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Shohei Otani hears pitches from Cubs, Mariners, Rangers

Kyodo

Coveted two-way star Shohei Otani met with representatives from the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to U.S. media.

The meetings followed talks Monday between the 23-year-old slugging ace and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Angels and the San Francisco Giants, ESPN reported.

The Rangers sent an eight-man contingent, including co-owner Ray Davis, general manager Jon Daniels and manager Jeff Banister, to make their case to Otani at his agent’s office in Los Angeles in the afternoon, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Their presentation reportedly emphasized the club’s success in integrating another Japanese star, pitcher Yu Darvish, who was traded to the Dodgers last season.

The Mariners, rumored to be the front-runners to sign Otani, met with him in the morning, according to multiple reports.

The National League champion Dodgers currently have one Japanese pitcher, Kenta Maeda, on their roster, while right-handed starter Darvish may re-sign as a free agent this winter.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who was born in Okinawa and whose mother is Japanese, is said to have a good understanding of Japanese players and is seen as an asset in the team’s pursuit of Otani.

The San Diego Padres, the remaining club among the seven believed to have a shot at landing Otani, who has been posted by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, are also expected to meet with him, ESPN reported.