Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ishii Return is Nearly 'Done Deal'

Source: Ishii to rejoin Swallows
Japanese left-hander Kazuhisa Ishii is likely to return to the Yakult Swallows after spending four seasons in the major leagues, according to baseball sources.

Former Mets pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii is rumored to be rejoining Yakult.

A Yakult executive said Wednesday the Central League club will have talks with Ishii on Friday for the second time this offseason, while Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters General Manager Shigeru Takada said Ishii has declined the Pacific League club's offer, a day after the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles had a similar revelation.

Ishii was released by the New York Mets last month and has held talks with Rakuten, Nippon Ham and Yakult, while saying he plans to decide about Jan. 20 which team to pitch for in 2006.
If Ishii and Yakult agree to terms, he may announce his return to the team the same day.

Ishii had been courted by a reported seven teams, including squads on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

The Japan Times: Jan. 19, 2006

Well, I'm glad that he's back, and I'm glad that I don't have to go back and edit any of my prior posts on this subject! Ishii now leads a bullpen of solid youngsters here in Tokyo. If the Swallows are lucky in terms of injuries this season, then I'm predicting a solid top-two finish this season.

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