It appears all the hubbub about Takashi Toritani heading to the major leagues was for naught. Yahoo News (among others) reports that Toritani contacted the club late last night saying he has given up on the long negotiations with the Blue Jays and has decided to come back to the Hanshin Tigers for 2015 and beyond. Toritani had told the organization soon after the 2014 season ended that he wanted to test the overseas market, and received interest from some teams, but it appears the lone contract offer came from the Jays (who do not have a great relationship with Tori’s agent, Scott Boras). Other teams (such as the Padres and even the Mets and Royals) were rumoured to be interested as well, but nothing ever materialized from those camps.
This news means that the Tigers (a) do not need to think of some way to fill the hole he had potentially created; and (b) should not care in the least that they failed to sign Hiroyuki Nakajima. That’s what I call “killing two birds with one stone!” Looking forward to more great years of watching Toritani at Koshien!