According to Ken Rosenthal, the Royals are close to signing 34 year-old Japanese reliever Yasuhiko Yabuta to a two-year deal with a third year option. The White Sox had been in on him as well.
Yabuta, the right-handed set up man for the Chiba Lotte Marines, is probably best known for striking out A-Rod, Derrek Lee, and Johnny Damon in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Yabuta has racked up 86 holds and a sub-3.00 ERA over the last three years for the Marines despite not panning out as a starter.
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