OSAKA – Seven-time All-Star infielder Norihiro Nakamura, who has expressed his intention to move to the major leagues through the posting system, said Friday he will leave for the United States on Saturday.
Despite being selected in last month’s distribution draft to play for the Orix Buffaloes, Nakamura hinted that there are several major league clubs interested in acquiring him, without revealing any names.
“We sent them some videos and they wanted to see me in person. My main objective is the team tryouts,” he said.
The attempt to move to the major leagues will be the second for the 31-year-old slugger, who walked away from a free-agent deal with the New York Mets in 2002 and signed a four-year deal with the Kintetsu Buffaloes instead.
This year, Nakamura made 500 million yen and was the highest-paid Japanese player.
OSAKA (Kyodo) Hanshin Tigers outfielder Norihiro Akahoshi re-signed with the team on Friday for an annual salary of 130 million yen, the Central League club said.
Akahoshi, who received a 30 percent pay increase, batted .300 in 138 games this season and stole 64 bases to claim the stolen-base title for the fourth year running.
Meanwhile, Chiba Lotte Marines right-hander Tomohiro Kuroki, who got his first win in three years in June, accepted a 30 million yen pay cut and re-signed with the Pacific League team for 50 million yen.
After he was offered a new contract worth 20 million yen less than he made last year, Kuroki, who overcame a nagging shoulder injury and went 1-3 this past season, said he would voluntarily take another 10 million yen cut for failing to live up to his own expectations.
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