Kawakami heads questionable Japanese free-agent class

Originally Published: November 22, 2008
By Jim Allen | Special to ESPN.com

TOKYO -- Unlike the big-money markets for Japanese players the past two winters, this year's minor group of major candidates will not generate any shock waves.

With no stars expected to be posted this winter, just five players have stated their intent to play in the majors. Four are pitchers, including a marginal 39-year-old left-hander and small amateur right-hander Junichi Tazawa.

The safest bet in the group is Chunichi Dragons ace Kenshin Kawakami, 33. He is followed by Yomiuri ...

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