TOKYO (AP) - Japanese baseball officials are considering stricter rules for amateur players who bypass the country's professional leagues to play in Major League Baseball.
Concern with the existing rules arose after high school pitcher Shohei Otani decided to pursue a career in the major leagues instead of playing in Japanese professional baseball.
In 2008, Junichi Tazawa left Japan's corporate league, signing with the Boston Red Sox as the first top amateur to bypass the Japanese draft.
Tazawa's move led Japanese baseball to rule that if a player decides to play overseas after being drafted by a Japanese team, he cannot play for a Japanese pro club for up to three years after he returns to Japan.
Japan's 12 pro teams are looking for tougher rules to keep talented young players in Japan.
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