If he transfers from Seibu to FA, it will be the first major outflow in three years since Shogo Akiyama.
Seibu announced on the 1st that catcher Yuya Mori has exercised his domestic free agent (FA) rights. The “catcher who can hit” who won the leading hitter and MVP of the league in 2019 is likely to be a competition between multiple teams.
Will the FA tragedy repeat itself again? If he transfers from Seibu to FA, it will be the first time in three years since Shogo Akiyama (now Hiroshima), an outfield player who exercised FA rights abroad and transferred to a first team during 2019 is away. If it becomes a domestic transfer, it will be the first since catcher Ginjiro Sumitani (now Rakuten), who transferred to the Giants during the 2018 offseason, and Hideto Asamura, a shutout who moved to Rakuten. In the 2010s, a total of 12 players flowed out to other teams. A total of 19 players have transferred from Seibu to other teams by exercising FA rights. This is the highest number of 12 teams since 1993 when the FA system began.
Why many Seibu players transfer to FA? On this day, Mori said, “Since I joined the Lions, they have raised me to this point, and thanks to that, I have been given the right, so I am really grateful to the Lions. ” He also expressed his gratitude for the team’s attitude, saying, “When I spoke to the team, I felt strongly that they needed me.”
So far, the team has negotiated with players who have been given FA rights to stay, and has been trying to keep them with multi-year contracts. He has a good reputation for scouting and coaching, and won back-to-back league titles in 2018 and 2019. It is because of the strength of this team that there will be top players who can be transferred to the English FA, but if it becomes a competition for FA players… Will it still be short of money?
Mori wore a starting mask in 82 games, the most for the team this season. The next most are Sena Tsuge with 31 starting pitchers and Yuto Koga with 20 starting pitchers. In this fall’s draft, Kaito Noda, a catcher from Kyushu International University, was drafted third overall, but he may not be an immediate force. If Mori is transferred, veteran catcher Masatoshi Okada, a senior at Osaka Toin High School, is expected to be revived.
Next season, Kazuo Matsui, who has the experience of transferring to the Mets during the 2003 off-season, will take over. The new manager Matsui, who was called Mr. Leo during his active days, to his old home after 15 years away in 2017. If Mori is transferred to FA, it seems that filling the hole from catcher and regular cleaning will be a big task.
(Full Account editorial section)