The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Thursday that they have reached a working agreement with a Japanese club in an effort to exchange information between the two teams.
The D-backs' agreement is with the Yokohama DeNA Baystars, who play in the Central League of Nippon Professional Baseball, the highest level of baseball in Japan. The D-backs and Baystars will exchange information throughout the season and will pay regular visits to each other in Arizona and Japan.
Per the D-backs: In addition to assistance related to professional scouting, player development, roster management, sports medicine and analytics, the teams will work with one another on fan experience, stadium operations, marketing and ticketing initiatives.
The D-backs join several other MLB teams, including the New York Yankees, that have established working agreements with Japanese clubs.
"This agreement with Yokohama will allow both teams to share information as we look to optimize all facets of our baseball operations. From a global perspective, the ability to share with and learn from each other provides a unique opportunity to diversify the way we think, evaluate and coach," D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said in a statement.
"We are thrilled about this working agreement because it covers both the baseball and business side of our franchises. We have great relationships throughout Japan and we are looking forward to not only sharing our own best practices with the Baystars but to learn from them as well," D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall said.
The D-backs already have strong ties in Japan. In December 2017, they signed Japanese-born pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano, who previously starred with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan. Hirano was among the D-backs' top relief pitchers last season. D-backs personnel has made multiple goodwill trips to Japan in recent years.
"In particular, I am impressed with the D-backs because of their advanced thought process and innovative approach and look forward to working with them and learning from them in order to further grow as an organization," Baystars general manager Kazuaki Mihara said in a statment.