Not Lotte or reportedly Chunichi..! Sho Nakata, who opted out of the Giants, “a surprising team to fit in”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Not Lotte or reportedly Chunichi..! Sho Nakata, who opted out of the Giants, “a surprising team to fit in”.

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Sho Nakata (34) had not moved by November 14, the deadline to apply for free agent rights (FA), and it seemed likely that he would remain with the Giants. However, on the same night, it was revealed that Nakata had exercised his opt-out right (the right to review or cancel his contract mid-term) and was leaving the Giants on a free-agent contract. The baseball world was shocked.

As a mentor to Masato Akihiro, who has made great strides this season, Nakata has also worked hard to nurture young players.

Shinnosuke Abe, 44, has stated that he will use Kazuma Okamoto, 27, and Hayato Sakamoto, 34, regularly at first base and third base, respectively, next season. Therefore, Nakata, who plays the same position as Okamoto, was effectively “out of the lineup. Nakata was aware of the situation he was in and sought a possible team to move to behind the scenes. He wanted to spend time with his family, so he considered a team in Tokyo as his first choice.

His salary was of secondary importance, and his first priority was to be able to play in games. If that is the case, then Chiba Lotte, which has a problem with batting ability, would be a good fit. However, if he were to become an FA, his 300 million yen salary for this season would be a bottleneck. When it was first reported that he would not declare his intention to remain in Japan, it was predicted that he would try to move to Lotte in a trade, but if he becomes a free agent, the story would be much quicker. There is no need for an exchange partner and no need for discussions between the two teams,” said a baseball team official.

As early as 2:00 a.m. on November 15, Chunichi Sports reported that “the Dragons are moving to investigate the acquisition of Nakata.

This is good news for Chunichi, which has suffered from poor hitting. First baseman Dayan Viciedo (34) will be able to play as a Japanese player from next season, but he has been declining rapidly. However, the team’s budget does not allow for this, and it was difficult for him to participate in the FA competition. To put it another way, even if Nakata is paid 70 million yen plus piecework next season, negotiations can be concluded if he accepts the terms.

The problem is that Nakata would have to leave his family behind and move to Nagoya by himself. Nakata was traded to the Giants for a violent incident with a co-worker when he was with Nippon Ham, so he feels strongly that he cannot cause any more trouble for his family. However, he cannot say such a thing when he thinks about the rest of his professional baseball career. There is a good chance that his desire to play in the game will prevail.

One would think that Nakata’s decision to join Chunichi would be accelerated by the fact that Chunichi Sports, the team’s parent company, reported the news, but things are not that simple. However, it is not so easy.

The Carp, which is based in Nakata’s hometown of Hiroshima. This season, Hiroshima, too, has been plagued by a lack of big-name helpers and a shortage of long-ball hitters, and they finished second in the Central League. On the other hand, the No. 4 player, Ryoma Nishikawa (28), exercised his FA rights. He is certain to move to a Pacific League team, and a decline in hitting power is inevitable.

Strengthening the batting lineup is essential to regain the V, and a right long-range gun like Nakata fits the reinforcement points. If the Chunichi were to participate in the competition, the only way to win is to be able to sell him as a “local player. Carp fans, who have a strong love for their hometown, will be convinced and cheer him on.

Will Nakata be wearing the red uniform next season, or will he be a ……?

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