• Kyodo News

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Yomiuri Giants right-hander Koji Uehara and Chunichi Dragons right-hander Kenshin Kawakami officially became free agents Wednesday when their names were posted by the Japanese baseball commissioner’s office along with five other players.

Uehara has set his sights on a move to the major leagues and is likely to draw interest from several clubs once he is allowed to start negotiations Thursday, while Kawakami is leaning toward striking a deal in the majors but is undecided and could remain in Japan.

The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, meanwhile, are interested in acquiring the services of Chunichi infielder Norihiro Nakamura, while the Hanshin Tigers have expressed a desire to hold talks with Yokohama BayStars right-hander Daisuke Miura.

Hiroshima Carp right-hander Ken Takahashi is also hoping to pursue a career in the majors. Yokohama catcher Ryoji Aikawa, who is eyeing the majors, could be convinced in a deal with the Yakult Swallows.

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