Baseball: Taiwan ace pitcher Wang eyes US return

Ace Taiwanese pitcher Chien-ming Wang Monday said he hoped to return to the US major leagues, denying reports he is mulling a deal to play in Japan.

Wang is currently playing for Taiwan in the World Baseball Classic and has thrown six innings, both against Australia and reigning champions Japan, without allowing a run.

He is currently a free agent after an injury-plagued season with the Washington Nationals. In 2006 and 2007 he pitched for the New York Yankees winning 19 games both seasons.

"(Playing in Japan) is just a rumour. My priority now is to return to the United States to play," he told reporters.

The comments came after the Taipei-based China Times, citing sources from Japan, said both Fukuoka Softbank Hawks and Hanshin Tigers had offered contracts to Wang, impressed by his pitching against Japan on Friday.

Japan came from behind to win 4-3 in an extended 10-inning game only after Wang was replaced due to the 80-ball pitching limit.