Milwaukee admits to oversight on Figaro, Orix yet to re-sign pitcher

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KOBE, Dec. 21 (21:23) Kyodo

The Orix Buffaloes received an apology Friday from the Milwaukee
Brewers, who admitted they were not aware Alfredo Figaro was still
the property of the Pacific League club, leaving the right-hander's
minor league deal hanging in the air.

Shosaku Yokota, Orix's deputy chief of baseball operations, told
Kyodo News the Brewers contacted the Japanese ball club to explain
their oversight regarding the status of Figaro, who was 8-11 with a
3.31 ERA in 35 games for the Buffaloes over the last two seasons.

"This would have been a non-issue had they made an inquiry about
his situation," Yokota said. "But the problem has been solved."

The Brewers said Wednesday they had struck a deal with Figaro,
assuming he was a free agent. The Dominican, however, turned out to
be on Orix's reserve list and the Buffaloes balked at the signing,
claiming the contract was invalid.

Milwaukee said on its official website Friday that the team will
not interfere in Orix's attempt to re-sign Figaro, but would not
purchase the rights to the 28-year-old from the Buffaloes.

"I have reached out to the Orix team and advised them that it
was not our intent to violate their reservation rights, and if they
intend to retain Figaro, we will step aside," assistant general
manager Gord Ash said.

Yokota said Orix, which finished last in the PL this past
season, wants to bring back Figaro for 2013 but it remains to be seen
whether the pitcher will agree. Figaro made three starts and three
relief appearances in the Dominican Winter League, posting a 2.63 ERA.

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