FULL COUNT: Giants win and offseason begins


On Oct. 28, the Giants completed their historic four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers, bringing San Francisco its second World Series title in three years. Although there were no Japanese players in the Fall Classic, assistant trainer Taira Uematsu and team acupuncturist Haro Ogawa earned their second rings as members of the Giants staff.

The Giants victory marked the end of the 2012 season and the beginning of free agency. As of Oct. 29, a number of players of Japanese descent are on the market.

Soon to be 39, Ichiro Suzuki hopes to re-sign with the New York Yankees for 2013. The outfielder hit .322 with five home runs and stole 14 bases following a midseason trade.

Starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie is exploring options outside of Kansas City. Guthrie went 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 14 starts for the Royals, who acquired him from the Colorado Rockies in July for lefty Jonathan Sanchez.

The Dodgers are in preliminary talks to bring back reliever Brandon League. The former Seattle Mariners closer pitched well for Los Angeles, putting up a 2.30 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 28 appearances.

Switch-hitting outfielder Shane Victorino will have a new home next season. A three-time Gold Glove winner and World Series champion (2008) with the Phillies, Victorino struggled to find his stroke batting .245 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 53 games with the Dodgers.

Brewers first baseman Travis Ishikawa is arbitration eligible and owed $900,000 if re-signed. Ishikawa was used primarily as a pinch-hitter and with Corey Hart and Mat Gamel in front of him, it’s unlikely we’ll see him in Milwaukee next year.

Designated hitter Hideki Matsui, 38, has garnered little interest from clubs after playing in just 34 games for the Tampa Bay Rays and posting career lows of .147 with two home runs and seven RBIs. The 2009 World Series MVP is the only player to play 10 seasons each in the MLB and NPB.

Toronto bench coach Don Wakamastu is in contention to be the Blue Jays’ new manager. Wakamastu managed the Mariners from 2009-2010 and has also coached with the A’s and Rangers.

Cubs second basemen Darwin Barney won a Fielding Bible Award for his defensive skills this season. The award recognizes a player at each position for his defensive prowess. Barney recorded 141 straight errorless games in 2012 and won his first Gold Glove Award.

Drew Morita, a Yonsei from the island of Kaua‘i now living in San Francisco, grew up rooting for the Oakland A’s but is now a loyal San Francisco Giants fan.

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