From the Online Japan Times:
Highly regarded amateur pitcher Junichi Tazawa received a lucrative offer from the Texas Rangers on Monday and is expected to decide on his future shortly, his manager said.
"Now that these offers are on the table, a conclusion will be reached in three or four days," Hideaki Okubo, manager of Tazawa's Nippon Oil team, said after talks with the Rangers, which followed recent meetings with the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners. [...]
According to sources close to Tazawa, the Red Sox appear to be the front-runners in the race for his services, and Okubo hinted that Tazawa is hoping to choose his destination as soon as possible.
"It seems to me that Tazawa does not necessarily need to meet any further teams," Okubo said.
It's a good thing we got in there early with our offer and expressed our interest and seriousness from the get-go. Everyone is naturally falling all over themselves after the Red Sox got into the action, and with two other established Japanese pitchers on their team, and a history of spending big on international talent, they should probably be considered the favorites.
I'm going to be honest with Junichi for a moment... the Boston Red Sox as a destination, yawn, they already have their Japanese stars -- ditto for the Seattle Mariners... yawn, it's been done. The Texas Rangers; not a good history with regards to free agents pitching signings, you should stay away. And then the Atlanta Braves, a team on the verge of a new era of talent which you can be a part of, and in an area of the country that hasn't had a big-name foreign player -- you could be the first!