The Orioles will show interest in five to eight Japanese players if they become available, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Orioles director of player development John Stockstill told Zrebiec that he scouted Japanese players personally as recently as September.
Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima has the Orioles’ attention; they have seen him play several times. The Mariners also have interest in Nakajima, according to Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner and other teams will be involved in the bidding, too. There aren’t many shortstops with power available via trades or free agency, so Nakajima figures to draw interest if he’s posted.
The Orioles would have kicked the tires on Yu Darvish if he had become available this offseason. They have seen the right-hander throw about 30 times since 2008, but Darvish plans to stay in Japan for 2011.