There was a period during the NPB offseason where it felt like almost all of the free agents were going to the same place. The top player on the market, a player trying to rekindle the flame that led him to MLB and others whose play sometimes shone brighter than their names on the marquee.

They all ended up with a team hungry to win now and operating like money is no object.

In MLB, we might be talking about the New York Mets. The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, though, are doing their best to keep up in NPB and sparing no expense in pursuit of another Japan Series title.