Report: Diamondbacks preparing offer for Japanese reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi

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UPDATE: Or not. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic asked Towers via text message about the Sponichi report. He replied: “News to me!”

9:06 PM: Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers is apparently doing a lot more than talking to teams about a potential match for Justin Upton.

Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a report from Sponichi that the D-Backs are prepared to offer Japanese reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi a two-year, $3 million contract.

While Hisashi Iwakuma and Tsuyoshi Nishioka have had to go through the posting process, the 32-year-old right-hander is a free agent and is able to sign with any MLB team.

Formerly a starting pitcher, Kobayashi moved to the bullpen this past season and posted a 2.21 ERA to go along with 29 saves and a 53/13 K/BB ratio over 61 innings. He has a 3.54 ERA over 11 professional seasons in Japan, all with the Chiba Lotte Marines. On his website NPB Tracker, Newman writes that Kobayashi “doesn’t have a power arm, but attacks the strike zone.”