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METS MIGHT PURSUE JOJIMA

Jon Heyman of Newsday thinks that the Mets might look eastward to fill their semi-hole at catcher.

Although Minaya isn't publicly prioritizing catching targets, indications are he might employ a twist on his famed "outside-the-box" thinking by actually going outside the country. Catcher is the one position of strength in this joke of a free-agent class, with Bengie Molina and Ramon Hernandez lurking, but the Mets instead might look to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. Kenji Jojima, 29, built a rep as a great defender and averaged almost exactly .300, 30 and 100 (.299, 30 and 100, to be precise) over seven seasons.

The Mets scouted Jojima heavily this year, and if they go for Jojima, that's a great call, according to my own baseball scouts.

Heyman has baseball scouts? I don't know that there's any new information in this article. The Mets scout just about everyone, so it doesn't come as much of a surprise that they scouted the best catcher in Japan, especially one who would be a free agent this offseason.

Some are concerned that Jojima will have trouble communicating with his pitchers since he can not currently speak English. Others worry about bringing in another Japanese player considering the past failures of other imports, most recently Kaz Matsui.

If the Mets pursue all possible replacements for Mike Piazza, including internal ones, and they deem Jojima to be the best, then I will defer to their judgment on this one.

Here is a link to Kenji Jojima's stat page with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. All of the writing is in Japanese, though the statistics are readable. It looks like he hit .309/.381/.559 last season. Pretty much everything else is a mystery, though, so if anyone can translate I'm sure everyone here would be grateful.