Japanese All-Star SS Hiroyuki Nakajima becomes free agent

Koji Watanabe

Former Seibu Lions shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima is now a free agent and plans to make the move to the Major Leagues.

Former Seibu Lions' shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima hopes to move to the Major Leagues now that he is a free agent, according to the Washington Post. Nakajima was posted by the Lions last winter and the New York Yankees won the he returned to the Lions for another year before being granted free agency.

The 30-year-old is a seven-time NPB All-Star and a career .302 hitter with 149 home runs and 134 stolen bases. Both the Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks are said to be interested in the Japanese shortstop, as both teams currently have vacancies at the position.

Other NPB stars could be looking to make the move state-side as well. Former Hanshin Tigers' closer Kyuji Fujikawa was granted free agency and may draw interest from Major League clubs. Fujikawa has saved 220 games in his 12 seasons with the Tigers. Kesuke Tanaka, formerly of the Nippon Ham Fighters, and Takeshi Hidaka of the Orix Buffaloes are also reportedly drawing interest from Major League teams.

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