NYT: Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks inquired about A-Rod last winter


Via Ken Belson & David Waldstein: The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan inquired about the availability of Alex Rodriguez through an intermediary over the winter. The Yankees never bothered to follow up because they knew A-Rod needed hip surgery at the time, plus there’s pretty much no chance he would have agreed to the move anyway.

The Hawks are owned by a prominent technology company, which uses the team as an innovative promotional tool despite taking a loss. They lead the league in attendance and won the pennant as recently as 2011. Rodriguez, 37, is currently working his way back from that hip surgery and is expected back around the All-Star break if there are no setbacks. It is so very unlikely he would have agreed to a move to Japan at this point, and besides, New York’s third basemen are hitting .262/.306/.365 (84 OPS+) this year. There’s a spot for him in the lineup.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. 28 this year says:

    I vote to ship his ass to Japan. I would drive him there myself.

  2. Nick says:

    If he went to Japan, his salary would disappear, correct? For 27 million per year, the Yankees could find a suitable replacement (and a catching upgrade, better utility infielder and outfielder, etc, etc.). Even if he still looked like 2011 A-Rod, I’d jump at a chance to dump that whole salary. It would make the 2014 salary plan so much more stomach-able.

    • toad says:


      Just saying he’ll be a better third baseman than the team has now is weak. You have to consider what improvements can be made when you free up the salary.

  3. Pat D says:

    Another Cashman failed moment.

    • Nick says:

      Your post is a failed moment.

      1. He’s injured. Shipping him off to Japan when you knew he was going to miss a huge chunk of the season is incredibly dishonest and unethical.

      2. Even if he had been healthy, if ARod says “no way” there’s not a darn thing Cashman can do.

      • Pat D says:

        I guess you’re a little new around here?

        Either that or your sarcasm meter is severely broken.

      • MannyGeee says:

        Yeah, the sarcasm is strong with him…

      • CS Yankee says:

        You stated dishonest and unethical in a post about Arod…

        You just failed the internet.

        • jsbrendog says:

          fWar Centaur is prancing around the fields ad would probably be banned in Japan

          • CS Yankee says:

            That image is beyond funny and really creepy.

            However, they could also make a Centaur versus Godzilla movie.

            BTW, my guess is that Centaur would kick his ass until it was “clutch” time and then Matsui (err, Godzilla) would open the can of whipass and Pedro would have a sad clown face.

        • Nick says:

          Except it was a post about Cashman. If bringing up valid reasons as to why something can’t happen is “failing the internet”, sure…

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            He was being sarcastic and you failed to recognize that. Anything other than a “my bad” here is a failed Internet moment.

            We’ve shipped Jim is Bored to your house to empty it of any PCs and cut all your wires.

            • jjyank says:

              Hahaha nice.

            • Jim Is Bored says:

              I got lost in transit though.

            • Nick says:

              Not so much. Sarcasm doesn’t translate on the internet. Example:

              You’re absolutely correct! It was definitely “my bad”.

              Sarcasm or not? You tell me.

              Bottom line: When you fail to get your point across, it’s not the reader’s fault.

            • Nick says:

              Btw… The sarcasm/serious issue was NOT the thing I apparently “failed”… It was the use of the word “unethical” in a post about ARod (never mind the fact that my post was not, in fact, about ARod…)

              So your attempt at correcting me is a “failed moment”. I’ll gladly accept your “my bad” whenever you’re ready.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                I tried to type in “my bad,” but it kept auto-correcting to “what a dipshit.” Must be the poolside wifi.

                Also, a few of the guys here now have photo confirmation of the pool girl from earlier.

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                Sorry buddy, you’re alone in this fight. Cashman failed is a long, long, lonnnnng running meme around RAB.

                If you’re new, that’s fine. But you stlil missed it.

      • emac2 says:

        What an excuse monger.

        It wouldn’t be ethical? really?

        You return the call no matter what and if ethics are a question you can simply be honest and see if there is a conditional deal to be discussed. Maybe they want the publicity even if it’s getting screwed by the Yankees. That’s always good for a month of free ESPN coverage.

        Bottom line is you don’t fail to return calls like that if it’s your job to return them.

        • jjyank says:

          Its not Cashman’s job to follow up on a move that he may not even want to make and has no chance of happening. I don’t really care if he called them back or not.

          • Jim Is Bored says:

            If Cashman replied to every call he got about moving any of his players, he wouldn’t have time to do anything else.

    • MannyGeee says:

      This entire comments thread has failed the everythings…

  4. Kosmo says:

    for some reason it reminds me of the Henny Youngman joke about “take my wife“ take our Arod. Actually Arod, if healthy, would be an upgrade over what NY has been running out there. Yanks could give Arod reps at SS.

  5. mitch says:

    Do they test for PEDs in Japan?

  6. BTG says:

    If A-Rod is suspended for 100 games, or even 50, he might decide that the loss of income (several million dollars)of not playing would make it worth it to go to Japan where he wouldn’t have to sit out the suspension. Not likely, but still possible.

    • Nick says:

      1. We’re talking about 9-18 million out of his remaining ~100 million. I doubt he’d view that as significant enough to pick up and move his entire life to Japan.

      2. I’m sure the commish’s office needs to sign off on any transaction like this. Not happening if ARod gets suspended.

      • The Doctor says:

        The way Selig’s trying to make it look like the MLB is drug free, I really don’t think he’d even care.

  7. Phil says:

    Does he have a no trade clause?

    • Brian S. says:

      Oh yeah. Full no-trade protection, plus he has 10-5 rights.

      • The Real Me says:

        Maybe they could spin it to him in such a way that it seems like such an incredibly intelligent marketing move that he can’t pass up. He can promote himself in Japan, becoming the biggest name on the planet and increasing the value of his name more than could ever be possible if he continues to play in the US. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    • A.D. says:

      Can’t trade MLB players to Japan without their consent anyways

  8. MannyGeee says:

    Deciding factor: how muscular are the women in Japan?

  9. MannyGeee says:

    In all seriousness… could you imagine if all the stars aligned and the Yankees shipped him to Japan? That would be an absolute game changer. The single oddest and most obscure thing you would see in your sports viewing life.

    • Pat D says:

      Rocket Ismail signs with the CFL instead of being drafted by the Cowboys?

      • CS Yankee says:

        Thought Steve Young or Herchel Walker going USFL would win that award.

        • MannyGeee says:

          Yeah but we are talking one of the biggest names in the sport 3 years ago being jettisoned to Japan while still owed over 100M. Bigger than them dudes because we are talking 1st Ballot HoF (sans BioGenesis) still under contract being shipped off to JAPAN.

          Trumps all that. If it had happened. Which it didn’t… Ismail doesn’t hold a candle to the potential of this.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          USFL was actually supposed to have a fighting chance. Try to say that now without spitting up your lunch.

  10. Anthony P Wilson says:

    Theoretically speaking, of course, how would that work? Would we “sell” A-Rod’s contract to the Japanese team? I’m guessing the NTC couldn’t affect a “sale”, as it’s not a MLB trade.

    Facetious part. I know this won’t happen, but yeah, sell the contract to Japan, access to the latest and greatest high-tech PEDs, and export 10 muscular blondes over there with him at $1 million a piece for the duration of his deal. Everyone’s happy. Deal?

  11. Beantown Bombers Fan says:

    This comments section will be epic…

  12. Josh says:

    I am aware of teams releasing players so they can sign with with a NPB club, but is there any precedent for actual trades between the leagues?

  13. jsbrendog says:

    i could see arod doing it in the last yr of his deal to go over and have one more HUGE payday with endorsements and such….those would be the best commercials ever. it doesn’t even matter what products he shills for

  14. steves says:

    I guess the “A-Bomb for A-Rod” call won’t translate well.

  15. emac2 says:

    I could see him deciding to finish his contract there instead of dealing with MLB and the press while he tries to come back for a few years of subpar play. It’s not going to be pretty and I think he would go there before he would retire.

  16. pop says:

    anyone else hearing this crap Francesa is talking about with the Yanks? he says attendance and TV viewership is down b/c there aren’t many stars in the lineup… NO MIKE, its about winning and fielding a good team… Is Ichiro’s sub .300 OBP supposed to puts fans in the seats?

    i think the decline in interest is b/c the Yanks have been so good for so long (they’re not new and exciting and trending) and b/c of all the bad preseason predictions…

    • Yankeegame says:

      This may sound as if I’m not fan but I haven’t watched one Yankee game all season. This is coming from a guy that would pray after every game in the PS and world Series going back to 1996. I have never been so stressed out at night and couldn’t sleep all those Years and when 2000 rolled around with the Met and Yankees I said all we gotta do is win this and it’s over. Who wanted to here from Mets fans for the rest of my life about losing that.

      With that said yes I have not watched one Yankees game call me what you want but the love I HAD for this team is just about gone. This team for the past few years is making me sick and it’s just not the players it’s the lineup that different every single night for the past three years. It’s the basement shopping that have been doing as well. Everyone know that this team has played great but you also gotta know it just isn’t going to last or these guy would be superstars catch my drift?

      Not only that it’s the steriod thing every single year at the start of the season it’s steroids this and steroids that and it’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to baseball. It’s not just about the Yankees and steriods it’s the whole steriod baseball thing and I’m sick and tired of hearing about steriods every year now.

      I understand some may say I’m not fan but I use to lie and breath baseball. From a kid playing nothing but baseball, wiffle ball, stickball, off the wall baseball. In softball and baseball leagues some two or even three times a week.

      As for me I’m sick of what baseball has become and I’m even more sick of what the Yankees throw out there on a daily night and it has nothing to do with going to get superstars or who’s hurt. I have zero interest in watching them and I’m glad to see others are as well. Yankees t.v games down over %50 tells you something.

      • Betty Lizard says:

        Believe me, I don’t want to catch your drift. I’m pretty sure it’s antibiotic resistant.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        Yet you obviously care enough to visit a blog purely dedicated not only to baseball, but the Yankees.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:


          You’re going to have the path you have with this team. While I’ve never been one to watch every single game just simply due to real life, I haven’t felt my fandom take a hit at all this season. Not one bit.

      • Mikhel says:

        Your problem is you’re a bangwagonner who began watching Yankee baseball when they began to win. You weren’t there when the NYY had bad seasons, you weren’t watching the games, attending their games and buying their merchandise.

        You sir, have no business rooting for the NYY, and I ask you to go root for another team, we don’t need bandwagonners.

  17. jjyank says:

    Won’t happen. Pretty much as simple as that. I just can’t see A-Rod accepting a move to Japan.

  18. trr says:

    You’re talking about arguably the biggest egotist in the game, who is
    legitimately (like it or not) owed $114m by the flagship franchise of the world. I do believe A-rod would like to get back on the field and prove his detractors (and I’ve been one of them) wrong. Whether he will or not remains to be seen of course.

    A-Rod in Japan would be like throwing a mongoose into a cage of doves.
    Steroid use is a non-starter in Japan; there is still a big cultural divide between the U.S, and Japan. Not an insurmountable one – we both love baseball, albeit in somewhat different ways.

    Before anyone takes issue, yes I do know quite a bit about Japanese culture; I work for a Japanese Company, have been there several times,
    and deal with the Japanese Culture every day of my working life.
    And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Bottom line on this deal: ain’t happening. not then, not now, not ever.

    • Yankeegame says:

      I told people over the off season get use to A-rd he;s going no place. The Yankees don’t need a 3B what the Need is an outfield and a catcher. But what do I know =)

    • The Doctor says:

      The divide between American and Japanese culture can be quite exaggerated at times, but everything you’ve said is pretty much dead on. The overall lifestyle isn’t quite as different as some might suspect, but the value system is quite a bit stricter. There’s really no way they’d welcome him for anything more than novelty purposes.

  19. Chris says:

    Trade him to Japan?! He led the team in 9th inning doubles in the month of August!

  20. RetroRob says:

    Cashman was right in not returning the call. A-Rod is not going to Japan. That’s what the Andruw Jones’ of the world do when they can’t get a contract they like. A-Rod has a contract. He loves playing MLB. No need to add a couple more bucks expense calling Japan.

  21. shittyshittybangbang says:

    Trade him for a heaping crate of “robster raws” !

  22. MannyGeee says:

    Plot Twist: A-Rod’s contract explicitly states he has a full no trade protection to teams – in the MLB. Nothing mentioned in his contract about NPB trades.

  23. I'm not the droids you're looking for... says:

    We should just get it over with and trade him to LA for Puig.

  24. Broke But Free says:

    Japan is calling, A-Rod. Just think what a star you would be there! I’ll help you pack your stuff :P

  25. Laz says:

    Any posting fee?

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