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Brad Penny Nearing Deal With Japanese Team

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported the possibility of a potential move to Japan for free-agent starting pitcher Brad Penny. Crasnick reported Penny "has had discussions with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan's Pacific League," and now he may be close to a deal.

According to Sponichi in Japan (via Yakyu Baka), the Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League, are nearing a deal with Brad Penny. The club has even made Penny's uniform number available, as well. Softbank Hawks' team president had this to say about the rumors:

"The deal has not been finalized yet, but I hear we are in the final stages. We see him as a pitcher for our starting rotation," said team chairman Sadaharu Oh.

Penny may have found interest from teams, but it's doubtful teams offered him guaranteed money or a spot on a starting rotation. He pitched for the Detroit Tigers last season, and it's hard to believe him going to Japan, if there was a real deal to be had in the MLB.