According to Bobbie Dittmeier of MLB.com, Japanese lefthander Hisanori Takahashi declared free agency on Tuesday, and said he wants to try his luck in the Major Leagues.
"I decided I wanted to try out for the Majors three days ago," Takahashi said, according to sponichi.co.jp. "If I didn't have confidence in myself, I wouldn't have made the decision. I want to go to a team that needs me. I'd be extremely happy if I'm used as a starter."
"It's a dream I have," Takahashi said. "And I'd like to attain that dream. Seeing (Koji) Uehara in the Majors, that made me want to go to the Majors even more. I want to return to the days of being a rookie and take on this new challenge."
A former teammate of Uehara and Hideki Matsui, the 34-year-old Takahashi had a 2.94 ERA in 25 games last year, striking out 126 in 144 innings. He has spent his entire career with the Yomiuri Giants, and owns a career 3.70 ERA with 7.25 K/9.
Reliever Ryota Igarashi has already made it known that he plans to pursue a career in the big leagues next year.