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Matsunaka to stay with Hawks

Kyodo

Softbank Hawks infielder Nobuhiko Matsunaka fulfilled the requirements to become a free agent on Tuesday, but expressed his intention to finish out his career with the Pacific League club.

“I wasn’t interested in being a free agent because I feel that I want to end my career here,” said the 33-year-old Matsunaka, who signed a seven-year deal with the Hawks from 2006.

“Still, my goal was to continue playing until I became eligible.” Matsunaka joined the Daiei Hawks, currently Softbank, in 1997, designating the team as his top pick under the draft system at that time, and won batting titles in 2004 and 2006.