Japanese outfielder Hitoshi Tamura "exploring" move to MLB

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Earlier this month there were reports about arguably the two best pitchers in Japan, Yu Darvish and Hisashi Iwakuma, potentially making the move to MLB next season and now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com writes that Japanese outfielder Hitoshi Tamura is also “exploring” the possibility.
Tamura is 33 years old and hit .324 with 27 homers and a .924 OPS for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks this season. However, Crasnick notes that he’s been very injury prone throughout his career and this season was actually Tamura’s first All-Star selection.
Sure enough he was limited to just 93 games in 2009 and 39 games in 2008, but Tamura did hit a combined .290 with 20 homers in those 132 games before having his career-year this season.
According to Crasnick he’d prefer to sign with a team on the West Coast and the Diamondbacks, Rangers, Giants, Padres, and Indians are among teams that have scouted him in Japan.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.

The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.

Jimmy Rollins wants to play in 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 10:  Jimmy Rollins #7 of the Chicago White Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 10, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.

Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.

Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.