• Kyodo


The Los Angeles Dodgers have made a successful bid for infielder Norihiro Nakamura through the so-called posting system, former Kintesu Buffaloes representative Keisuke Ashitaka said Tuesday.

Ashitaka said he received word from the Japanese commissioner’s office the same day regarding the bid for the 31-year-old, but did not reveal the bidding price made to the Orix Buffaloes, created through the merger between the Orix BlueWave and Kintetsu Buffaloes.

The National League club will now have 30 days to negotiate a contract with Nakamura, who is currently visiting the United States.

Nakamura backed out of a tentative offer from the New York Mets in 2002 and has been anxiously waiting to fulfill a longtime dream of playing in the majors ever since.

He is almost certain to strike a deal, making him the fourth Japanese player to join a major league team through the posting system, after Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle Mariners), Kazuhisa Ishii (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Akinori Otsuka (San Diego Padres).

In 2004, Nakamura was limited to 105 games and 19 homers due to injuries. He hit .274. On Nov. 3, he announced a decision to play overseas, saying the deciding factor was the merger between Orix and Kintetsu.

Nakamura joined the Buffaloes in 1992 and won two crowns with 39 homers and 110 RBIs in 2000. A year later, he drove in 132 runs to capture the Pacific League RBI title for the second straight year and helped guide Kintetsu to its first league title in 12 years.

The Dodgers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League West division series last season. The famed ballclub has not won a World Series since 1988.

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