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The Japan Series champion Fukuoka Softbank Hawks are near to signing former ace Tsuyoshi Wada on what appears to be a multiyear deal.

“We’re in the final stages and it’s going well,” a team executive said Tuesday. “He can be a role model for the young pitchers because of the way he carries himself in practice.”

The 34-year-old Wada left the Hawks to join the Baltimore Orioles on a two-year deal prior to the 2012 season, but the southpaw had elbow surgery soon after joining Baltimore and did not appear in the majors until 2014 with the Chicago Cubs.

Wada has a career record in Japan of 107-61. In 2010, he was named the Pacific League’s MVP after leading the league with 17 wins. In two partial big league seasons for Chicago, he went 5-5 with a 3.36 ERA in 21 games.

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