Thirty-two-year-old Kazuhisa Makita is planning to formally tell the Seibu Lions about his interest in playing in the Majors. He also has a domestic free agent option that he earned in August. He wants to discuss his options with the Lions and will consider everything: staying, asking to be posted, exercising his option.
[UPDATE 10/19 @ 6:16pm]
Makita will not earn his international free agent option until some time in 2019. If he wants to go to the Majors before then, the only way will be through the posting system. The Lions could decide to post him if Makita counters by saying he will exercise his domestic option. If he does exercise the option, the Yomiuri Giants might be interested.
Source: ZakZak 10/19/2017
[UPDATE 10/29 @ 11:05am]
Makita told the media after practices at MetLife Dome on October 28 that he informed the Lions of his interest in getting posted to the Majors. He is set to meet team officials this coming week to discuss options: staying, posting system, exercising option.
[UPDATE 10/31 @ 12:28am]
Makita does not want to wait two years for his international free agent option because of his age. He feels this year is his last chance to go to the Majors.
Source: Sanspo 10/30/2017
[UPDATE 11/5 @ 12:53am]
The Lions may be open to posting Makita, particularly since he could exercise his free agent option if they outright turn down his request. They would rather he stay, but better to post him than to see him walk via free agency. The Lions did also secure another submarine pitcher during this year’s draft (Kaito Yoza).
Source: Tokyo Sprts 11/4/2017
[UPDATE 11/5 @ 11:49am]
The Softbank Hawks are looking into Makita, just in case he decides to exercise his free agent option.
Source: Sports Hochi 11/5/2017
[UPDATE 11/6 @ 1:17am]
The Lions are open to posting Makita, but Hisanobu Watanabe (Lions senior director) told reporters on November 5 that any decision would have to wait until after the new posting system rules were in place.
Source: Sanspo 11/5/2017
[UPDATE 11/6 @ 3:47pm]
Lions Director Haruhiko Suzuki told reporters on November 6 that they will most likely post Makita, but only after the NPB and MLB finalize the new posting system.
[UPDATE 11/7 @ 2:57pm]
This could end up becoming a timing issue for Makita. While Makita is interested in the Majors, he is also said to be interested in testing the free agent waters in Japan.
The filing deadline for free agency is November 14. Makita can forego free agency and simply wait for the new posting system agreement. But if the Lions, for whatever reason, decide to back down from their plans to post Makita (while unlikely, they could be stalling for time), he will be stuck with them for at least another year.
If Makita files for free agency, he will most likely have to give up any chance he has at being posted, but at least he guarantees himself one of the two things he wanted to do this winter.
Source: Nikkan Sports 11/7/2017
[UPDATE 11/8 @ 9:19pm]
ZakZak wonders if there is even a market for Makita via the posting system.
Source: ZakZak 11/8/2017
[UPDATE 11/9 @ 10:25am]
According to Nikkan Sports, Makita has decided he wants to go to the Majors through the posting system and will not use his free agent option. Senior Director Watanabe told reporters on November 8 that they plan to post Makita regardless of the terms of the new posting agreement.
Source: Nikkan Sports 11/9/2017
[UPDATE 11/11 @ 12:11am]
Makita will most likely select CAA Sports to represent him.
Source: Nikkan Sports 11/10/2017