The Yomiuri Giants on Friday released veteran pitcher Dicky Gonzalez and infielder Edgar Gonzalez, who was in his second stint with the Central League club.
Dicky Gonzalez, a 33-year-old right-hander, leaves after going 4-1 with a 3.20 ERA in 11 games the past season. He has a career record of 45-39 in eight seasons with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows and Giants. His best season came in 2009, when he joined Yomiuri as an unsigned free agent and went 15-2 with a 2.11 ERA.
Edgar, the 34-year-old brother of Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, batted .237 with four homers in 57 games this season after Yomiuri signed him on May. 17. He played in 100 games for the Giants in 2010.
Also Friday, Nippon Professional Baseball announced a profit of just over 2 billion yen for its 2011 fiscal year ending September 2012 at its general members meeting.
The profit, the organization’s first surplus in six years, was largely generated by the franchise fee paid by DeNA for its takeover of the Yokohama BayStars, the signing of a Japan Series sponsor, a seven-game 2011 series and the dissolution of the players’ pension system.
One of the matters discussed at Friday’s meeting was clarification of the process of selecting a commissioner, but no consensus was achieved.
In other NPB news, the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks agreed to terms with their first round pick in last month’s amateur draft, Asia University pitcher Nao Higashihama.
The 182-cm, 80-kg right-hander signed for an estimated ¥15 million for next season with additional performance-based incentives worth up to ¥50 million and a ¥100 million signing bonus — the maximum figures allowed by Nippon Professional Baseball for a first-year player.
“I want to perform from my first season,” Higashihama said after a negotiating session in Tokyo. “As a rookie, the highest evaluation one can get is to be named rookie of the year. If I can aim for that, I will.”
Higashihama won 35 games in his university career, tying him for fourth most in the history of the highly competitive Tokyo Metropolitan University League. “More than throwing shutouts, I want to throw complete games. If I get a chance to start, I want to stay out there until the end.”
The Hawks rotation this season featured Sawamura Award winner Tadashi Settsu, 12-game winner Kenji Otonari and 19-year-old Shota Takeda. The club’s first-pick out of high school in 2011, Takeda finished second in voting for this year’s Pacific League Rookie of the Year Award.
“He has what it takes to compete for a spot in the starting rotation,” said Hawks scout Masaru Nagayama.