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Munenori Kawasaki leaves for the the United States

by on Dec.14, 2011 @ 3:05 pm, under MLB

Nikkan Sports is reporting that Munenori Kawasaki left for the US today.  Before leaving, Kawasaki told reporters he was going on a trip with his wife, but Nikkan Sports wonders if it might be to finalize a deal with the Seattle Mariners.

UPDATE 12/15 @ 4:01am - Just to clarify, this is just speculation on Nikkan Sports' part.  I did find another source that mentioned he likely took off for the US (he left on an international flight) and wondered if Kawasaki's decision to back out of the team's trip to Hawaii had anything to do with wanting to be available in case the Mariners came knocking.

UPDATE 12/15 @ 6:32am - Sponichi is reporting that a deal could be close.  An unnamed MLB source is also quoted as saying that negotiations have gone smoothly and that it probably will not take much longer.

UPDATE 12/15 @ 11:10am - Nikkan Sports reports that Kawasaki could have a contract in his hand by the time he returns to Japan if negotiations continue to go smoothly.  They are even reporting that the Mariners are starting to make preparations for a press conference and that Kawasaki will likely get a one-year split contract with a club option for a second year.