SoftBank Hawks right-hander Kodai Senga indicated during recent salary negotiations with the team that he is eyeing a future move to the major leagues via the posting system, an unnamed club official said Thursday.
The source revealed that the 24-year-old, who has posted double-digit wins in his last two seasons, told the Pacific League outfit of his goal despite the Fukuoka-based club never having allowed the use of the auction-style player transfer system in the past.
"We heard his wish but didn't talk any further, and didn't say whether we'd approve it or not. It won't be happening today," the source said.
Senga went 13-4 in 22 games in 2017, his sixth season with the Hawks, and was a member of the Japan national team that lost to the United States in the World Baseball Classic semifinals in March.
The posting system allows Nippon Professional Baseball players who do not have the requisite nine years of professional experience to access international free agency, giving Major League Baseball teams a chance to bid for their services.
Four Japanese pitchers entered the offseason seeking a contract with a major league team. The highest profile of them, Shohei Otani, agreed to a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
Orix Buffaloes' Yoshihisa Hirano, Hideaki Wakui of Lotte Marines and Kazuhisa Makita from Seibu Lions are also on the market.