Six-year, 47.5 billion won FA outfielder Kondo recruited, ‘predator’ Softbank shook the market, and Oh Soo-na, former ML Salvation King, is on the verge of a contract
When the ‘big hand’ Softbank Hawks moved, the market fluctuated. Japanese media reported that Softbank signed Kensuke Kondo (29), an outfielder who became a free agent from the Nippon Ham Fighters, for 7 years and 5 billion yen (approximately 47.545 billion won). It is the largest contract in the history of Japanese professional baseball. This year’s annual salary soared from 255 million yen to the average annual salary of 700 million yen.
Fierce competition has pushed up the ransom. Softbank was the first to move aggressively. Immediately after the FA announcement, general manager Sugihiko Mikasa said, “I want to recruit him with all my might.” Director Hiroshi Fujimoto made a phone call and went to Tokyo to persuade me.
The story came and went at the level of 2 billion yen in 4 years. Nippon Ham, the original team, put all their energy into remaining, and Orix Buffaloes, the champions of the Pacific League and Japan Series this year, jumped in. Five Pacific League teams, excluding the Rakuten Eagles, competed for the title.
Director Suyoshi Shinjo and general manager Atsunori Inaba stepped up. Nippon Ham was greatly pushed back in terms of amount. The Seibu Lions and the Chiba Lotte Marines are gone. While it was narrowed down to Softbank and Orix, the terms of the contract exceeded 3.5 billion yen over 6 years. Nishi Nippon Sports, a sports magazine based in Fukuoka, Kyushu, where Softbank is related, said that the amount went up to 5 billion yen in 7 years.
Kondo, who joined in 2012 as a catcher, moved in and outfield before establishing himself as an outfielder. He made his first full-time appearance in 2015, batting 3.2 with 6 runs and 142 hits. That year he was ranked third in batting average. He ranked first in on-base percentage for two consecutive years in 2019-2020, and first in doubles for two consecutive years in 2020-2021. He had a career batting average of 3.7, 1016 hits, 52 home runs, 446 runs batted in, an on-base percentage of 4.3 and 4.3, and a slugging average of . 4.3 and 4 over 11 years. He played for Japan in Premier 12 in 2019 and Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
He has good clutch ability. His career batting average in scoring position is 3 1/2. He can be utilized from a table setter to a cleanup trio.
Softbank recruited two outside free agents this year, and it is said to be the first time since 2013. He signed a four-year, 300 million yen contract with catcher Hiroki Manei (31), who had previously become a free agent with the Yokohama Baystars. This year, he brought in a backup player with an annual salary of 27 million yen. Guy Takuya (30), the main catcher and catcher of the national team, suffered a serious sluggish batting this year. In 130 games, he had a batting average of 108 (58 hits in 323 at-bats), 1 home run, and 27 RBIs. No matter how good the catcher is, it is a serious hit. There are two young catchers, Takashi Umino (25) and Iku Watanabe (22), but they have not become an alternative.
Softbank is on the verge of signing Roberto Osuna (27), a former Seibu king in the major leagues. past
He is a right-handed pitcher who joined Chiba Lotte in June and recorded 4 wins, 1 loss, 9 holds, 10 saves, and an average ERA of 0.91. He struck out 32 in 29⅔ innings. 토토사이트
Osuna, who failed to return to the major leagues, was expected to renew the contract with Chiba Lotte, but Softbank intervened. Osuna was a member of the Houston Astros in 2019, recording 38 saves (4 wins, 3 losses, an average ERA of 2,63) and ranked first in saves in the American League. He recorded 155 saves and 10 holds for his major league career. Softbank removed 4 out of 7 foreign players this year.
Softbank is the team with the strongest financial power among the 12 teams in both leagues, surpassing the Yomiuri Giants in the Central League. The team ranks first in salary. After winning the Japan Series in 2020, he has been slow for the past two years. It finished in 4th place in 2021, and this year, it was on the verge of winning, but lost in the final match and finished in 2nd place. They are aiming for their first championship in three years next season.