This is actually a news item that ran in a Japanese version of a Korean newspaper 10 days ago, so it's kind of old news, but I still thought it might be of some interest.
Yakult Swallows' closer Chang-Yong Lim is showing some interest in the Majors and is rumored to be looking for an agent to represent him in the US. A few US ball clubs have apparently even went so far as to put a price tag of around $4.5M over 2 years for his services.
However, Lim is still under contract with the Swallows -- he signed a 2-year deal that included a club option for a third year, prior to the 2008 season. That means he's still technically under contract with the Swallows for the 2010 season.
"The contract we signed in January, the year before last, was a 2 + 1 year deal. Yakult controls the option for the third year and we're currently in the middle of negotiations for that third year," said Lim's agent in Japan. "We're in the middle of a season right now so it isn't really appropriate to talk about the possibilities of going to the Majors. At least for the time being, Lim hopes to pitch in Japan next season."
Lim's agent added, "We don't really want to use this talk of going to the Majors as leverage for a bigger contract for the option year. I think his performance will speak for itself and that should be enough in terms of deciding what he's worth."
This all means the Swallows could potentially lose 2 key pieces of their bullpen over the next couple of seasons (Ryota Igarashi will likely test the national and international FA waters after this season and the year after that, Lim will likely do the same).
Incidentally, prior to this news breaking, the Yomiuri Giants were also rumored to be interested in the righty (probably because they've managed to "steal away" a few Swallows' players over the last couple of years).