Nakamura signs 1 billion yen, 3-year deal with Seibu

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TOKOROZAWA, Japan, Dec. 15 (17:18) Kyodo

Seibu Lions third baseman Takeya Nakamura signed a new 1 billion
yen, three-year contract with the Pacific League club on Thursday.

Nakamura, who matched a career high with a Japanese
baseball-leading 48 home runs this past season, saw his salary double
from 2011 to 250 million yen in 2012, the first season of his
three-year deal.

''Now I've led the league in home runs three times, and I'm
looking at the 50-homer mark,'' Nakamura said. ''I want to set my
goal at 55 (Japanese season home run record shared by Sadaharu Oh,
Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera) for the near future.''

The 28-year-old Nakamura also led the PL with 116 RBIs.

''The latest contract is a sign that the club wants me to stay
for a long time,'' Nakamura said. ''The Lions haven't offered players
a multiyear contract, so I'm glad they did that to me.''

He is expected to be eligible for domestic free agency in 2012.

Also on Thursday, Seibu outfielder Takumi Kuriyama re-signed
with the Lions for 200 million yen, up 65 million yen from 2011, plus
performance-based bonuses.

Kuriyama batted .307 with three homers and 60 RBIs while playing
in all 144 games for the second consecutive season.

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