Free-agent pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has apparently decided to return to Japanese baseball with the Japan Series champion Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, who said Monday they are really interested in adding the right-hander.

The 34-year-old Matsuzaka last played in Japan in 2006, when he was posted by the Pacific League's Seibu Lions and fetched a fee of more than $51 million from the Boston Red Sox, where he spent six seasons and won the 2007 World Series.

"Pitchers who can start are a valuable commodity, so we will do our best to get him," said team president Yoshimitsu Goto. "We hope to get this done in the coming days."