Japanese INF Kawasaki only interested in Mariners



FUKUOKA, Japan (AP) — Japanese infielder Munenori Kawasaki wants to go to the major leagues, provided he can join Ichiro Suzuki with the Seattle Mariners.

Kawasaki said at a news conference Thursday that he is only thinking about playing on the same team as Suzuki and would have to decline other offers.

The 30-year-old Kawasaki is a free agent and could negotiate with any major league team, but prefers Seattle. This season, he batted .267 with 161 hits in 144 games and helped lead the Softbank Hawks to their first Japan Series championship in eight years.

He teamed up with Suzuki as a member of the Japanese team that won the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009.