Around the Central League: January 7, 2011

Nakajima will be playing baseball in Saitama again this season.

Chunichi Dragons

  • Mr. Takagi, the Dragons’ energetic and cuddly new manager, wants fans to touch his butt if they win the Central League Pennant in 2012.

Yomiuri Giants

  • In preparation for the upcoming season, Utsumi and several of his teammates went shopping in Guam.
  • According to this report compiled by Yakyu Baka, Yomiuri will likely lose a player to Yokohama as compensation for picking up free agent third baseman Murata.
  • And Yomiuri will likely have to pay 80% of Sugiuchi’s salary to Fukuoka since the 2011 Japan Series Champion isn’t interested in any of the players on Yomiuri’s unprotected list. Why all this compensation idiocy is a part of free agent signings is beyond me.

Hanshin Tigers

  • As always, there is tons of news coming out of Osaka about every inane aspect of every inane player’s inane daily routines. Nothing worth relaying to you though.

Hiroshima Carp

  • Reporter Saho Naruhashi (26) made ace pitcher Kenta Maeda (23) an honest man. Their ‘paper marriage’ apparently took place on New Year’s Day. Rumors of the impending marriage surfaced in October last year.

Yokohama Baystars

Around NPB

  • Free agent Munenori Kawasaki (30), formerly Fukuoka’s shortstop, has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners.
  • Free agent RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (30), formerly of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, signed a one-year deal with the Mariners as well. Suck on that, Oakland.
  • Hiroyuki Nakajima wasn’t so lucky though. The New York Yankees won negotiating rights with Saitama’s prized shortstop through the posting system, but this one was doomed from the start. And it also sounds like the Yankees might have been trying to lock him in long-term for cheap. Will Aoki’s quest to play in MLB follow a similar path and see him back in Tokyo for another year?
About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini