Munenori Kawasaki, SS (Age: 32)
- 2013 Stats: .229/.326/.634 in 240 AB with 27 R, 55 H, 1 HR, 24 RBI, 32 BB, 7 SB
- The Blue Jays declined to pick up his $1 million option for 2014. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos recently said Kawasaki is “Going to explore some other options, but we’re definitely leaving the door open for him to come back.” It has also been reported that the Orix Buffaloes of the NPB have interest in Kawasaki, raising the possibility he could return to Japan for the upcoming season.
Hiroki Kuroda, RHP (Age: 38)
- 2013 Stats: 11-13, 3.31 ERA, 32 GS, 201.1 IP, 191 H, 74 ER, 20 HR, 43 BB, 150 K, 1.16 WHIP
- Yankees have offered him a one-year contract in the $15-16 million dollar range and are awaiting his decision. Yankees expect his contract situation won’t be resolved until after baseball’s winter meetings. Kuroda is said to be weighing the Yankees offer against a return to the NPB in Japan.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP (Age: 32)
- 2013 Stats: 3-3 record, 4.42 ERA, 7 GS, 38.2 IP, 32 H, 19 ER, 4 HR, 16 BB, 33 K, 1.24 WHIP
- It was recently reported the Mets are in talks with Matsuzaka about a possible return to the team in 2014 but no formal offer has been made.
Hideki Okajima, LHP (Age: 37)
- 2013 Stats: 1-3, 4.22 ERA, 37 G, 42.2 IP, 1 SV, 40 H, 20 ER, 5 HR, 9 BB, 45 K, 1.15 WHIP
- Okajima, who pitched mostly in AAA with the Oakland Athletics, has now returned to Japan, signing a one-year contract with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the NPB on November 25, 2013.
Kensuke Tanaka, 2B (Age: 32)
- 2013 Stats: .329/.400/.397 in 343AB with 54 R, 113 H, 1 HR, 32 RBI, 42 BB, 22 SB
- Released by the Giants on September 6, 2013, and became a free agent. Tanaka is currently playing with the Margarita Braves of the Venezuelan Winter League.
Masahiro Tanaka, RHP (Age: 25)
- 2013 Stats: 24-0, 1.27 ERA, 27 GS, 212.0 IP, 1 SV, 168 H, 30 ER, 6 HR, 32 BB, 183 K, 0.94 WHIP
- The inability for MLB and NPB to come to an agreement on the Posting System may endanger Tanaka’s chances of playing in MLB in 2014. The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are currently viewed as the top suitors for Tanaka’s services, with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox seen as the next tier of contenders.
Tsuyoshi Wada, LHP (Age: 32)
- 2013 Stats: 5-6, 4.03 ERA, 19 GS, 102.2 IP, 112 H, 46 ER, 9 HR, 35 BB, 80 K, 1.43 WHIP
- He initially signed with the Orioles for a two-year, $8.15 million contract, but failed to pitch an inning for them. A recent reported indicated Wada wishes to return to MLB and has turned down offers from several NPB teams.
Shin-Soo Choo, OF (Age: 31)
- 2013 Stats: 285/.423/.462 in 569 AB with 107 R, 162 H, 21 HR, 54 RBI, 112 BB, 20 SB
- Turned down the $14.1 Million qualifying offer made by the Reds in mid-November. The numerous MLB teams reported to be interested in Choo include the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, and Chicago White Sox among others.
Dae-Ho Lee, 1B (Age: 31)
- 2013 Stats: .286/.384/.493 in 521 AB with 60 R, 158 H, 24 HR, 91 RBI, 64 BB, 0 SB
- Spent the 2013 season playing for the Orix Buffaloes of the NPB in Japan. There had been speculation that Lee might try to move to MLB but it is now believed he will sign with a new team in Japan. A recent report indicated Lee is close to signing a two-year deal with the NPB’s Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.
Chang-Yong Lim, RHP (Age: 37)
- 2013 Stats: 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 6 G, 5.0 IP, 0 SV, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 HR, 7 BB, 5 K, 2.60 WHIP
- Saw limited action with the Cubs in 2013 due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery. The Cubs recently chose to non-tender Lim for 2014, removing him from their 40-man roster and making him an unrestricted free agent.
Seung-Hwan Oh, RHP (Age: 31)
- 2013 Stats: 4-1, 1.74 ERA, 48 G, 51.2 IP, 28 SV, 33 H, 10 ER, 4 HR, 10 BB, 54 K, 0.83 WHIP
- Oh signed a two-year contract with the Hanshin Tigers of the NPB.
Suk-Min Yoon, RHP (Age: 27)
- 2013 Stats: 3-6, 4.00 ERA, 30 G, 87.2 IP, 7 SV, 91 H, 39 ER, 9 HR, 28 BB, 76 K, 1.36 WHIP
- Spent the 2013 season pitching for the KIA Tigers of the KBO in South Korea. Completed ninth season in the KBO and is now an international free agent. The Minnesota Twins were first reported as interested in Yoon. More recently, the Chicago Cubs have been cited as a contender for his services. Other reports indicate the interest of multiple MLB teams and say that Yoon’s signing will occur in the near future.
Chien-Ming Wang, RHP (Age: 33)
- 2013 Stats: 1-2, 7.67 ERA, 6 GS, 27.0IP, 40 H, 23 ER, 5 HR, 9 BB, 14 K, 1.81 WHIP
- There have been no updates on Wang’s free agency status since he held a press conference in early November, where he stated his intentions to remain in the U.S. and pitch for an MLB team.
Photo Credit: mlb.mlb.com