Baseball / MLB

Franco stays, Serafini goes

by Stephen Ellsesser

Following a test of the open market, Matt Franco and Dan Serafini will wind up on different teams after helping the Chiba Lotte Marines win their first Japan Series in 31 years in 2005, said agent Myles Kahn.

Franco, who batted .300 with 78 RBIs and 21 home runs last season for Lotte, signed a two-year deal to remain with the team. Kahn, who represents both Franco and Serafini, said earlier that Franco’s ideal situation was to play two or three more years in Japan before finishing his career.

Serafini, who turns 32 later this month, is set to sign a two-year guaranteed deal with the Orix Buffaloes. Orix was the first team to tender a multiyear offer to the left-hander. The Buffaloes were among four other teams (including Lotte) vying for Serafini’s services. Serafini was 11-4 with 117 strikeouts and a 2.91 ERA in 2005. Salary figures were not disclosed for either deal.