Lotte Marines deputy owner Akio Shigemitsu hinted Tuesday that Bobby Valentine is positive about replacing Koji Yamamoto as the new manager of the Pacific League club next season and is set to come to Japan next month for final talks.

Valentine, who was fired by the New York Mets after the 2002 season because of the team’s poor performance, is still tied to a contract with the Mets which expires at the end of this month.

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