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Devil Rays obtain negotiating rights to Iwamura

Updated: November 15, 2006, 7:44 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays won the negotiating rights to Japanese star third baseman Akinori Iwamura on Wednesday, submitting a winning bid of about $4.5 million for the power hitter.

On Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox paid $51.1 million for the rights to talk to Japanese star pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

The Devil Rays have 30 days to finalize a contract with Iwamura. If he is not signed by Dec. 15, Tampa Bay gets its money back and Iwamura returns to play in Japan.

Iwamura, ...

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