Sponichi: You can add the Texas Rangers to the list of teams interested in Junichi Tazawa. Rangers International Scout Jim Colborn is apparently checking him out.
Sponichi: The Mariners and Red Sox have apparently OK'ed Ichiro and Matsuzaka, respectively, to play in the WBC next year.
Sponichi: Hiroshima's new stadium could be called Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium Hiroshima. Mazda is proposing a 5-year contract worth upwards of 15-oku yen (about $15M). Ugh. I guess it's better than Kleenex Stadium (yes, I'm still harping on that one).
Sponochi: Tomoaki Kanemoto underwent surgery to clean out his left elbow. Everything appears to be fine and he should be ready for the start of the season.
Sponichi: The Orix Buffaloes are leaning towards giving Alex Cabrera a 2-year deal worth 6-oku yen plus bonuses. They usually don't give out multi-year deals but are making an exception because Cabrera is set to get his FA option next season.
Sponichi: Ryota Igarashi still doesn't know what he'd like to do with his FA option. He's currently sitting at 50-50 and hopes to make a decision. "Right now, there is a deal on the table and we need to decide if it's the right deal or not. I hope that I'll have a decision for the next time we meet. If it doesn't work out, I'll become an FA."
Sponichi: Ohmura Saburo appears to be leaning heavily towards exercising his FA option. "As a human being, as a man, I don't want to give up on my dream. I don't think I want to end my life without going for that dream I have."
Sponichi: Atsunori Inaba will be staying with the Ham Fighters. He will get a 2-year deal with an option year at 6-oku yen plus bonuses. "I had no interest in hearing what other teams might want to offer me. All I heard were the cheering fans supporting me and I couldn't betray them. You can call me a lifelong Fighter."
Sponichi: The Rakuten Eagles appear to have an interest in catcher Ryoji Aikawa. He's currently with the Yokohama Bay Stars but will most likely exercise his FA option.
Sports Hochi: Shingo Ono will most likely be staying with the Chiba Lotte Marines. Whatever concerns he had were addressed during a recent meeting with the front office and he's ready to begin negotiations.