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Mets sign Japan's Takahashi to minor league contract

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Veteran left-handed pitcher Hisanori Takahashi has signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets and has been invited to spring training, the team said on Thursday.

He will earn $1 million next season if he makes the Mets and could earn up to $500,000 more in performance bonuses, Major League Baseball's official website (www.mlb.com) reported.

Earlier in the offseason the Mets signed Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi. If he and Takahashi make the team, they would become the 10th and 11th Japanese players to compete for the Mets since 1997.

Takahashi, 34, was 10-6 with a 2.96 earned run average in 25 games for the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Central League last year.

He compiled a 79-66 record with a 3.70 earned run average in 10 seasons with Yomiuri.

The Mets also signed first baseman Mike Jacobs and catcher Shawn Riggans to minor league contracts.

Jacobs, a former Mets player, was with the Kansas City Royals last season, driving in 61 runs.

Riggans played for the Tampa Bay Rays for the past three seasons. He was limited to seven games with the Rays and 26 in the minors because of tendonitis in his right shoulder.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina. Editing by Ian Ransom)