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Hey look, it’s Hiroyuki Nakajima!

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 17, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

It was almost exactly a year ago – last December 11, to be exact — that the Yankees won the bidding for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. They were willing to pay a $2 million posting fee for a guy they believed could hit a little bit and might have enough glove to play all over the infield. Things were so quiet at this time last year that Nakajima actually got quite a bit of coverage considering he’d never played in the U.S. and was generally viewed as a big league backup if things went well.

Of course, the Yankees never reached an agreement with Nakajima and he faded away by mid-January.

Now Nakajima is an unrestricted free agent, and we might finally see whether he can play in the big leagues. Ken Rosenthal reports that Oakland is close to a deal with Nakajima, and given the A’s thin infield, he could very well be their starting shortstop on Opening Day.

Nakajima’s desire to play everyday was thought to be a significant factor in the Yankees not being able to sign him in the first place. Not sure the Yankees actually missed out on anything here, but it will be interesting to see what kind of player he is at this level.

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62 Responses to “Hey look, it’s Hiroyuki Nakajima!”

  1. Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    @jonmorosi

    RA Dickey trade official. He receives $29 million guarantee over next 3 seasons. Deal includes $12 million club option for 2016.

    Thats better, bonus or buyout from his option probably gives him the 29 million, or he gets a 3 year deal worth 37. Good deal for everyone.

  2. blake December 17th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    @susanslusser: It’s two years for Nakajima at $6.5 million, and a third year option. #Athletics

  3. Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Oh wait nevermind thats inlcuding his 5 mil salary for 2013, hrm. Atleast he still has that option.

  4. blake December 17th, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    @JonHeymanCBS: value of dickey deal is $30M over 3 years, as @Ken_Rosenthal said. (that counts a $1M buyout on 2016 club option for $12M)

  5. Patrick December 17th, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    That’s still below market value for Dickey IMO

  6. Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Wicked nakajima bat flip, also a pretty big fly for any hitter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C170w6g0FiM

  7. Yankee Trader December 17th, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    The Jays might just be able to make up 20+ games in the AL East, especially if they add another consistent arm in the bullpen. Would hate to face Dickey sandwiched between Johnson and Morrow in a 3 game series.

    How is Dickey at holding runners on?

  8. Patrick December 17th, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Jon Heyman ?@JonHeymanCBS
    dickey will make $12M in ’14 and $12M in ’15. still making $5M in ’13. (w/ $1M buyout on ’16 $12M option). total is $30M

    What the hell? Why would he sign that? If he waits until after 2013 he could easily make $15+ mil AAV for 2-3 years on the open market.

  9. Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    How is Dickey at holding runners on?

    Apparently pretty good, since he only has 20 SB against in the past 3 seasons. I think the Rays once stole 20 bags against wakefield in 1 game.

  10. Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    What the hell? Why would he sign that? If he waits until after 2013 he could easily make $15+ mil AAV for 2-3 years on the open market.

    I think he just wants to get a nice guaranteed contract and he is willing to risk 10 million future dollars for 30 million now money. He is gonna be 38, so probably smart to hedge.

  11. blake December 17th, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    I just saw this….Hamilton’s deal is crazy backloaded…. He makes 32 million in the last two years of that deal

  12. Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    But you’re right in that it is way under market. Problem for the dickster is that he was under contract for his age 38 season for only 5 million. No leverage.

  13. Patrick December 17th, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I think he just wants to get a nice guaranteed contract and he is willing to risk 10 million future dollars for 30 million now money. He is gonna be 38, so probably smart to hedge.

    Yeah I’m sure that’s his thought process, it just bothers me a bit because he should be making more money.

    Also:

    Jon Heyman ?@JonHeymanCBS
    dickey agrees to donate 1 percent of his salary to jays charity. that’s 300 grand by my calculation. very nice. #jays

    Pretty cool

  14. Yankee Trader December 17th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    JF-

    Nakajima-nice homer to center. If he creaets as much excitement with the Oakland fans as he does in Japan, maybe the A’s will finally get that new stadium.

  15. Yankee Trader December 17th, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Phil Niekro won 20 games at age 40, 17 at age 43, 16 games at ages 45 and 46 [as a NYY].

    Maybe the Yankees will get Dickey after this contract ends when the Yankees might actually be willing to spend some money again, when the Steinbrenner’s have finally sold the teaam for billions.

  16. champ809 December 17th, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    In ’09 Dickey was a couple of weeks away from being an high school english teacher and he was living off of his wife practically. He’s appreciative of even being in the position that he’s in today to sign for a guaranteed $30MM over the next 3yrs and is smart enough and responsible enough at his age with the 3 or 4 kids he has to take the bird in hand….

  17. UnKnown December 17th, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    http://deadspin.com/5969194/te.....n-humanity

    ———–

    Not sure this makes me feel any better deadspin…

  18. The Return of Stoneburner December 17th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I like this Kubel for DH idea – - – -

  19. Ys Guy December 17th, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    how will the msg crowd greet jeremy lin?

  20. Doreen December 17th, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    When Swisher finally signs elsewhere, I’m going to be unhappy. I’ll miss him.

  21. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    YS- went to bed before responding to your question – I am happy with Dickey and over the moon with his personal constitution – blake,….maybe we can do a trade next time ( got involved with the wrong N.Y. Team :) )

  22. RMS December 17th, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Good for Dickey, a stand-up guy. His family is set with that contract and I think that’s what he wanted.
    As far as Thole and Nickeus, both are not good. Thole has zero power and is not that good behind the plate. Nickeus is a 3rd string back-up catcher. Mets were probably happy to dump both.

  23. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Isn’t this Thole guy Dickey’s receiver so Arencibia can focus and not get too screwed up?

  24. joeman December 17th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    sign Michael Bourn ..trade Gardner

  25. Ys Guy December 17th, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    gardner is better younger and cheaper than bourne.

  26. RMS December 17th, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Isn’t this Thole guy Dickey’s receiver so Arencibia can focus and not get too screwed up?

    —————————————————————————————-
    Yes

  27. Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Thole & Nickeus both caught Dickey in the past, so the Mets dumped both guys that could be thought of as knuckleball catchers. Given AA’s love for crappy catchers, it was a nice package deal for the Jays.

  28. joeman December 17th, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Ys Guy December 17th, 2012 at 7:53 pm
    gardner is better younger and cheaper than bourne.
    ———————————————————
    Lot of peeps here thought Gardner was better than Ellsbury…

  29. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I’m very happy Gose did not go; given Rasmus, the need could be anytime or no time. Colby, get on your horse! If Oliver leaves, a hole exists. Love those Dan Plesac types around.

  30. Ys Guy December 17th, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    idk who thought what im talking about gardner’s higher obp, ops and salary.

  31. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    JF, LOL, I’ll pass it along, and yes, I’m still glad Shields is out of the division :)

  32. Chip December 17th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Patrick December 17th, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    That’s still below market value for Dickey IMO
    ————————–

    Given that the Yankees gave more per year to Andy and Kuroda and neither of them were Cy Young winners and both are older – yeah, well below market value on the contract.

  33. joeman December 17th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Bourn and Gardner are the same age…and Bourn might cost more because he’s a better player

  34. Chip December 17th, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Thole & Nickeus both caught Dickey in the past, so the Mets dumped both guys that could be thought of as knuckleball catchers. Given AA’s love for crappy catchers, it was a nice package deal for the Jays.
    ———————

    Yeah but it also makes sense from the standpoint that Buck’s contract paid him too much to be a back up catcher. So if you can unload him and get a back up catcher who makes nothing and knows how to catch a Knuckelball – why not do it?

  35. blake December 17th, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    joeman says:
    December 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm
    Bourn and Gardner are the same age…and Bourn might cost more because he’s a better player

    Bourn might be a little bit better of a pure hitter….but they are close to the same player and Gardner will make a lot less money next year

  36. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    The last knuckler we had here was Candiotti and Tom begged off delivering it to Borders post season vs the Twins – ugly end.

  37. Chip December 17th, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    So, Yankees need a DH, guy who can play a little OF – how about bringing back Fat Elvis?

  38. Ys Guy December 17th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    he’s gonna cost more because gardner’s coming off an injury while bourne is an F/A

    . did you see bourne’s second half #’s last year?

    im not saying he sucks, but hes no better than gardner so why would you trade a cost controlled player for an fa? its a costly non-upgrade.

  39. Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Yeah but it also makes sense from the standpoint that Buck’s contract paid him too much to be a back up catcher. So if you can unload him and get a back up catcher who makes nothing and knows how to catch a Knuckelball – why not do it?

    It makes perfect sense for them to get a guy who can catch Dickey. I just think its funny that in consecutive offseasons AA has acquired Jeff Mathis, John Buck, Thole, and Nickeus, while letting Jose Molina go off into the wild

  40. joeman December 17th, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    blake December 17th, 2012 at 8:07 pm
    joeman says:
    December 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm
    Bourn and Gardner are the same age…and Bourn might cost more because he’s a better player

    Bourn might be a little bit better of a pure hitter….but they are close to the same player and Gardner will make a lot less money next year

    ————————————————————-
    put the $ thought away…..if you were offered Bourn for Gardner straight up your saying no…

  41. Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    im not saying he sucks, but hes no better than gardner so why would you trade a cost controlled player for an fa? its a costly non-upgrade.

    Joeman dislikes Gardner irrationally, so there is no point in debating with him. Just let him come in and make a 1 sentence post about trading gardner and leave him be.

  42. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Maybe I can get Jeff Mathis back,…..I’m cereal.

  43. Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    put the $ thought away…..if you were offered Bourn for Gardner straight up your saying no…

    Yup, Gardner is better defensively & gets on base more.

  44. Chip December 17th, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Yeah but it also makes sense from the standpoint that Buck’s contract paid him too much to be a back up catcher. So if you can unload him and get a back up catcher who makes nothing and knows how to catch a Knuckelball – why not do it?

    It makes perfect sense for them to get a guy who can catch Dickey. I just think its funny that in consecutive offseasons AA has acquired Jeff Mathis, John Buck, Thole, and Nickeus, while letting Jose Molina go off into the wild
    ——————

    You left out that he traded for Mike Napoli and then traded him away. Basically the man has catcher commitment issues.

  45. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    JF, yeah, I thought the Molina let go was curious,…but I’m not inside anywhere.

  46. Chip December 17th, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I think the Bourn idea is that the Yankees would rather have Bourn than Granderson, not necessarily Bourn over Gardner.

    Though quite frankly an outfield of Bourn, Gardner and Ichiro might combine for fewer extra base hits than the Yankees will get from any one position on the field.

    (Although I freely admit I’m expecting Ichiro to hit between 12-20 HRs this season)

  47. joeman December 17th, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Jerkface December 17th, 2012 at 8:10 pm
    put the $ thought away…..if you were offered Bourn for Gardner straight up your saying no…

    Yup, Gardner is better defensively & gets on base more.

    ——————————————–
    your prob one of the ones that said Gardner was better than Ellsbury

  48. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Mike Napoli really isn’t a backstop, and he’s old and hurt – enjoy John Farrell!

  49. Chip December 17th, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Blake –

    I just looked back and saw your comment on the deal I suggested. Yeah Olt would be on the bench simply because the Yankees don’t have a spot for him at the moment, but I would still deal Granderson for him and Murphy.

  50. Chip December 17th, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    and if I could get Texas to include Craig Gentry as a RH fourth OF – I would be quite fine with that.

  51. Nick in SF December 17th, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    I’m getting tired of these contrived Gardner vs. Melky debates. I like them both.

  52. Chip December 17th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Nick in SF December 17th, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    I’m getting tired of these contrived Gardner vs. Melky debates. I like them both
    ———————
    I’m tired of the canonization of Melky. He was a nice role player for the Yankees but let’s see what he does in Toronto sans-steroids.

  53. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Chip,…I’ll take my chances. Its been a long time. Melky was cheap and no biggy if it doesn’t work out. He’ll be o.k..

  54. Nick in SF December 17th, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    We will get to see what he does in Toronto. They probably think he’ll be a nice player for them given that they offered him a contract.

  55. Patrick December 17th, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I think the Bourn idea is that the Yankees would rather have Bourn than Granderson, not necessarily Bourn over Gardner.

    More like, you’d rather have Bourn + whatever you get for Granderson than Granderson.

  56. blake December 17th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    “Though quite frankly an outfield of Bourn, Gardner and Ichiro might combine for fewer extra base hits than the Yankees will get from any one position on the field.”

    Not much power ….but that would be some defensive outfield.

    Bourn for a year plus a Grandy trade for Olt would be awesome …..but Im not sure either of those things are possible

  57. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Thinking about situational relievers, I’m not sure why Toronto said goodbye to Scott Downs – nice story.

  58. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Come to think of it, the only knuckler I had prior to Candiotti was P. Niekro, and that didn’t go so well for his two starts or so; but he was 46 or something. Third time lucky?

  59. austinmac December 17th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I cannot imagine the Bourn rumors have any merit. He makes little sense. But, any speculation is better than none.

  60. jmills December 17th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Hi Austin, I hope my new look Jays can give you guys a run.

  61. Thurman Chace August 23rd, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Congrats to Chelsea!

  62. Isreal Kollmorgen September 1st, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Really enjoyed this article.Seriously hunting forward to study extra. Excellent.

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