From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Yankees have won exclusive negotiating rights for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima.
Rumors flew Tuesday that the Giants had made the only posting bid. Then it was the Red Sox. But both of those reports were quickly shot down.
According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, the Yanks are viewing the 29-year-old Nakajima as a potential utility infielder.
He batted .297/.354/.433 with 16 homers, 100 RBI and 21 stolen bases this past season for the Seibu Lions and is a .302 career hitter in Japan’s top professional league.
The Yankees will now enter into an exclusive negotiating period with Nakajima. They’re unlikely to offer him a hefty contract given that they’re already paying a posting fee and don’t view him as a starter.
UPDATE: SI’s Jon Heyman reports that the posting fee cost the Yankees about $2 million.
Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.
That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.
That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.