|Friday, January 31
Updated: February 2, 12:01 AM ET
Millar wants to play with Red Sox
BOSTON -- Former Marlins infielder Kevin Millar's status could be clarified next week when an official of the Japanese team that agreed to a deal with him last month meet with a lawyer in the commissioner's office.
Florida sold Millar's rights to the Chunichi Dragons of Japan's Central League for $1.2 million, and he reached an oral agreement on a $6.2 million, two-year contract. But after the Red Sox expressed interest in signing him, Millar said he wanted to play in Boston.
Negotiations between the Red Sox and Dragons have not settled the issue, and Dragons public relations director Mitsuo Kodama was to travel to New York to meet with officials in the commissioner's office to discuss Millar.
Under an agreement between the major league commissioner's office and the Japanese commissioner's office, the 30 major league teams respect the contracts of the 12 Japanese teams.
"He is a member of the Chunichi Dragons," Chunichi president Junnosuke Nishikawa told Kyodo News. "This has been confirmed by the baseball commissioners in both Japan and the United States. Coming to Japan is the only option for him."
Millar's agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, did not return a call seeking comment. But Millar told The Boston Globe that he was concerned about playing overseas in the event of a war.
"I don't want to leave this country in a time of war," he told the paper. "I want to be in the big leagues. It would be a dream come true to be in a Boston uniform on opening day."
Millar also threatened to not go to Japan in order to force Chunichi to release him. But that wouldn't necessarily free him to sign with Boston; the commissioner's office could force him to go through process in which Chunichi would sell his rights to the highest bidder.