In a bit of a surprise move, the Swallows announced a trade with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters this morning. The trade will send RHP Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi to Hokkaido in return for INF Takahiro Imanami.
After getting drafted out of high school in the 2006 draft, Masubuchi wallowed as a spot starter for the first years of his career. Masubuchi broke out in the 2010 season as a reliever posting a 2.69 ERA in 57 appearances. The team attempted to get him in the rotation in 2011, but the results were thoroughly unimpressive. Masubuchi clocked in 49 appearances (5 starts) in 2012 but disappointed with a 6.75 ERA. He only made 5 appearances last year and did not make the opening day roster this season.
Masubuchi’s departure from the team means only Tsuyoshi Ueda remains on the Swallows from the seven-player 2006 draft class.
Coming to the Swallows will be Takahiro Imanami. Imanami was drafted out of Meiji University in 2006 by the Fighters. Imanami is a utility fielder that can play both second and short. He appeared in a career high 91 games last season for the Fighters including a few games in the outfield. Imanami bats from the left side but as his offensive stats are not particularly impressive. Imanami (whose name in English is the spelled the same forward and backwards) seems to be an insurance lefty shortstop with Keizo Kawashima out for the start of the season.
Welcome to the Swallows, Imanami, and best of luck in your new home Masubuchi!
Takahiro Imanami Career Stats