OSAKA (Kyodo) The Chiba Lotte Marines said Tuesday they will receive infielder Takuya Takahama from Hanshin as compensation after the Tigers signed free-agent right-hander Hiroyuki Kobayashi.
“I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say,” Takahama said. “I hadn’t done a thing because of injuries the last three years, and I was really determined to perform this season.
“I hope I can play well enough for Lotte that Hanshin will want me back in the future as a free agent.”
Kobayashi declared free agency this offseason after the Marines won the Japan Series, initially seeking a job in the major leagues. The 32-year-old led the Mariens with 29 saves in his first season as closer.
The 21-year-old Takahama was the Tigers’ first-round pick in the 2008 draft out of Yokohama High School, but injuries prevented him from playing on the top team.
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