Softbank's Kawasaki re-signs for 240 mil. yen

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FUKUOKA, Dec. 7 (21:21) Kyodo

Softbank Hawks shortstop Munenori Kawasaki re-signed with the
Pacific League club for 240 million yen on Tuesday -- up 90 million
yen from last season.

Kawasaki had a club record 190 hits this season. ''They've
compensated me better than I would have ever expected. Next year, I
hope to cause some havoc in the game again,'' said Kawasaki, who was
offered a multiyear deal by the team but turned it down.

If all goes as expected, the 29-year-old Kawasaki will be
eligible for overseas free agency during the 2011 season.

''There's nothing to say right now (about free agency). I will
be happy playing for the Hawks for another year. My way of thinking
is set,'' he said.

Elsewhere, Lions second-baseman Yasuyuki Kataoka, who won the
stolen bases title for the fourth year in a row, put pen to paper for
a return to Seibu that will secure him 170 million yen next season --
a 60 million yen boost from this year.

Kataoka, who had a career-high 59 swipes, hurt his right calf
toward the end of the season. ''I feel like I couldn't go all out in
the end,'' he said. He still hit a career-high .295. ''I want to
create pressure for myself next year.''

Takeya Nakamura, who failed to win his third consecutive home
run title, re-signed for 125 million yen plus bonuses -- a salary cut
of 25 million yen.

He took the hit after he finished the season with just 25 homers
after being removed from the active roster for nearly two months as a
result of surgery on his right elbow.

Hanshin Tigers third-baseman Takahiro Arai will make an
unchanged 200 million yen plus bonuses. He will conclude his
four-year contract next season.

Arai, who had 19 homers, was the only one on his team to play in
every inning of all 144 games. After Hanshin outfielder Tomoaki
Kanemoto was sidelined with an injury, Arai batted cleanup with a
.311 average and 112 RBIs -- both personal highs.

''We weren't able to win the championship in the end, so it
turned out to be a disappointing season. If we would've won I might
be happier about my numbers,'' Arai said.

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