OSAKA – The Hanshin Tigers have apparently made a better offer than the Yokohama BayStars to keep free agent left-hander Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi next season, baseball sources said Saturday.
Although the details were not disclosed, it is believed Hanshin extended the term of the deal from one year to two to compete with the BayStars, who on Wednesday presented the 35-year-old a two-year package carrying 250 million yen plus performance-based incentives.
This year, Shimoyanagi helped lead Hanshin to the Central League championship by posting 10 wins, but the Osaka-based club had originally offered the pitcher only a single-year deal.
“He was essential in leading us to the league championship, so we went ahead and made him a new offer,” Hanshin official Kunio Takeda said after a meeting with Masataka Uesugi, Shimoyanagi’s agent.
Takeda said the Tigers will wait as long as it takes to get a response from Shimoyanagi, who is also said to be eyeing the major leagues, and hinted desperation by going as far as proposing to look after his dog.
Hawks strike back
TAIPEI (Kyodo) Hisao Arakane hit an RBI double for the game winner in the eighth inning as the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks won their second game against the Taiwan national team 1-0 Saturday and split the exhibition series at one game apiece.
Junji Hoshino combined with three others on a shutout relay after Hayato Terahara and the Japan Series champion dropped their opener at Kaohsiung 8-1 a day earlier.
In the first game, Terahara surrendered a grand slam in the fifth while the Pacific League pennant winners’ lackluster offense could only answer with a run in the ninth.
The Hawks are scheduled to wrap up their tour with a game against Taiwanese pro team Sinon Bulls on Sunday.
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