Free-agent pitcher Okajima pondering switch to majors

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TOKYO, Nov. 18 (18:51) Kyodo

Free agent left-hander Hideki Okajima said Saturday he has
received offers from major league teams and is leaning toward
accepting one of them.

Okajima, who helped the Nippon Ham Fighters win the Pacific
League and Japan Series titles as a setup man, revealed that the
30-year-old has drawn interest from both Japanese and major league
clubs and offers from overseas are generally better.

''I just want to play for a team that gives a high rating to
what I've done,'' Okajima said. ''I've got a clear direction
regarding my future. I'm in pretty good shape now and I think this is
a very good opportunity for me (to play in the major leagues).''

Okajima was traded to Nippon Ham in late March after spending 12
seasons with the Yomiuri Giants. He went 2-2 with four saves and a
2.14 ERA this year with Nippon Ham, bringing his career record to
34-32 with 41 saves and a 3.36 ERA.

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