Right-hander Yusaku Iriki, who has been dealt to the Nippon Ham Fighters in a one-for-one trade for outfielder Tatsuya Ide, criticized the Central League club on Thursday for trading him rather than conduct contract talks with his agent.
Though Iriki has agreed to the trade, he sent a letter of protest to Yomiuri officials, saying the Tokyo-based club suddenly decided to trade him once it found out he was trying to use an agent for negotiations.
“They decided to trade me because I was considered a player of inconvenience,” said the 31-year-old Iriki in statement via his lawyer.
“This attitude disturbs the foundation upon which the agent system was founded in which the fair treatment of all players should be guaranteed.”
Yomiuri owner Tsuneo Watanabe has been firmly against the agent system since it was started in the 2000 offseason.
On Nov. 27, Yomiuri general manager Hideaki Miyama said he did not recognize the role of right-hander Koji Uehara’s agent in contract talks and also received a letter of protest.
Iriki, a top draft pick for the Giants in 1997 with a 27-24 career record in 173 games, posted 13 wins in 2001 to claim a spot in the starting rotation but failed to make a top-team appearance last season due to hamstring injuries.
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