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June 29, 2017

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MLB games be held in Taiwan: US newspaper

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Major League Baseball (MLB) could hold its season-opening games in Taiwan in 2015, a U.S. newspaper reported earlier this week.

Quoting an unidentified source, the San Francisco Chronicle said in a story released Wednesday that the MLB is "exploring the possibility of season-opening games in Taiwan in March 2015."

The Oakland Athletics is at the top of possible teams to go on that trip, the source told the newspaper.

The A's have played season openers in Asia twice before, in Tokyo in 2008 and 2012. A's general manager Billy Beane said after each trip that they'd enjoy going any time they're asked, the report said.

"We've always been open to considering playing international games, subject to details," Beane was quoted in the report. "I can only speak for baseball operations, but our experiences in Japan were fantastic from a baseball standpoint."

The MLB has held two exhibition series in Taiwan in the past four years. However, it has never held regular season games in the country.

An All-Star team of major leaguers led by then-New York Yankees stars Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson played five games against a Taiwanese team in November 2011. The All-Star teams swept the series and went home with five wins.

In March 2010, former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre led the Dodgers, whose roster included Manny Ramirez and James Loney, in a two-game series.

Meanwhile, former MLB All-Star infielder Felipe Lopez announced Thursday that he will be joining the Brother Elephants of the local Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) for the upcoming season that is schedule to kick off next month.

Lopez made the announcement through his Twitter account.

Asked to comment, the Elephants would not confirm the news, saying that the deal has yet to be sealed.

A one-time All-Star player for the Cincinnati Reds in 2005, Lopez last appeared in the majors in 2011. He left with a 0.206 percent batting average in 153 plate appearances at the Tampa Bay Rays and Milwaukee Brewers.

In 11 major league seasons, the Puerto Rican switch-hitter played on eight different teams. His career totals include a 0.264 batting average with 90 home runs and 124 stolen bases.

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