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Source: Saito to sign with Dodgers

Japanese right-handed pitcher Takashi Saito is likely to sign a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers shortly, baseball sources said Sunday.

“Saito has been invited to major league spring training camp. Details of the contract have not been finalized, but we’ve been holding talks toward signing a minor league contract,” said Shigeyuki Mito, Saito’s agent.

The 35-year-old left the Yokohama BayStars after the 2005 season and is now in Los Angeles with the aim of plying his trade in the majors.

Saito started his career in 1992 with the Taiyo Whales, the forerunner of the BayStars, as their first-round draft pick and has compiled an 87-80 record with 48 saves and a 3.80 ERA in 339 games.

Saito exercised his right to free agency in the 2002 offseason but was unable to agree on financial terms in his talks with several major league teams, including the Dodgers.

Last year, Saito was 3-4 with no saves and a 3.82 ERA in 21 games.