• Kyodo


Seven-time Japanese All-Star infielder Norihiro Nakamura, who has completed procedures to enter the major leagues via the posting system, arrived with his family in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The trip is part of his plan to shape up under the sun as he awaits offers from major league clubs, who present sealed bids to win the negotiation rights with Japanese players.

“The weather here is warm and it’s easy to train,” Nakamura said. “Last time I came here, I was able to train at my best, so I decided it would be good to start shaping up again here.”

Nakamura’s status was revealed Tuesday to all major league teams through the Major League Baseball commissioner’s office.

Teams will have until Saturday, Japan time, to post their bids to the Orix Buffaloes, with the highest bidder winning the right to negotiate a deal for the 31-year-old over the next 30 days.

“As long as there are teams that raise their hands for me in the next four days, I’ll be OK. I’m looking for work right now, so if I can find a place to work, I’d like to go anywhere. I’d like to settle this as soon as possible,” he said.

Iguchi is Chicago-bound

Tadahito Iguchi, who has reached a contract agreement with the Chicago White Sox, left Japan for Chicago on Wednesday after saying he is thrilled about moving a step closer to fulfilling his dream of playing in the majors.

Iguchi is scheduled to undergo a physical before formally signing with the American League club, making him the second Japanese infielder to join the major leagues. Kazuo Matsui, who joined the New York Mets last off-season, is the first.

“Playing in the big leagues has been a longtime dream of mine and I’m really happy,” said Iguchi, who agreed to a reported two-year deal worth $2.3 million (about 237 million yen) a year plus performance-related incentives.

“I’m going to give my best and show them everything I’ve learned in Japan in the last eight years.”

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