Yakult Swallows president Yoshikazu Tagiku indicated Wednesday the Central League club will likely allow infielder Akinori Iwamura to make a switch to the major leagues after next season.
Tagiku said he will consider putting Iwamura up for auction through the posting system, in which major league clubs present bids for Japanese players, if he turns in a solid performance throughout the 2006 season.
Earlier in the offseason, Yakult rejected a request from Iwamura for a chance to move to the major leagues via the posting system for the second straight year.
On Wednesday, Yakult and the 26-year-old failed to reach an agreement over an offer of a new contract for an annual salary of 216 million yen, up 42 million yen from this year.
Iwamura hit .320 and 30 homers while driving in 102 runs in the 2005 season, reaching a .300 average, 30 homers and 100 RBIs for the second straight year.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.