When Shikoku-Kyushu Island League CEO Makoto Kagiyama caught wind that Hideki Irabu could be interested in joining one of the teams in the league as a way back to the NPB, he had this to say:
"A number of clubs from the NPB contacted me to see if we would allow him to pitch in our league. I told them that we would love to have him here.
...the Independent League can be a good stepping-stone to getting back into Japanese baseball. I think he can make use of it as a stage to gain some attention."
The league intends to contact Irabu on a regular basis to see if they can work something out with him.
The Shikoku-Kansai Island League also takes part in the Phoenix League that begins in October in Miyazaki Prefecture. It's primarily a league set-up for Ni-gun players, but Kagiyama said, "There are a number of Ichi-gun players that play in the Phoenix League. I think it might be a good chance for him to face some tough competition."