The Texas Rangers and the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball announced Friday, Jan. 5, the beginning of a multi-year partnership agreement that will include the baseball and business operations.
“The Rangers are very excited to be entering into this new relationship with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters,” Jon Daniels, team president of baseball operations and general manager, said in a news release.
Daniels added that the agreement will allow for the sharing of baseball information and instruction techniques beneficial to both organizations, as both are building new ballparks.
“We look forward to working with the Hokkaido group in what will be a very productive partnership,” he said in the release. “The Rangers organization has been very active in Japan and the Pacific Rim for a number of years and this agreement allows us to extend our reach.”
As part of the agreement, both teams will exchange scouting reports and other baseball operations information. Additionally, personnel from each franchise will be exchanged:
— the Fighters will have a staff member work in the Rangers’ system as an instructor during both spring training and the 2018 regular season
— Texas Rangers personnel will travel to Japan to observe the Fighters’ operation and the Rangers will advise the Fighters on their Sapporo ballpark plans.
The Sapporo project was announced in July 2017 and, similar to the Rangers’ Globe Life Field, will include a mixed-use entertainment district.
“The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters are proud to announce the brand new official business partnership with one of the greatest organizations in MLB, Texas Rangers,” Hokkaido general manager Hiroshi Yoshimura said in the release. “We are looking forward to being actively involved in a broad range of fields, including sharing scouting information, personnel exchanges, and mutual cooperation in many different business aspects, including our new stadium. We are hoping this new partnership will help make huge strides and further development for both clubs.”