Mets, Dodgers among suitors

Updated: December 4, 2003, 9:58 PM ET
Associated Press

TOKYO -- Japan's Kazuo Matsui will choose from four major league teams courting him, according to media reports.

ESPN's Peter Gammons reports the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers are the front-runners for Matsui, a seven-time All-Star in Japan.

The 28-year-old switch-hitting shortstop didn't specify which teams he was considering, citing ongoing negotiations, the national Asahi newspaper and other major dailies reported Friday.

"I don't think it will take long to reach a decision," Matsui said.

Known as "Little Matsui," he is not related to Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui, who came from Japan before last season and finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting.

Kazuo Matsui, a seven-time All-Star in Japan's professional leagues, batted .305 with 33 homers, 84 RBIs and 179 hits this year for the Seibu Lions.

Other clubs including the Yankees, Red Sox and Mariners, are said to be interested in the speedy Matsui.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press