• Kyodo

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Yokohama BayStars veteran right-hander Takashi Saito has decided to leave the Central League team with the aim of plying his trade in the major leagues next season, team sources said Friday.

Saito, 35, concludes his three-year contract with the BayStars this season and the team says it will respect his wishes to try to make a switch to the majors.

Saito exercised his right to free agency in the 2002 off-season but was unable to reach an agreement on financial terms after talks with several major league teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers. He re-signed with the BayStars on a three-year deal worth an estimated 730 million yen but has only posted an 11-16 record in those three years.

Saito has compiled a career 87-80 record with 48 saves in 339 games.

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