Mets near deal with Japanese reliever

BY foxsports • December 16, 2009

A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the New York Mets are close to completing a two-year contract with Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the deal had not been finalized.

Igarashi, a 30-year-old right-hander, throws 93-94 mph with a splitter, the person said. New York needs setup help in the bullpen for All-Star closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Igarashi pitched for the Yakult Swallows in the Japanese Central League.

The status of his negotiations with the Mets was first reported by The New York Times on its Web site.

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