Softbank Hawks catcher Kenji Jojima, who is eyeing a move to the major leagues next season, is among five players on the free-agent list released Tuesday by the baseball commissioner’s office.
The five are among the 69 eligible players who filed for free agency by Tuesday’s deadline and are allowed to start negotiations with any clubs, including their current teams, beginning Wednesday.
Seibu Lions closer Kiyoshi Toyoda and Chunichi Dragons lefty Shigeki Noguchi have declared their intentions to change teams in exercising their free agent rights while Hanshin Tigers catcher Akiro Yano and Chunichi catcher Motonobu Tanishige are set to remain with their current clubs.
Jojima is visiting the United States accompanied by his family as he gears for talks with major league clubs.
New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya said at the annual GM meeting Monday that the team is looking at acquiring the services of the 29 year old.
Toyoda and Noguchi have drawn interest from the Yomiuri Giants and Chunichi, and Yomiuri is scheduled to begin talks with Noguchi Wednesday, according to reports.
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