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Yankees, Hiroyuki Nakajima unlikely to agree to deal before Friday’s deadline

Jan 3, 2012, 9:30 PM EDT

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The Yankees and Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima have until Friday at 5 p.m. ET to agree on a contract, but Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger was told by “a person with knowledge of the situation” that a deal is unlikely.

The Bombers were given a 30-day exclusive negotiating window with Nakajima last month after submitting a $2 million bid through the posting process.

While the deadline is technically Friday, a deal would likely need to get done sooner because Nakajima would also have to pass a physical. Consistent with what we’ve heard all along, the Yankees view the 29-year-old strictly as a backup player and intend to compensate him as such. No word on the current terms being discussed, but Jack Curry of YES Network reported earlier today that a deal is unlikely to happen unless Nakajima is willing to accept a one-year contract.

Nakajima batted .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs, 100 RBI and 21 stolen bases last season with the Seibu Lions. He is a .302 career hitter in Nippon Professional Baseball. If the current reports are accurate, it looks like he’ll be playing there again in 2012.

  1. jwbiii - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    The Japanese newspaper Sponichi is reporting that the Yankees’ offer is $1M. Nakajima made $3.4M in Japan last season. With the rise of the yen v. the dollar and a modest pay raise, he’s looking at $4M in Japan. So this is not happening.

    • bigharold - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:56 PM

      “So this is not happening.”

      Which considering the Yankees have no great need in the infield is no big loss. Nobody is projecting this guy as the next Ichiro so what’s the big deal?

      • marinersnate - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:12 AM

        “Which considering the Yankees have no great need in the infield is no big loss. Nobody is projecting this guy as the next Ichiro so what’s the big deal?”

        Which begs the question….Why did the Yankees bid on the guy? Because they thought he would take 1/4 pay to be a back-up infielder? Only makes sense if they thought they were blocking some other team. Now, when they find that they are the only bidder, they are backpeddling (on a contract) in a hurry.

      • Old Gator - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:35 AM

        Sayonara, Mr. Beisboru – never to be a bobblehead in pinstripes.

        Speaking of which – has anyone been to the bazaar at the Shoji Temple lately? I was wondering if anyone airbrushed Angels or Oakland uniforms onto all the Hideki Matsui Borg bobbleheads in there.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        marinersnate, They aren’t backpedaling at all. They are successful at blocking another team by merely winning the bid to his rights. They never planned on offering him enough to leave Japan, they only seemed to be interested in winning bidding rights to keep another team from being able to do so imo. MLB kind of needs to work on this “system” as it leads to teams being able to block other teams that are probably genuinely interested in acquiring the player. And that’s probably not fair. Maybe losing some of the posting fee would help keep this in check? Whatever the case, the system now in place is flawed for sure.

  2. pisano - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Cut bait with him, if he can do better money wise in Japan, then as we say in the USA “don’t let the door hit you on your way out”

    • jwbiii - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      Japanese tend to be more polite than that. More like, “Money talks. Have a pleasant walk, Cashman-san.”

  3. bozosforall - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    HIS loss. The Yankees don’t need his overrated ass.

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