Thirty-one-year-old Hideaki Wakui earned his international free agent option this year. The Chiba Lotte Marines would like Wakui to return next year. However, they know he is also interested in playing in the Majors. They are planning to sit down with him to discuss his plans.
According to Nikkan Sports, Wakui is planning to consider all his available options. That includes the Majors, Lotte, or another NPB team. Sports Hochi is reporting that Wakui has plans to visit the United States and watch the World Series.
[UPDATE 10/12 @ 11:58am]
The Marines want Wakui to return in 2018. To that end, they are prepared to do the following:
Source: Sports Hochi 10/12/2017
[UPDATE 10/25 @ 2:55am]
Wakui left for the United States out of Haneda Airport on October 23. He is planning to watch the World Series. Before leaving, he told reporters he was interested in playing in the Majors and that he started thinking about it after playing in the WBC.
Source: Sports Hochi 10/24/2017
[UPDATE 11/7 @ 2:27pm]
Wakui is no rush to make a decision and told reporters on November 6 that he take advantage of all the time he has until the deadline on November 14.
Nikkan Sports is reporting that Wakui has already informed Lotte that he is planning to exercise his option with his first choice to play in the Majors.
[UPDATE 11/8 @ 12:44am]
Wakui is reportedly planning to file for free agency because he wants a shot at playing in the Majors. If he ends up staying in Japan, it will be with Lotte.