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Japanese pitcher eyes MLB

Former Yakult Swallows pitcher, now free agent Ryota Igarashi hopes to pitch in the MLB next season, according to ESPN.com. Igarashi, 30, posted a 3.19 ERA in 56 games this past season.

Most relieves who come over from Japan tend to be left-handed, but Igarashi's 44-27 career record with a 3.26 ERA may appeal to some teams willing to offer a low-based salary to the Japanese veteran.

Igarashi is probably looking at a minor league deal, meaning lots of teams could make a move for him. The Rangers and Red Sox have always pursued pitchers from the Japanese and Korean leagues, as have the Indians and Royals. The Cubs are looking to fortify their bullpen and are known to have a group of scouts constantly overseas.