• Kyodo


The Kansas City Royals have agreed on a deal with right-hander Yasuhiko Yabuta, who has filed for free agency from the Chiba Lotte Marines, a local Kansas City daily reported.

The Kansas City Star reported in its online edition Thursday that the Royals “already have an agreement in place” with Yabuta but the 34-year-old said Friday that he is still awaiting word from his agent.

“I haven’t heard anything from my agent yet and the Royals are one of the candidates of my choice,” Yabuta told reporters after training at Chiba Marine Stadium.

According to the report, both sides have reached an agreement on a two-year deal pending a physical examination.

Yabuta played for Lotte primarily as a starter before becoming a setup reliever during the 2004 season, helping the Pacific League club win the league and Japan Series titles in 2005.

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