• Kyodo


The Seattle Mariners are said to be on the verge of signing Kenji Jojima, who is pursuing a deal that will make him the first Japanese catcher in the major leagues, a local daily reported Friday.

The Tacoma News Tribune in its online edition quoted a source as saying that the Marines “are close to signing Jojima to a two-year contract worth about $8 million with an option for a third season.” The source was also quoted as telling the newspaper that the Mariners, who are grooming 2005 first-round draft pick Jeff Clement as their catcher of the future, would not guarantee Jojima a third season.

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