Expect Adam Jones to be playing in Japan next year.
A day after Kyodo News reported in Japanese that the Orix Buffaloes had reached an agreement with the veteran big-league outfielder, the club’s GM, Junichi Fukura told reporters outside the winter meetings in San Diego that the two sides were “close and that talks were progressing well.”
But because it was not a complete and total rejection, Fukura’s non-denial denial amounts to a confirmation that the deal is done.
This may sound like a contradiction, but it’s not. Rather, it’s proof that the Buffaloes are playing Japanese sports’ favorite game: waiting on the time that suits the team to actually admit what everybody knows — while pretending nothing happens until they say so.
Japanese clubs do things at their speed, almost as if the news doesn’t exist unless they themselves announce it. It was that way with the Yomiuri Giants and the posting of pitcher Shun Yamaguchi. Numerous news agency’s all “broke” the news at the same time. The truth was out there before but the Giants had their timetable. This is not to pick on the Giants. Japanese soccer and rugby teams are famous for doing the same.