NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Hanshin Tigers southpaw Kei Igawa will wait to renegotiate a proposal for a 100 million yen pay raise from the Central League club, baseball sources said Wednesday.

News photoKei Igawa

The boost would double Igawa’s annual salary to 200 million yen in 2004.

“The reason he has decided to wait is mainly because of money. There’s some difference in the amount he hopes for but it’s possible to close the gap,” said Igawa’s agent, Hironari Hashioka, who will conduct a second round of talks with the club after the New Year.

Igawa, 24, who was selected as the league MVP this season, said he was leaving all negotiation matters up to his agent.

This year, Igawa, who was the starting pitcher on Opening Day for the second straight year, posted double digit wins with a 20-5 record for a second consecutive season — playing a pivotal role to guide Hanshin to its first league championship in 18 years.

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