Dec 15, 2011, 1:16 PM EST
Last month Japanese shortstop Munenori Kawasaki became a free agent and held a press conference announcing that the only MLB team he was interested in signing with was the Mariners.
It sounds like Kawasaki will get his wish, although publicly ruling out the other 29 teams might have wrecked his leverage, as Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that he’s close to signing a minor-league contract with the Mariners.
Kawasaki projects as a utility man and even that might prove to be a stretch after the 30-year-old hit just .267 with one homer and a .647 OPS in 603 at-bats for the Softbank Hawks in 2011. He’s posted much higher batting averages in previous seasons, but has never hit more than four homers and doesn’t draw enough walks to be a strong on-base threat.
- So, apparently we’re sweating the Matt Kemp physical now 33
- The United States will seek to normalize relations with Cuba 86
- Marlins complete Michael Morse deal: two years, $16 million 18
- Padres, Rays, Mariners discussing trade involving Wil Myers 36
- It is perfectly clear that A-Rod is the Yankees’ DH. At best. So there will be no drama, right? 37
- Dodgers cut Brian Wilson and his $9.5 million salary 53
- Royals and Alex Rios agree to one-year, $11 million contract 16
- Chase Headley signs a four-year deal with the Yankees worth at least $52 million. 95
- Baseball’s highest-ranking Hispanic woman employee sues for discrimination (163)
- Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Rangers, and Astros interested in Phillies’ Cole Hamels (110)
- Done Deal: Yoenis Cespedes and two players traded to Detroit for Rick Porcello and a minor leaguer (105)
- The United States will seek to normalize relations with Cuba (105)
- Jon Lester goes to Cubs for $155 million over six years (99)