Yu Darvish elects to stay in Japan

TOKYO -- Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish says he plans to stay in his home country for at least another season, putting off a possible move to the major leagues.

Darvish, who has been heavily scouted by numerous major league teams, wrote on his Web site Wednesday that he will play for the Nippon Ham Fighters next season.

The 24-year-old is not eligible for free agency but could have been made available to major league teams through the posting system.

Under the posting system, major league teams bid for the rights to negotiate with Japanese players who have yet to acquire free agent status.

Darvish went 12-8 last season for the Fighters with 222 strikeouts and a Pacific League-leading 1.78 ERA in 26 games.