The kotatsu league: Arihara tells Fighters his future is in MLB

Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Kohei Arihara would like to pitch in the major leagues and hopes to be posted as early as the conclusion of the 2020 season. Arihara was the Pacific League’s rookie of the year in 2015 and led the PL this season in wins.

Another Fighter joins posting que

The Kyodo News story in Japanese is HERE.

“I had that thought in mind when I joined the team (as an amateur) and this year I formally relayed that,” Arihara told a press conference

The 27-year-old is the second front-line Fighters player to tell the team he’d like to be posted this offseason, following center fielder and leadoff man Haruki Nishikawa’s disclosure last month.

Arihara’s profile and my analysis can be found HERE.

Balentien on verge of signing with Hawks

The Nikkan Sports reported Wednesday that veteran slugger Wladimir Balentien was on the verge of signing with the SoftBank Hawks. The 35-year-old Balentien, who set Japan’s single-season home run record with 60 in his 2013 Central League MVP campaign, no longer counts against a team’s limit of four active foreign-registered players.

The Hawks are the only team that has been said to be in the hunt to sign Balentien, who has played all nine of his seasons with the Yakult Swallows, has 288 NPB home runs.

Dragons agree to terms with lefty Gonzalez

The Chunichi Dragons have agreed on a contract with 27-year-old Dominican lefty Luis Gonzalez according to the Chunichi Sports. According to the story, Dragons manager Tsuyoshi Yoda has been in the Dominican Republic, where Gonzalez has been playing winter ball.

Chunichi has lost the services of lefty Joely Rodriguez, who was arguably the Central League’s best middle reliever in 2019. HERE is Rodriguez’s NPB player page.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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