The Buffaloes plan to approach Kei Igawa if things do not work out for him in the States.
"I think [Igawa] might know how difficult it is be to play in the US right now," said Akinobu Okada. "I think he is just looking for an opportunity. If he decides to return to Japan because he cannot play in the US, then I will of course contact him. We have left the number 29 open [for him]."
It could end up becoming a battle between two former Hanshin managers as Senichi Hoshino (Rakuten Eagles) has also expressed an interest in Igawa.