It’s official, Jojima signs

DMZ · November 21, 2005 at 10:36 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

It’s up on the Official Mariners site (“Mariners catch a rising star in Johjima“):

the Mariners on Monday announced that they have signed catcher Kenji Johjima to a three-year contract for a reported $16.5 million.


73 Responses to “It’s official, Jojima signs”

  1. firova on November 22nd, 2005 5:53 am

    If Torrealba doesn’t want to be a backup, he could indeed be traded to Colorado for . . . Miguel Ojeda. The team should keep Yorvit for a stronger bench.

  2. Jon Helfgott on November 22nd, 2005 6:17 am

    JS: Clement’s untradeable until a year after he’s drafted.

    Also that’s a bad idea.

  3. Rusty on November 22nd, 2005 8:14 am

    While the M’s are in Japan helping Jojima move, can they kidnap that stud japanese pitcher too?

    This sentence didn’t end up where I thought it was going. I thought it was going to end with something like… “can they get Sasaki to carry the luggage and hope he doesn’t trip on the stairs.”

    But seriously, I have a question about the posting process on Japanese players. Is there anything preventing Yamauchi dining with the owner of a Japanese League team with a coveted player and dropping the hint that if they post said coveted player, that the M’s will be making a minimum bid of X dollars, in an attempt to influence the JL team owner to post the player?

  4. Mark Oh on November 22nd, 2005 8:23 am

    Why are we relegated to trading Yorvit to Colorado? There are many teams that will be in need of catching help. Houston if Ausmus leaves. San Diego when Hernandez leaves. Too many teams to list basically. So hold your water, two decent catchers isn’t the worst thing in the world. Plus, it might actually land us something decent. Not just some B level prospect.

  5. msb on November 22nd, 2005 8:47 am

    #53. yes.

  6. chico ruiz on November 22nd, 2005 8:51 am

    Does anybody know what this signing means for the 40 man roster? Do the M’s have to remove someone right away, or do the have some time to try to put together a trade to make room for him?

  7. david h on November 22nd, 2005 9:42 am

    #54 – Regarding San Diego, you’re forgetting Miguel Go Go Olivo.

  8. Evan on November 22nd, 2005 10:23 am

    No, I checked that. Borders and Wilson have over 7000 MLB at bats between the two of them. I guess in some worlds the catcher gets almost 25 at bats a game.

    I meant just last season. The combined batting line for all 7 guys over a full season might clear 4000 AB.

  9. eponymous coward on November 22nd, 2005 10:45 am

    Is there anything preventing Yamauchi dining with the owner of a Japanese League team with a coveted player and dropping the hint that if they post said coveted player, that the M’s will be making a minimum bid of X dollars, in an attempt to influence the JL team owner to post the player?

    I know on the MLB level, that’s probably tampering, and the anti-tampering rules are pretty severe. For instance, Bavasi would say he wouldn’t make comments about acquiring certain players at the summertime Safeco meetup due to tampering rules, and that’s just pie-in-the-sky, wishful thinking stuff for seamhead fans.

    If that’s something that could be construed as tampering, I’m pretty sure what you describe would be tampering…

  10. msb on November 22nd, 2005 11:42 am

    and the Commissioner can take away your bid, and award the player to the First Runner Up.

  11. John Brooks on November 22nd, 2005 12:50 pm

    #14- Johjima will definetly be installed as starting catcher at his salary alone, and Torrealba will be traded. Like Mike Hargrove and Braves scout Phil Dale said the language barrier is overrated, as Johjima has dealt with English and Spanish pitchers fine in his NPB career.

    Now it’s going to be a platoon between Rivera or Miller. Or another NRI could be brought in, which could be a good possibility.

    #16- Johjima doesn’t fit into the #2 hole, I don’t where some people keep getting this from. He runs good for a catcher, but I watched him personally on the Hawks games live this year on the internet and he isn’t a #2 hitter, he’s more suited towards a #6 hitter. It would be a whole waste of Johjima’s skills as a player to put him at #2, as he doesn’t run like say a Ivan Rodriguez, 3 total SB’s this year for Softbank.

    Giles looks like he will go somewhere else now. Most likely St.Louis now, as Larry Walker is retired and St.Louis has been rumored to be intrested in Giles. Burnett wants a large contract which looks like he will go somewhere else now. Though Boston might be gone with the Beckett trade(who knows?). Seattle looks more likely to go after a Loaiza, which is still a great pitcher and a bargain. Not to mention a steal.

    #21- If Johjima isn’t in the M’s opening day lineup, Bob Bavasi and Howard Lincoln will have a whole lot of explaining to do. It will be a joke or a plain laughing stock, esp after all the money Johjima is making and the terrible year Torrealba had.

    #33- Casey Stengel wasn’t wrong a lot of times. Though his own catcher Yogi Berra sure could hit.

  12. JS on November 22nd, 2005 1:22 pm

    I didn’t know about the no-trade for one year bit. As for where Jojima fits; the 2-hole might have been wishful thinking. The M’s do have a decent enough platoon option for the 2-hole, with Beta and Reed. The M’s still need to sign or trade for a 3-hole hitter, however, to make this lineup work.

    One thing I would like to know; exactly how is Loaiza loquacious? His AL splits are latrocious. He has a 3.60 ERA, and he is 33. JUST SAY NOAIZA!!!

  13. jtopps on November 22nd, 2005 3:10 pm

    Bob Bavasi is atleast going to have to explain how he stole the GM job from his brother Bill…

  14. ray on November 22nd, 2005 3:44 pm

    #60, come on this is Japan, and we all know they are buddy buddy and do business a different way. 😉

    He just has to send him a winter gift then the deal is in the bag!

  15. Bob Kayline on November 22nd, 2005 7:55 pm

    I am excited about the acquisition, but a still small voice reminds me that the Venerable James (Bill James) once pronounced that a Major League catcher has 1,000 games in his knees. Jojima has already surpassed 1,100. I know he is only 29, but in catcher years he is closer to 40. Is anyone else troubled by this?

  16. LB on November 22nd, 2005 9:53 pm

    #65: Yeah, Carlton Fisk (2226 career games at catcher), Johnny Bench (1742) and Ivan Rodriguez (1811) are probably worried.

  17. eponymous coward on November 22nd, 2005 10:42 pm

    Acutally, I recall James putting it around 1200-1500 games.

    Go look and see how many 140 game seasons Bench had after 29. That would be 0. Bench also played a grand total of 13 games at C after age 32. He got worked hard young, and was done as a C pretty early.

    In Pudge the Elder’s case, he didn’t get overworked as a young player due to injuries (he was actually YOUNGER than Bench, but missed big chunks of time in ’74, ’75, ’79 and ’81, and came up later- Bench was a regular in 1968, Fisk didn’t get regular status until ’72), which is partially why he was still going by the time Bench hung his spikes up.

    I suspect Pudge the Younger may be about to go off the same cliff Piazza started to fall off of a couple years ago on offense, based on his 2005 and the fact that he, like Bench and Piazza, was worked hard as a young C. The modern ones who’ve lasted the longest (Fisk and Boone) didn’t get worked as hard in their 20’s.

    Jojima’s mileage is probably the one red flag in all of this that I see. I realize Yamauchi is showing respect and all, but that 3rd year may bite us by 2008. It’s also why I’d like to keep Torrealba around, so we could keep Johjima to 120-125 games or so, with some occasional DH time.

  18. Bela Txadux on November 23rd, 2005 1:38 am

    I’m plenty happy to have Joe-Jim on board. The Varitek comparisons [previous thread] seem very fair to me, except I expect Jojima to maintain a bit more of his walk rate. Throw in Gold Glove defense, and we’ve just signed one of the best 3-4 catchers in MLB, at a very fair rate. No need to rush Clement, and the Ms are better right now. It’s interesting to note, too, how much of Major League ball missed the potential here; the bidding for Jojima was laughably limited.

    While I don’t mind Torrealba staying, I’m happy to see him traded, but to me he would have the _most_ value in a package not as a stand-alone. Meche + Torrealba, for example, is worth more than the sum of its parts ’cause two positions are covered, and you can say you’ve handicapped for the performance risk of either one to a degree.

  19. Kelly M on November 23rd, 2005 9:15 am
  20. Jon Helfgott on November 23rd, 2005 9:46 am

    Kirby Arnold doesn’t like this deal, for no particularly good reason.

    Apparently Johjima has huge defensive concerns, and his $5.5 million a year completely takes us out of the running for any other FA acquisitions this winter.

    Arnold rates slightly below Finnigan on my Seattle sportswriter depth chart.

  21. Jeff on November 23rd, 2005 9:48 am

    Man, that Arnold article is terrible.

    Apparently Kenji “in many quarters is considered a huge uncertainty defensively.” Which circles are those? I’ve seen a lot of people express concerns about his offensive production translating, but everyone says he’s a top-notch defensive catcher.

  22. John D. on November 25th, 2005 12:31 am

    Here’s another article:

  23. John D. on November 25th, 2005 12:53 am

    Most trades are in the team’s interest. Occasionally, a trade is in the player’s interest. (In a humane interest.) HANK GREENBERG made a couple of these in the ’50s. *
    The proposed TORREALBA trade to Colorado is one of the latter–sort of.
    It’s in his best interest–he thinks–to be traded to Colorado, where he can start (and probably watch his F-7s become HRs).
    And Bavasi seems ready to accomodate him. We can only hope that we get something of comparable value in return.
    *The Story of My Life (with Ira Berkow), pp. 214-215. [RAY BOONE and JIM LEMON, BTW.]