Balentien to stay with Swallows through 2016

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TOKYO, Dec. 15 (22:44) Kyodo

The Yakult Swallows said Saturday they have extended two-time
Central League home run king Wladimir Balentien's contract to remain
with the club through 2016.

The 28-year-old Balentien, who hails from Willemstad in the
Netherlands Antilles, will get $950,000 in 2013, but the Swallows
will guarantee him $7.5 million from 2014-2016.

Balentien, who played for the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati
Reds in the majors before joining Yakult in 2011, hit 31 homers for
the second straight year this season, despite being sidelined for
nearly a month due to injury.

He played in just 106 games but had the most homers in Japanese
baseball, even though he failed to attain the minimum number of
at-bats for regulation.

Swallows closer Tony Barnette, 29, and outfielder Lastings
Milledge, 27, also agreed to contract extensions.

Barnette secured a two-year deal worth $3.2 million. This year
Barnette won the saves title for the first time after three years in

Milledge, who batted .300 with 21 homers in his first season in
Japan, will make $1.1 million in 2013 and $3.3 million from
2014-2015, with an option clause for either party to renew in 2016.

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