The Yakult Swallows plan to name Mac Suzuki in Wednesday’s baseball draft after the right-hander finished a disappointing season with the Kansas City Royals, club officials said Sunday.
“We have run two kinds of simulations for our draft strategy, depending on the availability of Suzuki,” said Kanji Maruyama, a Yakult official in charge of player acquisitions.
Maruyama indicated Yakult would name the 27-year-old Suzuki in the fourth or later rounds and Tohoku high school pitcher Yuhei Takai is the Central League club’s first choice for top pick.
Suzuki became the first Japanese major leaguer with no experience in Japan’s pro leagues when he was with the Seattle Mariners in 1996.
He has a 16-31 career record in the majors with Seattle, Kansas City, Colorado and Milwaukee.
The Hyogo native reportedly hopes to move to a Japanese team after pitching in just seven games with an 0-2 record for Kansas City in 2002.
Giants acquire Pedraza
The Yomiuri Giants have acquired former Fukuoka Daiei Hawks right-hander Rodney Pedraza and Kansas City Royals right-hander Cory Bailey, officials of the Central League club said Monday.
Pedraza posted 117 saves in his four-year stint with Daiei through the 2002 season while Bailey went 3-4 with one save in 37 games this past season and has a career record of 9-10 with a 3.96 ERA in 172 major league games.
Yomiuri hopes both pitchers will help reinforce its bullpen.
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