Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma and Fukuoka Softbank Hawks lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, both of whom have qualified as free agents to ply their trades overseas, were among 93 players posted for free agency by Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner Ryozo Kato on Tuesday.
Tuesday marked the opening of the 2011 free agent market. Players like Wada and Iwakuma as well as Softbank shortstop Munenori Kawasaki and Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters second baseman Kensuke Tanaka, are among 17 who have served nine years on the active roster in Japanese baseball for the right to play abroad for the first time.
Softbank left-hander Toshiya Sugiuchi and Seibu Lions shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, who have eight years worth of service with their respective top teams, are eligible to declare their intentions to domestics clubs for the first time.
Those who wish to file for free agency must notify their clubs within seven business days following the Japan Series. Negotiations with other teams can begin two days later, when their names will be posted by the commissioner’s office.