Yoshihisa Naruse (29) contacted the Yakult Swallows and told them that he wanted to play for them next year.
"He contacted us to let us know he wanted to sign with us," said team official Masanori Matsu. He added, "We got good replies from the players we wanted: a starting pitcher and a player up the middle. I think we accomplished what we set out to do."
Naruse will most likely be assigned the number 17. Keiji Obiki (30) has also decided to sign with Yakult. He will most likely be assigned the number 2.