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The Nippon Ham Fighters on Monday appeared ready to ask American minor-league manager Trey Hillman to guide the Pacific League club next season.

Hillman, who has a reputation for developing young ballplayers, would replace manager Yasunori Oshima, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

“We will make an announcement when the season is completely over,” GM Takeshi Kojima said.

Hillman became a manager in the Yankees minor-league system in 1988 and was named Triple-A Manager of the Year in 2000 while with the Columbus Clippers, the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate.

Yamauchi had enough

HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) Hiroshima Carp pitcher Yasuyuki Yamauchi will retire at the end of the season and has an eye on coaching the Central League club’s minor-league team, sources said Tuesday.

The 29-year-old righty was named CL Rookie of Year after notching 14 wins in 1995.

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