• Kyodo

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The Chiba Lotte Marines offered infielder Tadahito Iguchi a three-year deal worth a total of about ¥600 million after opening negotiations on Wednesday.

Iguchi, who was released by the Philadelphia Phillies at the end of the 2008 season, has not made a decision yet as he is awaiting offers from several other clubs in Japan as well as in the major leagues.

In December, Lotte expressed interest in acquiring Iguchi, who won a World Series ring with the Chicago White Sox in his rookie year in 2005 and later joined the Phillies.

Iguchi began last season with the San Diego Padres but was left out of their plans after suffering a shoulder injury in June.

In early September, the 34-year-old rejoined the Phillies, where he was not eligible for the postseason roster and finished the season with a combined .232 batting average with two homers and 24 RBIs in 85 games.

“I feel like there are a lot of expectations of me. I feel gratitude that I can receive this offer even though I was injured last year. I feel Lotte’s sincerity,” Iguchi said. “I want to play for a club where I feel needed. I haven’t decided yet, but I would like to decide as soon as possible.

Lotte team president Ryuzo Setoyama, who visited Iguchi at his training base in Okinawa for the talks, said he was optimistic.

“He listened to what I had to say in a positive and friendly way. I don’t think it will be long before we get a response,” said Setoyama.

Iguchi is a career .268 hitter in four major league seasons.

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