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NEW YORK (Kyodo) Former Orix Buffaloes left-hander Katsuhiko Maekawa has signed a minor league deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, the team’s official Web site said Friday.

Maekawa, 30, who will not receive an invitation to major league spring training, was fired by Orix in January 2007 due to a hit-and-run incident while driving without a license.

He agreed to a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals in February this year, but the deal fell through after his working visa was denied.

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