The media learned on Friday that Hideaki Wakui may be leaning toward to exercising his domestic FA option after the season. A number of teams, including Lotte (he is from Chiba), Yokohama (he graduated from Yokohama High School), and Yomiuri, could be interested in the twenty-seven-year-old pitcher.
Wakui earned his domestic FA option on June 14 with eight years of service time on the active roster. He told reporters at the time that he was only focused on the current season, but may have told people close a different story, that he was interested in a change of scenery. Part of his desire to leave may have to do with his stock dropping within the organization over the last couple of years -- inconsistent performance on the field, increase in other pitching options, scandals.
There are also some rumblings that Wakui may have been thinking of his option as far back as this past off-season, when he turned down a two-year deal worth over 500 million yen. However, he does have a nine-year history with the Lions and may be open to staying under the right circumstances.