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Japanese players for 2007?

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Japanese players for 2007?

Postby Jayhawk2222 » Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:48 am

My NL-only league allows us to draft Japanese players in our reserve draft (they then have a salary of $5).

With my last pick last 3 years ago I selected Kaz Matsui because I heard he was coming to MLB. This looked like a genius move when he came over and was projected to be a 20-20 guy. This didn't work out so well, but...

QUESTION IS: Are there any good to great Japanese players rumored to be coming to MLB after the 2006 season that I could draft this Spring and stash away until 2007?
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Japanese players

Postby rhd » Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:52 am

There could be several Japanese players worth drafting that jump to MLB in 2007. This always is an iffy propsition, particularly if you're not in a mixed league. But I've had good success doing this in my leagues that allow this. I drafted Ichiro, H. Matsui and T Iguchi as rookies.

I read a lot of info on players who might be interested in coming to MLB. A good site to check out is Jim Albright's site, http://baseballguru.com/jalbright/analy ... ght35.html, where each year he lists the top players in the Japan leagues that have indicated a desired to go to MLB. Since his article, Johjima has, of course, signed w Seattle, and Nishiguchi and Kokubo have re-signed w their Japanese clubs.

But, Japanese players are locked up for 9 years before they are eligible for free agency, and I never have known where there is a reliable source that indicates when each player becomes eligible. You can look up their career stats to see how long they've played, but you cant necessarily tell how much service time they've accumulated toward their 9-year requirement. There is the posting system where their club allows MLB teams to bid on them before they become free agents. But for all the talk about posting, I think only a couple Japanese players have ever been acquired by a MLB team thru the posting system (Ichiro and, I think, some pitcher).

I'm sure you've heard of Daisuke Matsuzaka, probably the best pitcher in Japan. I dont think he's eligible for free agency until 2009. He could be posted before then, but if I were his club, I wouldnt post him until at least right before the last year of his contract (2008) and not even then if his club was considered a serious contender. So, I would think that 2007 would be the year to draft him in a roto league. Altho I might draft him this year, and keep him stashed for couple years. I really think this guy is the real deal. He's only 24 y/o. I think he'll be better than any Japanese pitcher we've seen so far.

Players that may become available in 2007 are Nobuhiko Matsunaka (1B) (perhaps the best hitter in Japan), Kosuke Fukudome (OF). Akinori Iwamura (3B) and Yoshinobu Takahashi (OF). The first 3 I dont think are FAs until 2008; Takahashi I think is a FA inn 2007. Actually, as indicated by Albright's article, Tomonori Maeda (OF) is a free agent now. His stats look good but I havent heard of any MLB team showing interest. Maybe he's not interested in coming over. Also, Hirotoshi Ishii (a closer) wants to come to MLB and is trying to get his team to post him. So far, they havent. Also, Koji Uehara, another top pitcher, has long wanted to come to MLB but his team refuses to post him. I think he will be a FA in 2008, so next year probably is the year to draft him.

So, this year probably the only Japanese player I would possibly target in a 'rookie' draft would be Matsuzaka (the pitcher). Altho if I received some info that Matsunaka (the hitter) were still interested in MLB, I'd jump on him. In a deep draft, I might take flyers on Fukudome and Iwamura also. Maybe Nishiguchi also, who will be a FA again next year. For 2007, I will keep an eye on Uehara.
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Postby Jayhawk2222 » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:51 pm

Thanks that was very helpful.

FYI...Doing some internet browsing, I found the following facts...

* Daisuke Matsuzaka is, in fact, eligible to be posted after the 2008 season, but is still hoping that it happens sooner.

* Nobuhiko Matsunaka just signed a 3 year extention that takes him thru the 2008 season.

* Koji Uehara is no longer seaking to be posted, and will instead be content to wait until he is eligible after 2008.

* As of January 8th, Hirotoshi Ishii was still fighting to be posted, citing that his team promised him last year. This issue may go to Japanese court. The team has said that they will definitely post him "for the 2007 season" which I assume means after this season and not after the 2007 season.

* How about this guy? Akinori Iwamura . Read this article...
http://www.japanball.com/news.phtml?id=5688
Last edited by Jayhawk2222 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Reply

Postby rhd » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:35 am

* Daisuke Matsuzaka is, in fact, eligible to be posted after the 2008 season, but is still hoping that it happens sooner.


I believe he is a FA after the 2008 season. As I understand it, a Japanese club can choose to post a player at any time, no matter when he is eligible to be a FA.

* How about this guy? Yoshikazu Tagiku. Read this article...
http://www.japanball.com/news.phtml?id=5688


The player the article refers to is Iwamura, who I mentioned before. Tagiku is the owner. And just because his club says they'll let Iwamura go early doesnt mean it will happen. After all, this supposedly is what Matsuzaka's and Ishii's teams told them. And Iwamura stats look good, but his plate discipline (or lack thereof) is a little concerning.

* Nobuhiko Matsunaka just signed a 3 year extention that takes him thru the 2008 season.


Thanx for that info. I didnt know that.
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