Rangers begin multiyear baseball, business deal with Japan's Nippon Ham Fighters

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers and Japan's Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters are starting a multiyear agreement this year that will involve baseball and business operations.

Former Texas ace Yu Darvish is among the players who came to the majors from the Fighters. The latest big name to come to the U.S. from Nippon Ham is Shohei Ohtani, who signed with the Los Angeles Angels in December with the intention of being a pitcher and everyday player.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniel said Friday part of the reason for the agreement is that both franchises are building stadiums. The Rangers plan to advise the Fighters for the stadium in Sapporo, Japan.

Nippon Ham will have a staff member work in the Rangers' system as an instructor during spring training and the regular season. Texas personnel also will travel to observe operations of the three-time Japan Series champion Fighters, who play in the NPB Pacific League.