Manager Sadaharu Oh said he wants New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui on Japan’s 30-man roster for the inaugural World Baseball Classic next spring.
“Would I put him in? Certainly,” Oh said.
Matsui has yet to confirm his plans, saying only that he has yet to receive a formal invitation. He recently told Japanese reporters that he has not decided whether he would like to participate in the World Baseball Classic or not.
Last week it was reported that Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners will join the Japan team. Oh also said that he has offered roster spots to Chicago White Sox infielder Tadahito Iguchi and San Diego Padres pitcher Akinori Otsuka.
A formal announcement on Japan’s roster will be made Friday by Oh and other officials from Nippon Professional Baseball.
Japan will be with South Korea, China and Taiwan of Pool A, which is scheduled to play in Tokyo Dome on March 3-5. Top two teams will advanced to second round.