boston, while both Jason Bay and John Lackey land with the Angels.
  • Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post Dispatch notes that the market for Holliday is diminished because officials from the Angels and Giants said they "would not be vying" for his services. 
  • The Yankees' biggest focus right now is finding a "common ground" with Johnny Damon, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff. Hideki Matsui seems to be less of a priority. 
  • Larry LaRue of The News Tribune says that the Josh Johnson situation in Florida represents the worst-case scenario for the Mariners and Felix Hernandez.
  • Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a report that says Yusei Kikuchi has inked his first pro contract with the Seibu Lions. Kikuchi will not be eligible for international free agency for at least nine years, though Seibu could make him available through the posting process before that.

Odds & Ends: Kikuchi, Astros, Smoltz, Hermida

Some links to read for Thursday morning…

Yusei Kikuchi To Stay In Japan

SUNDAY, 8:52pm: NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman brings us his thoughts on Kikuchi's long-awaited decision.  On a human level, Newman is happy to see the youngster stay in Japan as the process appeared to be bringing him a great deal of stress.  Dealing with the American media at the age of 18 would require a very thick skin.

SATURDAY, 10:05pm: Highly touted left-handed pitcher Yusei Kikuchi has announced that he will stay in Japan after meeting with eight MLB teams and 12 NPB clubs, according to Kyodo News.  Kikuchi chatted with the Red Sox, Dodgers, Rangers, Giants, Indians, Yankees, Mets and Mariners before opting not to make the leap to the United States.

Leading up to his announcement, outlets in Japan claimed that the 18-year-old would state his desire to continue playing baseball in his home country.  Earlier this month, Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker compiled a scouting report on the hotly sought-after hurler and noted that his dream is to pitch in the major leagues.  We may still see Kikuchi in MLB down the road, but not in 2010.

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Kikuchi To Announce Intentions Tomorrow?

Japanese teenage lefthander Yusei Kikuchi has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow morning according to Patrick Newman at NPB Tracker. Kikuchi is expected to announce whether he'll remain in Japan or come to the United States at the presser.

Patrick passes along two reports which indicate that Kikuchi will remain in Japan, however he qualifies that by saying "we’ve seen a pattern of Japanese media outlets hearing what they want to hear with regards to the highly-regarded lefty." Kikuchi was scheduled to begin meeting with seven MLB teams and a dozen Japanese clubs starting last week. The NPB draft is just five days away, and Kikuchi is expected to be the first overall pick should he remain in Japan.

You can check out all of our Kikuchi rumors here.

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Odds & Ends: Parker, Okajima, Kikuchi, La Russa

Links for Thursday…

Odds & Ends: Towers, Kikuchi, Marlins, Astros

Some links before the playoff baseball begins…

  • Yahoo's Tim Brown reports that Kevin Towers is at the ALCS. The former Padres GM isn't working yet; instead, he's paddleboarding, golfing and doing pilates.
  • The Dodgers don't appear to be going all out for Yusei Kikuchi at this point, but other teams are intensifying their efforts to sign the Japanese teen. As MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports, Derek Holland is helping the Rangers pursue Kikuchi.
  • Former Marlins pitching coach Mark Wiley tells Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post that he was surprised to be fired, but not as surprised as he was when the Indians fired him after their 1998 ALCS appearance.
  • Astros icon Jose Cruz will return to the work for the club's community relations department next year, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
  • MLB players will have more time than expected to file a collusion grievance over last year's free agent market, according to the AP (via ESPN).

Odds & Ends: Johjima, Rockies, Kikuchi

Links for Tuesday…

Odds & Ends: Eyre, Rockies, Red Sox

Links for Monday…

Odds & Ends: Indians, Padres, Marlins

Some more links on this Sunday evening:

  • Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Indians "are expected to cut their managerial search to five or fewer candidates this week."  Pluto advises us not to be surprised if former Nationals skipper Manny Acta is among the finalists.  Acta is also in contention for the Astros' job.
  • Pluto goes on to write that Cleveland has interviewed ten candidates so far.  The aforementioned Acta, Bobby Valentine, Travis Fryman (manager of Indians' single-A affiliate) and Torey Lovullo (Indians' triple-A manager) are among those under consideration.  Pluto is in the dark regarding the remaining six, but Mike Hargrove, Tony Pena, Buck Showalter and Phil Garner are not in the mix.
  • Padres CEO Jeff Moorad has not gone through his complete list of candidates for the vacant GM job, writes Chris Jenkins of The San Diego Union-Tribune.  Of the names that have been floated about, Jenkins characterizes Kim Ng as the "most interesting."
  • Now that Bryan Price has agreed to become the Reds' pitching coach, the Marlins could turn their attention to Randy St. Claire, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.  St. Claire was in his seventh season with the Expos/Nationals franchise before getting the axe earlier this year. 
  • Yusei Kikuchi will meet with his eight MLB suitors over the course of two days this week, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Odds & Ends: Mattingly, La Russa, Kikuchi

Let's take a look around the web as we get ready for Dodgers-Phillies: