Monday, January 16, 2006

Whole Lotte Shakin' Going On

Chiba releases Seung-Yeop Lee

I was a little disappointed when Dan Serafini ended up leaving the Marines to go sign with Orix, but Lee being released was a bit more of a shock to me; I was under the impression he'd agreed to a contract for next year.

Yeah, I know .260/.315/.551 might not make him Superman, but his 30 HR and 82 RBI led the Marines this year, and he pretty much did catapult them into the Japan Series, as well as attract a whole ton of Korean fans to Chiba Marine stadium. Lee (who set the single-season record for home runs in Korea) coming to Japan was kind of like Hideki Matsui coming to the US; it'll be interesting to see if he can also make the jump to MLB, but my guess is the Giants or some other NPB team will get him instead, at least this year. Still, I think Lotte should have offered him more money to stay with them -- when he hits 10 home runs in Chiba Stadium as part of another team, they'll be sorry.

I dunno, the free agent movement hasn't been that interesting lately. Danny Miceli, who seemed to be at the end of his road when he was sucking it up for Yomiuri last year, apparently signed a two-year, $1.5 million deal with the Devil Rays, and Kevin Millar signed with the Orioles for 1 year and somewhere around $2 million; the question is, is he Jeff Conine's backup or is Jeff Conine his backup? I'm not sure, but I've heard that Millar's got the better singing voice of the two, so let's hope he gets the lead vocals.

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