Tazawa listens to more major league offers

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OSAKA, Nov. 18 (12:55) Kyodo

Junichi Tazawa received visits from Cleveland Indians and
Detroit Tigers scouts Monday, with both teams formally expressing
interest in acquiring the highly touted amateur fastballer.

Neither team put a detailed proposal forward but Tazawa, who
according to Nippon Oil manager Hideaki Okubo has now spoken to four
major league teams, said the meetings went well.

''Today it was just basically an exchange of greetings but it
was good to be able to listen to that they had to say,'' said Tazawa,
who met with the scouts at an Osaka hotel after the first round of
the national corporate championship at Kyocera Dome.

''The most important thing at the moment is this tournament,''
the Nippon Oil pitcher said of the national meet.

Tazawa met with major league scouts for the first time since he
asked to be passed over by 12 Japanese clubs in last month's draft
when he spoke to the Seattle Mariners and the Atlanta Braves two
weeks ago.

Tazawa proved his worth in the intercity corporate championship
in September, pitching in all five Nippon Oil games and helping his
team to its first title in 13 years with four wins.

Later that month, he said he would test the open market in North
America, bypassing the Japanese amateur draft.

His decision sent ripples among Japanese baseball officials
fearing a further outflow of promising talent from the country.

Tazawa throws a fastball at over 150 kilometers per hour and
also has a forkball and slider in his arsenal.

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