• Kyodo


Former major league right-hander Masato Yoshii re-signed with the Orix BlueWave on Friday for an annual salary of 50 million yen, club sources said.

It means a salary cut for the 38-year-old former Montreal Expos pitcher, who received $550,000 (60 million yen) in 2003.

This past season, Yoshii, who also played for the New York Mets and Colorado Rockies while in the majors, posted a record of just 2-7 with one save and underwent surgery on his left ankle in late August.

As part of his rehabilitation, Yoshii took part in the winter league in the Dominican Republic earlier this month.

New deal for Miyamoto

Shinya Miyamoto, who can earn the right to free agency in 2004, and the Yakult Swallows have settled on a five-year contract worth over 1 billion yen, the Central League club said Friday.

The 33-year-old infielder, a five-time Golden Glove award winner, will be earning 180 million yen for the first three years and Yakult will determine the amount for the next two years based on Miyamoto’s combined three-year stats.

“This is a long-term deal, so I’d like to take the responsibility and work hard so nobody says I’m making too much,” said Miyamoto, who is set to sign the deal as soon the two sides reach an agreement on performance-based incentives.

Miyamoto served as the captain of the national team at the Asian Championships, through which Japan won an Olympic berth, last month in Sapporo.

In 2003, his ninth season as a pro, he batted .284 with 154 hits, seven homers and 44 RBIs in 140 games.

Fukuura rewarded

CHIBA (Kyodo) Lotte Marines infielder Kazuya Fukuura, who batted .300 or better for the third straight year, re-signed for a 34 million yen pay raise on Friday and will receive an annual salary of 55 million yen from the Pacific League club.

Fukuura had a .303 average and 172 hits — both team highs — in 140 games in the 2003 season but also hit into a league-high 22 double plays.

Meanwhile, right-hander Naoyuki Shimizu, who posted double-digit wins for the second consecutive season with a 15-10 record this year, re-signed for an annual salary of 150 million yen.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.