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November 24, 2008

Rangers offer Tazawa

The coach for Japanese amateur pitcher Junichi Tazawa said the Rangers have offered the 22-year-old right-hander a multiyear contract that is more financially lucrative than any other team has offered, according to this story.

General manager Jon Daniels denied via text message Sunday that the Rangers had plans to meet with Tazawa, who is attempting to bypass Japan Professional Baseball and move directly to the United States.

Jim Colborn, the Rangers' director of Pacific Rim operations, has scouted Tazawa and said he has an average fastball but above-average breaking pitches.

He spent the season with Japan Oil, a corporate team that was eliminated from the national tournament Saturday. His coach, Hideaki Okubo, said four teams have met with Tazawa and that a decision could be made this week.

Boston is considered the front-runner, with Seattle and Atlanta also confirmed by Okubo to have met with Tazawa.

-- Jeff Wilson

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