Seibu Lions slugger Hiroyuki Nakajima is keeping silent on his impending free agency but is still expected to test the market this offseason to try to play in the major leagues.
"I can't say one way or the other," Nakajima said Monday night, after the Lions lost 3-2 to the Softbank Hawks and were eliminated from the Pacific League Climax Series. "I've been told by the team to not say anything."
The 30-year-old Nakajima has qualified for overseas free agency and according to sources close to him still harbors major league ambitions and will exercise his rights.
Last winter, the Lions auctioned Nakajima through the posting system and the Yankees won exclusive negotiating rights although the two parties failed to strike a deal during the allotted 30-day window.
Seibu, it appears, is willing to give Nakajima another shot at the majors.
"We want to respect his wishes," Lions owner Takashi Goto said.