OSAKA – Outgoing Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters manager Masataka Nashida is at the top of the Hanshin Tigers’ wish list should the Central League team seek to hire its new skipper from outside the club, a source speaking on condition of anonymity told Kyodo News on Monday.
The 58-year-old Nashida, whose departure from Nippon Ham at the end of the season has already been announced, succeeded Trey Hillman in 2008 and led the Fighters to the Pacific League pennant the following year.
The Fighters are again in the playoffs this season, having secured second place behind the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.
In related news, the Fighters have narrowed down their choice of candidates to take over as new manager to former Tokyo Yakult Swallows outfielder and sports analyst Hideki Kuriyama, team sources said on Monday.
The Fighters will make a formal offer to Kuriyama, 50, at the conclusion of the 2011 season.
‘”All I can say is, I will think it over when a formal offer is made to me,” said Kuriyama, who is currently also a professor of business at Hakuoh University in Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture.