Kawasaki invited to spring camp by Seattle

Kawasaki invited to spring camp by Seattle

Credit: REUTERS

Japan's Fukuoka Softbank Hawks Munenori Kawasaki celebrates with his teammate after scoring during the third inning of their Asia Series 2011 baseball game against Taiwan's Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium November 25, 2011.

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on January 5, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 5 at 9:05 PM

KOBE, Japan (AP) — Japanese infielder Munenori Kawasaki says he's been invited to spring training by the Seattle Mariners.

The 30-year-old free agent says "I'll be going to Arizona in February to compete for a job."

Kawasaki batted .267 with 161 hits in 144 games last season to help lead the Softbank Hawks to their first Japan Series championship in eight years.

Kawasaki previously said he would go to the major leagues, provided he could join Ichiro Suzuki in Seattle.

Suzuki and Kawasaki worked out together in Kobe on Thursday. The Mariners and Oakland Athletics will open the 2012 season in Japan with a two-game series at Tokyo Dome on March 28 and 29.

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