Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Report: Ryota Wakiya will sign with the Yomiuri Giants

Ryota Wakiya has reached agreement with the Yomiuri Giants, according to a report from Sankei. He will return with the team that drafted him for the first time since 2013.

Wakiya, 34, was a 1B for the Saitama Seibu Lions as the free agent compensation selection for the loss of IF Yasuyuki Kataoka for 2014. After being a part time player off the bench, he rose to an impressive status in 2015.

In the second half, manager Norio Tanabe made him an everyday right fielder and finished the season hitting .294 in 118 games. Wakiya ended the season with an injury after a plate collision when sliding in September. Previously, he would be a defensive substitute and pinch runner in the late inning for Ernesto Mejia.

Wakiya was originally on the Giants and played for the ichi-gun from 2006-2013. After two years with the Lions, he will return to the Central League and Tokyo Dome.

This isn't a huge surprise, as the Lions only offered him a one year deal. The team will not get compensation as he was a "Type C" free agent. He reached domestic free agency after seven full seasons of service with an ichi-gun in NPB.

The Lions have plenty of depth in ni-gun who can be a reserve infielder to take over Wakiya's spot. This includes utility infielder Naoto Watanabe and 2014 draft pick Hotaka Yamakawa.


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