• The Associated Press


Japan manager Tatsunori Hara expressed his disappointment Thursday in Takashi Saito’s decision to sit out the World Baseball Classic but understands the pitcher’s situation.

Saito, who had 18 saves and a 2.49 ERA last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers despite being limited by an elbow injury, agreed to a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Saito announced his withdrawal from WBC consideration in order to prepare for the upcoming season.

“It’s a shame but I understand his position,” Hara told reporters Thursday. “We’ll continue to go forward with a positive outlook.”

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