Fri, Nov 10, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Big teams begin wait for Matsuzaka

AP , NEW YORK

The waiting began yesterday for teams that bid for Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

His Japanese club, the Pacific League's Seibu Lions, said yesterday they have been notified of the highest bid by a major league club for the 26-year-old right-hander, but will not make a decision on whether to accept until after a meeting of its board of directors -- not expected to be held before today at the earliest.

"We have confirmed the amount of the bid, but we cannot make any comment for now on whether the club will accept it," said Seibu spokesman Ryuichi Chikamune, who refused to disclose which MLB team offered the highest amount, or how many teams bid.

"The offer will be discussed at a Seibu board of directors meeting to be held later this week. After that, we will announce whether to accept the offer," Chikamune said.

The Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Cubs and Rangers were thought to be among the teams that bid for Matsuzaka, but the major league commissioner's office instructed teams not to comment publicly, several clubs said.

The Yankees' involvement was confirmed by a baseball official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the directive. Prior to the directive, the Rangers had said they planned to bid.

The major league commissioner's office, which opened the bidding last Thursday, informed the Japanese commissioner's office of the highest amount bid, but not the club that made the offer. The team and the amount will be revealed only if the Lions accept the offer.

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