Bidding closes on Japanese third baseman Iwamura
NEW YORK -- Bidding closed on third baseman Akinori Iwamura, and his Japanese team has until Thursday to accept the highest offer.
Major league teams had until Friday to submit offers for the 27-year-old, a five-time Gold Glove winner who played for Japan's World Baseball Classic championship team in March. If the Yakult Swallow of Japan's Central League accept the offer, the winning major league team has 30 days to negotiate a contract.
Iwamura hit .311 with 32 homers and 77 RBI this year. He has a .300 career average with 188 homers and 570 RBI.
The Seibu Lions of the Pacific League have until Tuesday to accept the highest bid for pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. The identities of teams that make high bids are revealed only if their offers are accepted.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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