Phillies Sign Japanese Players to Minor League Deals – Phillies Nation

Phillies Sign Japanese Players to Minor League Deals

Originally published Feb. 5, 2010.

According to Daily Sports Online, the Phillies signed Shigetoshi Yamakita and Naoyo Okamoto to minor league deals.  They each spent 2009 with the Shonan Searex, a minor league team of the Yokohama Bay Stars.  Both players are left-handed pitchers.

Yamakita, 32, posted a 2.47 ERA in 27 innings.  Okamoto, 26, had a 5.28 ERA in 15.1 innings.

UPDATE (Feb 7, 1:50 PM): Todd Zolecki tweets “Contrary to reports, the Phillies haven’t signed any Japanese pitchers.”  Basically, the Phillies haven’t officially announced any form of signing.

In other minor league signings, the Phillies added veteran outfielder Freddy Guzman.  Guzman is currently playing in the Caribbean Series and made highlights when he stole home.  The switch-hitter spent most of 2009 in different Triple-A affiliates, however he played in ten games with the New York Yankees, and stole four bases.



  1. Greg V.

    February 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Seals the deal if you ask me!

  2. GWFightinsfan

    February 6, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Glad to see them continue to expand their horizons in terms of finding talent, though i’m not sure if either of these pitchers will be able to contribute much for the big club if they can’t even play in the Japanese majors.

  3. WFC010

    February 6, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Guzman has some potential to surprise, but those Japanese pitcher guys are likely to only be used as minor league filler.

  4. Red McNertney

    February 6, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I hope the Phils do not overlook the baseball talent in Finland.

  5. Chris.I

    February 6, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Does anyone know if they will make spring training? How is this going to play out?

  6. psujoe

    February 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Interesting move. May pay dividends down the road for a japanese player. Doubtful, but maybe.

  7. marty

    February 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Did we have to give up Kendrick to get them?

  8. WorldFudgeChamp

    February 7, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I am informed by that the Phillies never signed any Japanese Players to Minor Leagues.


  9. GWFightinsfan

    February 7, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Yes according to, the Phils are apparently disputing the reports of these signings…

  10. Manny

    February 8, 2010 at 12:34 am


  11. Reuben Amaro

    February 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    No we did not sign any Jap pitchers! We don’t even have a scout in Japan!

  12. j reed

    February 11, 2010 at 8:00 am

    charile speaks Japanese at least

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