• Kyodo News


Highly regarded Japanese amateur pitcher Junichi Tazawa has rejected offers from three major league clubs, effectively ensuring he will join the Boston Red Sox, baseball sources said Friday.

The 22-year-old Nippon Oil right-hander has contacted the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners to reject their respective offers.

Tazawa is expected to announce he will join the Red Sox early next week to follow in the footsteps of countrymen Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima.

Of the four teams that have put forward concrete offers for Tazawa, the Rangers have reportedly made the most attractive bid.

But Tazawa apparently holds Matsuzaka in high esteem and is motivated to join the Red Sox because of their focus on developing young talent.

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