Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Will Sox Pursue New Japanese Free Agent SS?

Nakajima (KYODO PHOTO)
Four Japanese players today declared themselves unrestricted free agents—with a desire to play next year in the US. One of these was Seibu Lions shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, a 30-year old 11-year veteran of Japan's Pacific League. He owns a career .310 batting average with an OPB of .381. Back in 2011, the Evil Ones posted the winning bid on Nakajima, but the sides did not to reach an agreement. The Red Sox have talked about a 2013 strategy in which they bring in a veteran to play shortstop (which would be the 485th at the position since the departure of Nomar), while they continue to evaluate the long-term readiness of Jose Iglesias. If this is the case, Nakajima might be an interesting mid-term fix—and probably a better bet than Stephen Drew, Jason Bartlett, or Yuniesky Betancourt. The D'Backs and A's also have expressed interest in Nakajima—and the Pinstriped Posers might re-visit their desire for two-time Gold Glover. Boston should take a serious look at him.