FULL COUNT: Season begins with many in minors, on DL

The 2014 regular season has begun and former San Francisco Giants’ first baseman Travis Ishikawa made the Pittsburg Pirates’ roster after a strong spring. One-time fan favorite Kensuke Tanaka begins the year with the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock while his friend Yu Darvish is on the disabled list with back issues. Darvish is […]

FULL COUNT: Three spring storylines

Teams have reported to their respective camps in Arizona and Florida, and here are three storylines to keep an eye on this spring. Defensively sound catcher Kurt Suzuki looks to be the Minnesota Twins’ everyday signal caller with six-time All-Star Joe Mauer moving to first. Early reports indicate Suzuki’s been working with starters Ricky Nolasco, […]

FULL COUNT: Next ace posted to MLB likely a Sawamura Award winner

In case you missed it, the New York Yankees signed record-setting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract on Jan. 22, making him the latest Eiji Sawamura Award recipient — Japan’s version of the Cy Young, which crowns the league’s top starter — to cross over to the MLB in what is a […]

FULL COUNT: Sakata returns to SJ; A’s ponder Nakajima

Rakuten Eagles ace and 30 consecutive game winner Masahiro Tanaka had until 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 24 to announce which of the five MLB teams that have bids in for his services he intended to sign with. Reports and ramblings had put the Los Angeles Dodgers ahead of the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, […]

Tanaka gets $155 mil., 7-year deal with Yanks

NEW YORK (Kyodo) — Rakuten Eagles ace Masahiro Tanaka has agreed to a seven-year contract with the New York Yankees, the club announced Jan. 22. The deal, reportedly worth $155 million, will be the biggest ever for a posted Japanese player. It includes an out clause that would allow Tanaka to leave after four years. […]

FULL COUNT: Giants, Athletics prep for spring

Spring Training begins in late-February and the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s are actively making roster changes that impact Japanese and JA players. In search of an everyday left-fielder as opposed to going with the platoon seen in 2013, the Giants wanted to trade for Norichika Aoki, but the Milwaukee Brewers dealt him to […]

FULL COUNT: Boston and Rakuten claim titles, offseason begins

This past week the Red Sox won their eighth World Series championship after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in six games, while the Rakuten Golden Eagles won their first Japan Series title after beating the Yomiuri Giants in seven games. Boston’s right fielder Shane Victorino earned his second ring — his first came with the […]

Uehara, Tazawa World Series champs with Red Sox

BOSTON (Kyodo) — Japanese closer Koji Uehara got the final three outs in the decisive game and the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 in Game 6 to clinch the World Series on Oct. 30. Jnichi Tazawa uhad one third of an inning of scoreless relief as the Red Sox won the […]

FULL COUNT: Sox, Golden Eagles close in on titles

The Boston Red Sox stand on the brink of their eighth World Series title with a 3-2 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals heading into Game 6 on Oct. 30. Right-fielder Shane Victorino returns to the starting lineup after missing Game 4 with lower back stiffness. He was available off the bench in Game 5. […]

FULL COUNT: Boston looks strong; others have uncertain future in majors

Dodgers demoted closer Brandon League was left off L.A.’s playoff roster after posting a 5.30 ERA and five blown saves in 58 regular-season appearances. The tattooed reliever has two years left on his $22.5 million deal, so he will be in Dodger blue next season, but in what role is the question. He’s got to […]

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