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Lions ordered to give Wakui raise

Kyodo News

A salary arbitration committee for Nippon Professional Baseball ruled Friday that the Seibu Lions must pay pitcher Hideaki Wakui ¥253 million this season.

The committee informed both parties of its decision in only the seventh case in which Japanese baseball contract negotiations have gone to arbitration.

Unhappy with Seibu’s offer of ¥200 million, unchanged from 2010, plus performance bonuses, the 24-year-old Wakui filed for arbitration and said he wanted a higher evaluation of his overall season, despite a dip in form after the summer.

Wakui went 14-8 with a 3.67 ERA in 27 starts in the fifth consecutive season that he has posted double-digit wins, but he only posted three wins after the All-Star series.

Wakui was also unhappy with the fact that his friend Yu Darvish received a ¥170 million raise from the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters earlier this month to become the highest paid active player at ¥500 million.

It was the first salary arbitration case since the Nippon Ham Fighters lost to left-hander Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi in 2001.