Report: Takashi Toritani Staying In Japan
By Billy Brost
According to a story written by Ben Nicholson-Smith of sportsnet.ca, free agent Japanese shortstop, Takashi Toritani has chosen to remain in Japan for 2015. His team, the Hanshin Tigers announced early Friday morning that the 33-year old shortstop will return to the team, thus ending the pursuit of at least two big league clubs for his services–including the San Diego Padres.
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Toritani, who has played each of the past 11 seasons in Japan, hit .313 with 8 home runs in 2014, was known to be on the radar of GM A.J. Preller. With that decision, along with the re-signing of Stephen Drew by the New York Yankees earlier in the week, the Padres are left scrambling for viable starting shortstop options. While the team is reportedly done tinkering with the 25-man roster until spring training, one has to believe that Preller will be looking at options other than Alexi Amarista and Clint Barmes before the end of camp.
With Toritani and Drew now off the market, the shortstop position in free agency is barren, and may force Preller into the trade market one more time this winter. The only serviceable free agent shortstop is someone the Padres will not touch under any circumstances, former Friar Everth Cabrera.