NPB games, news of June 26, 2019

News

Giants return Yoshikawa to Fighters in 4-way deal

No games today, I’m afraid, but left-hander Mitsuo Yoshikawa, the Pacific League’s 2012 MVP returns to the Fighters as part of a four-way trade 3-1/2 years after Nippon Ham Fighters sent him to the Yomiuri Giants in the four-player deal that liberated Taishi Ota from the Giants farm team and allowed him to become the starting right fielder in Sapporo.

The latest switch sees 31-year-old lefty Yoshikawa and 26-year-old catcher Shingo Usami go to Nippon Ham for pitchers Takahiro Fujioka (29) and Yohei Kagiya (28). Seeing that Yoshikawa was traded to the Giants along with reserve outfielder Shingo Ishikawa, perhaps the lefty has a contract clause requiring all his transactions include someone named “Shingo.”

Yoshikawa has been ineffective in nine games this season, and none of the others have played with the first team in 2019. The Giants will be Fujioka’s third team, the trade coming nearly a year after Nippon Ham acquired him in a deal with Lotte.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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