• Kyodo News


The Atlanta Braves are interested in Japanese free agent right-hander Kenshin Kawakami, according to a report posted on Major League Baseball’s Web site.

“The Braves are among the many Major League teams that met with Kawakami’s representatives during this past week’s Winter Meetings in Las Vegas,” the report on MLB.com said.

“After learning Friday that A.J. Burnett would sign with the New York Yankees, Braves general manager Frank Wren began looking at other options to fill his rotation,” it said, referring to the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher who had been on the Braves’ shopping list.

The report said the New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox have also shown interest in Kawakami, but no teams are believed to have made offers to the 33-year-old.

Kawakami went 9-5 with a 2.30 ERA in 20 games for the Chunichi Dragons in 2008 and became a free agent this offseason. He has a 112-72 career record with a save and a 3.22 ERA in 11 seasons, all with Chunichi.

Kawakami won the Sawamura Award, the Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young Award, and the Central League MVP in 2004 after leading the league with a career-high 17 wins. He won 17 games again two years later to win his second title for most wins.

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