Red Sox form alliance with Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines

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TOKYO (AP) – The Boston Red Sox have formed an alliance with Bobby Valentine’s team, the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League, to share player evaluations and statistical analysis.

The Marines are managed by Valentine, a former manager of the New York Mets and Texas Rangers.

Craig Shipley, vice president of international scouting for the Red Sox, said Wednesday that Boston will be able to take advantage of Valentine’s knowledge of Japanese baseball.

“Bobby Valentine’s foresight, his vision, his knowledge of Japanese and American baseball is second to none,” Shipley said.

The Red Sox already have tapped into Japanese baseball’s talent pool, signing pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima.

“Chiba was very helpful with us last year in how we evaluated Daisuke and Hideki,” Shipley said.

Besides sharing scouting reports, the clubs will exchange coaches, training staff and front-office personnel. Developing baseball in China and other Asian nations also will be part of the program.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said it’s possible Red Sox minor leaguers could go to Japan.

“The more familiar we are with them and they are with us, its easy to see us exchanging players,” Epstein said.

Valentine guided the Marines to the Japan Series championship in 2005 and is now in his fifth season managing the team.

“This is an alliance that will make baseball better here in Japan, in the MLB and in the other professional baseball leagues in Asia,” he said.

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