Sho Nakata (34) of the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball is expected to attract attention in the free agent market.
“If Nakata, who will be a free agent, is looking for playing time, a move to another team will be a good opportunity,” said Japanese media outlet AREA.dot.
Nakata’s position will be narrowed by the plans of Yomiuri’s new head coach Shinnosuke Abe for next season. Abe recently revealed that he plans to use Makoto Kadoki at shortstop and Hayato Sakamoto at third base next year. Kazuya Okamoto, who became the third-best home run hitter in baseball with 41 this season, will move from third base to first base. “He’s going to be the main first baseman,” Abe said of Okamoto.
Okamoto has occasionally played first base this season, but if he becomes the permanent first baseman next year, Nakata’s opportunities will be even fewer. Nakada has played first base and pinch-hit this season, with fewer opportunities than last year.
Nakata was indefinitely suspended in 2021 for assaulting a teammate while at Nippon Ham, and was later traded to Yomiuri for nothing. At the time, Hara reached out to Nakata to continue his career.
Nakata, who struggled in 2021 after being traded to Nippon Ham and Yomiuri, bounced back in 2022, batting .266 with 24 homers, 68 RBIs and an .833 OPS in 338 at-bats (91-for-338). This year, he’s batting 25-for-57 (263-for-67) with 15 homers, 37 RBIs, and a .769 OPS. In May, he reached 300 career home runs.
He still showed the ability to hit for power. He turned pro in 2009 and played 16 seasons with Nihon Ham in which he batted .303 with two homers and 1062 RBIs. However, his playing time dwindled.
The media reported that Yakult, Yokohama, Seibu, and Chiba Lotte were interested in Nakata, who will be a free agent. Nakata is reportedly looking for an environment where he can play first base and prioritizes being with his family.카지노사이트
The Pacific League has a designated hitter system, which may be more favorable for Nakada. Polanco, who played for Yomiuri last year, signed with Chiba Lotte this year and led the Pacific League in home runs. Ishikawa was traded from Yomiuri to the Chivas in the middle of the season, and he has performed well, batting .344 with eight RBIs.
The media said, “Chiba Lotte has a weak batting lineup. The addition of Nakata will bolster their center field lineup.”