Chunichi pitcher Hirai hints at declaring free agency

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NAGOYA, Nov. 5 (21:51) Kyodo

Chunichi Dragons right-handed reliever Masafumi Hirai suggested
Monday he is interested in giving the major leagues a try.

''I'm leaning toward exercising free agency a little bit,''
Hirai said after the Chunichi front office asked him to stay with a
reduced salary. ''I might have a better chance overseas.''

Hirai went 4-2 with a 3.29 ERA in 45 games. The 32-year-old made
relief appearances in Game 3 and 4 of the Japan Series, pitching a
total of 1-1/3 scoreless innings for the champion Dragons.

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