Free-agent right-hander Keiichi Yabu has reached a basic agreement with the Oakland Athletics and is close to signing a contract, baseball officials said Saturday.

Although Yabu’s agent Arn Tellem declined comment, the Athletics are expected to announce the acquisition of the 36-year-old former Hanshin Tigers pitcher shortly after he goes to the United States and has a physical.

Yabu, who went 6-9 with a 3.02 ERA in 19 games last season, is said to have also drawn interest from the Angels.

In his 11-year career with the Tigers, Yabu went 84-106 with a 3.57 ERA. The year he joined the Osaka-based club as the top draft pick in 1994, he posted a 9-9 record and was named Rookie of the Year.

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